In this issue
• Case Study: Using an Inheritance to the Best Advantage
NetWorth • Registered Education Savings Plans
• Take Action To Meet Your Retirement Goals
that offer varying degrees of protection for
Is it Wise to Make Gifts property received by gift or inheritance.
to Adult Children? This protection may apply to a property
claim on marriage breakdown, or to a claim
Parents often want their adult children to
against the estate of a spouse. However, the
benefit from their wealth today rather than
statutory protection may not be sufficient
having to wait for an inheritance. The
because there are many exceptions and they
decision to give to children must be made
are strictly interpreted. In addition, children
carefully after considering all the
may move from one province to another,
consequences and potential unforeseen
making it uncertain what the applicable law
events. Consider these factors:
will be in the future. Transferring the gifted
• Loss of control over the funds or property property to a trust is sometimes
once they are gifted recommended. In addition to offering some
• Future change to your health or financial protection from spousal claims, it can also
situation prevent the child from voluntarily
• Exposure of the funds or property to the transferring the property to the spouse.
children’s creditors, spouses or heirs
Investment Advisor Alternate Strategies
Tel: 416-359-5619 • Effect on the children’s work ethic or lifestyle
You may decide to re-examine your intentions
• Potential undue influence on you by the
to make gifts to your adult children once all
Anni Torma children to make the gift
the known and potential consequences are
Sales Assistant • Effect on the distribution of your estate considered. As previously stated, a good
Tel: 416-359-4292 • Income taxes option may be to create a trust so that the
Below are some answers to the most frequently property being set aside for the children can
1 First Canadian Place asked questions about gifts to children: still be used for the children’s benefit without
47th Floor, P.O. Box 150 complete loss of control. In addition, the trust
How can I help my child purchase a home?
Toronto, ON may protect the property from those making
You can avoid some of the above pitfalls by
M5X 1H3 claims against your children. Professional
registering a mortgage against the property. advice is essential if the trust route is chosen
The mortgage can be forgiven in your Will to ensure that it provides the appropriate
or offset against the child’s inheritance. protection for your circumstances and avoids
Will the gift be taxable? certain tax traps. You should seek independent
Web: www.jasonmckersie.com legal advice if you want to make large gifts to
In Canada there is no gift tax but there is
your adult children. A safe philosophy for
capital gains tax if the gift consists of capital
gifting to children is never give away anything
property with an unrealized capital gain.
that you may need or want back. Remember,
Capital gains tax will also apply if the
once the gift is made, there is no reversing it.
capital property is sold to the child for less
than fair market value. Your BMO Nesbitt Burns Investment
Advisor can assist you in locating an estate
Will my childs' spouse have a right to the
gift in the event of marriage breakdown?
Each province in Canada has different rules
NetWorth Summer 2010
education for the children and an active retirement. They
were then shown how much of their income was going to
taxes, servicing debt, savings, daily living expenses and
discretionary spending. The review showed them that,
although the inheritance would have a significant impact on
their current lifestyle, they needed a realistic, long-term
wealth management plan to ensure their assets will
continue to be sufficient to support their goals.
Building the Plan
• A number of strategies were explained that would allow
the Goodwins to make the best use of their income, as well
as various options for their inheritance. These included
paying off debt, funding education and retirement savings.
The impact that each strategy would have on their short
and long-term goals was then reviewed.
• The Goodwins decided that the best approach would be to
manage their cash flow by using part of the inheritance to
pay off high interest rate and non-tax deductible debt and
the balance to establish an investment portfolio using their
personalized investment strategy.
• The Goodwins are maximizing their tax-deferred savings
and maximizing RRSP and TFSA contributions. They are
also making RESP contributions for their children.
• Until now, the Goodwins’ estate plan had simply named
Case Study: Using an Inheritance each other as the beneficiary of their respective registered
to the Best Advantage plans. The importance of a professionally prepared Will
and Powers of Attorney to ensure that their wishes are
Managing your wealth isn’t simply a financial exercise. It carried out should anything happen to either of them was
requires an appreciation of your unique needs and an in- explained. A meeting was then set up with an estate
depth understanding of your goals and dreams and how planning lawyer to prepare their Wills and Powers of
these affect the people you care most about. Attorney, to discuss guardianship of their children, choice
of executor and reducing taxes for the surviving spouse
This case study provides an example of BMO Nesbitt Burns’
and children after death.
comprehensive and personalized approach to wealth
management and highlights just a few of the many ways in Upon receipt of their inheritance, a meeting will be set up to
which we can help you to achieve your unique wealth ensure all the necessary paperwork is in order and finalize
management goals. the various plans they agreed to put in place.
