Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Key to Success (Alex Bramwell/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Key to Success (Alex Bramwell/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The Top Tens

Top 10 things to consider for your will and estate plan Add to ...

  • this allows public company securities to be donated to charities to take advantage of the nil capital gain inclusion rate

9. Determine if you are exposed to U.S. estate tax

Special planning may be required if:

  • You are a U.S. citizen or you hold a U.S. green card
  • Your spouse or common law partner is a U.S. citizen
  • You have children who are U.S. citizens or who live in the U.S., or
  • You own U.S. situs assets, such as real estate in the U.S. or shares of U.S. corporations

U.S. citizens are subject to U.S. estate tax on the value of their worldwide assets. Non-U.S. citizens are subject to U.S. estate tax only on assets situated in the U.S., such as U.S. real estate and shares of U.S. corporations.

New US Rules – Passed December 17, 2010

U.S. Estate Tax – Reinstated through 2012

  • $5M exemption for estate, gift & generation skipping tax
  • 35 per cent tax rate

Starting 2013 (if no government action)

  • $1M exemption for estate, gift & generation skipping tax
  • 55 per cent rate

You should seek U.S. advice if you are a U.S. citizen or U.S. green card holder, you are married to a U.S. citizen, you have children who are U.S. citizens or who reside in the U.S., or if you hold U.S. status assets

10. Consider the non-tax implications of your estate and will plan

Have you developed a contingency plan in the event of an untimely death? Do you have an exit strategy for the business, whether it is to:

  • sell to a third party purchaser or to management, or
  • to transfer your business to your family?

If you plan to transfer your shares to your family:

  • have you identified your successor?
  • have you discussed this with your family?

Have you thought through how your estate assets will be divided among your family members and are they “packaged” so this division can be achieved? Does your will meet your intentions with respect to the division of your assets and your other objectives?

Planning today can:

  1. Reduce taxes during your lifetime
  2. Minimize income tax and probate fees arising on death
  3. Minimize the tax payable by your beneficiaries on income earned on their future inheritance
  4. esult in an orderly transition of your business, and
  5. Ensure that your estate planning objectives will be met
Single page

Follow us on Twitter: @GlobeSmallBiz

In the know

Most popular video »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most Popular Stories