A year ago, many countries were managing through their second wave of COVID-19 infections. Many equity markets nevertheless had staged a full and complete recovery to their pre-COVID highs. Despite the equity recovery, investors were still nervous. A year ago, we had just started to hear news of pending approvals of COVID vaccines.
Many Canadians designate a direct beneficiary on their RRSP, RRIF, TFSA or insurance policies without giving it a second thought (although in Quebec, beneficiary designations are only effective on insurance policies). However, designating a direct beneficiary is not recommended for many plan/policy owners, where they have non-traditional or unique family situations, as it can lead to unfavourable tax implications for beneficiaries.
Did you know that many Canadians are not adequately prepared to pass on or inherit family wealth? This is often due to a lack of communication and planning. The good news is that it’s never too early or too late to start. Planning helps you identify tax saving opportunities, mitigate potential financial gaps and maximize your current lifestyle.
An important part of financial planning is making sure that you have an estate plan that meets your personal needs. A key component of any well constructed estate plan is to make sure that you have an up to date power of attorney for financial decisions (referred to as a “protection mandate” in Quebec).
As we move toward the end of the year, we approach the season of giving. Many Canadians also increase their charitable giving during this period. However, not everyone is maximizing their giving in the most tax-efficient way. Whether it’s a continuation of donations made throughout the year, or an initial donation, there are several strategies to consider when donating prior to the end of the year.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen inspirational stories of individuals and organizations helping their communities and supporting causes in a variety of ways. During this time, you may be thinking about how you can contribute more or whether you should revisit your charitable giving approach.