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Estate and trust planning for physicians

Plan today to leave a legacy tomorrow.

The estate planning process provides a chance for you and your loved ones to openly discuss illness, death and your final wishes. Documenting the details of how you want your estate to take care of others and create new opportunities is the easiest way to avoid confusion, stress, family disputes and a host of avoidable expenses that would erode the value of your estate.

As part of MD’s team of specialists, we work with Scotiatrust® who has been helping Canadian families preserve and transfer their wealth for over 100 years. Scotiatrust’s Estate and Trust specialists are here to help you and your family prepare by documenting your wishes and supporting your estate plan to help ensure that your:

  • assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes;
  • minimizing taxes paid from the estate in order to protect its value;
  • assets are transferred to your beneficiaries at the right time, in the most tax-efficient way.

A good plan is the sum of its parts

Estate planning

Estate planning is connected to many of the other decisions you’ll make within your financial plan. For example, we’ll consider the types of assets you own, the tax consequences of wealth transfer and how you want to fund your legacy plan. This way, you’ll be able to balance the rewards you want to enjoy today with the legacy you wish to leave behind.

Estate settlement

Settling your estate can be complex with many stressful administrative tasks for your executor: distributing your assets, closing your practice, if necessary, and paying any final tax bills. If you wish, you can appoint a professional executor who has the knowledge, skills and expertise to manage the complexities of a physician’s estate.

Trust planning

Trusts can be created at any time for a wide variety of purposes. Some common goals of a trust are to provide protection, asset management and security for your loved ones. We look for opportunities to take advantage of trusts during your lifetime as part our ongoing financial planning services.

Trust administration

Administering a trust can be complicated and time-consuming and could lead to family disputes and unwanted tension. Appointing a professional trustee or co-trustee such as Scotiatrust as an objective third party should be considered.

A well-designed estate plan, updated as required, takes into account your wealth — including the value of your corporation — and provides for the distribution scheme among your beneficiaries that you want, with a goal of reducing administration and income tax in settling your affairs.

Scotiatrust offers a full range of estate and trust services

Your estate and trust needs

Your action plan

Planning the transfer of assets to loved onesScotiatrust can advise you on when and how you should transfer assets to minimize taxes. For example, should you give cash gifts to adult children while you are alive?
Ensuring the right people receive your assetsIt’s important to prepare a detailed will that names beneficiaries and includes detailed bequests. That will ensure that your assets are divided exactly as you intend.
Caring for minorsYou should identify and confirm the people who will act as legal guardians for your minor children, and document how your assets will be managed to help care for your children.
Providing for financial care of dependants after your deathTrusts can be established in your will, with detailed instructions on how they are to be managed and by whom.
Appointing executorsYou can name a relative or friend as your executor or use Scotiatrust’s professional executor services, whether you need a sole executor or a co-executor. Scotiatrust also offers Estate Assist which is a service provided to help executors fulfil their role.
Planning for possible incapacitation at any stage of lifePowers of attorney for personal care and property give authority to others to make decisions on your behalf when you can’t. Scotiatrust can help you choose the right people for these roles or can act on your behalf (but only as your attorney for property).
Minimizing taxes at deathPermanent life insurance can be put in place to pay for final expenses, income tax at death and any estate costs. A professional executor who specializes in estate administration for physicians can ensure your estate, including your medical professional corporation, is wound down in a tax-efficient manner.
Winding down your corporationCreating a plan in advance gives you the opportunity to minimize taxes and avoid the risk of double taxation.
Leaving a legacyKnowing in advance that you want to support a favourite charity or other organization lets you provide for this gift within your estate plan. For example, you may be able to donate in a way that creates a tax credit on your final tax bill, resulting in more assets to share with your beneficiaries.
Support with financial administration tasksPersonal Office provides an invaluable service for Trustees and Attorneys seeking assistance in discharging their many duties and responsibilities. This service offers you or your personal representative an impartial, total solution—securely and efficiently helping you manage the administration of your financial affairs, or those of a loved one.
Appointing a trusteeScotiatrust can act as an independent, third-party trustee or co-trustee to minimize family stress and mitigate potential conflicts.

Plan ahead today to care for loved ones tomorrow

Creating an estate and trust strategy today is the best way to ensure your loved ones will be looked after in the future.