Professionals in their mid-forties, the Goodwins enjoy a At BMO Nesbitt Burns, we can help simplify this very
comfortable lifestyle. The investments they’ve made in their complex and important aspect of your life and ensure all
own education have clearly paid off and they want the same your financial goals are expertly addressed. When you have
opportunities for their children. While their incomes are
questions or concerns, or an issue or opportunity that you
high, money in the bank always seems to be low. They are
want to discuss arises, you have only one call to make.
striving to get their finances under control with more to
show for their hard work. They are expecting to receive an Our process involves mapping out and managing an
inheritance from a parent’s estate and want to make the individualized, comprehensive plan that addresses your
most effective use of this money. unique needs, bringing in expert resources when needed
and conducting regular reviews of your progress. This
Assessing the Needs allows you to relax and enjoy life today, confident that your
After conducting a thorough review of the Goodwins’ financial concerns are being fully addressed and
financial position, they were provided with a clear picture of opportunities that could enhance your financial picture are
their current net worth, the impact of the inheritance and being brought to your attention.
where they stand relative to their key goals – university
NetWorth Summer 2010
Registered Education Planning Tips & Considerations:
Savings Plans • A child may be the beneficiary of more than one RESP.
While a post-secondary education is an invaluable personal If more than one adult is contributing to an RESP for a
asset, it can be expensive to fund. Government cutbacks and beneficiary, ensure all of the contributions made to the
inflation further undermine your ability to save for your separate plans for that child do not exceed the RESP
child’s education. However, the good news is that CRA has lifetime contribution limits. Exceeding the limits will result
significantly enhanced the Registered Education Savings in penalties.
Plan (RESP) rules over the past few years. In addition to the • Open a family plan when possible in the event one child
tax advantages, there are increased contribution limits, decides not to pursue post-secondary education. A family
additional termination options and the Canada Education plan allows contributions to be made into one RESP for
Savings Grant (CESG). all of the children. The main benefit of a family plan is
An RESP is a tax deferral plan designed to help save for a that the RESP income does not have to be paid out
student’s post-secondary education. The contributor to the proportionately between the beneficiaries.
RESP is called the subscriber and the future student is the If one child does not pursue post-secondary studies,
beneficiary. Although contributions to an RESP are not tax the other beneficiaries may use the income and CESG
deductible, all of the income in the plan compounds on a tax (within their limits) for their education.
deferred basis. In addition, there is also the CESG – a federal
program that will deposit grants directly into your child’s
RESP based on your contributions. Finally, when the hands as ordinary income (i.e. there are no dividend tax
accumulated income and CESG are withdrawn from the credits or reduced capital gain tax rates). Generally, this
RESP to pay for education expenses, the beneficiary student income would attract little or no tax if withdrawn over a few
pays the taxes, not the subscriber. Withdrawals of CESGs years due to the student’s basic personal exemption and
and the accumulated income are taxed in the student’s tuition and education tax credits.
While most RESPs are set up by parents for the benefit of a
child, anyone who wants to help fund someone’s education
may set up an RESP, including grandparents, aunts, uncles,
godparents and friends. You may even set up a plan for yourself.
There are two types of RESPs: single beneficiary and family
plans. As the name implies, with a single beneficiary plan
there is only one beneficiary. You may name anyone as the
beneficiary – any related or non-related child or adult, even
yourself or your spouse. A family plan is one RESP that is set
up for the benefit of more than one child within a family.
Each beneficiary of a family plan must be related to the
subscriber by blood relationship or adoption.
Your RESP contributions are not tax deductible nor are they
considered taxable when withdrawn. The main reason for
contributing to an RESP is that all of the investment income
generated compounds on a tax-deferred basis. The tax-
deferred compounding of income can result in substantial
growth in the plan. When the income and CESG are paid out
for education expenses – called Education Assistance
Payments (EAPs) – the funds are taxed in the student’s
hands and not the subscriber’s.
To obtain the maximum benefit from an RESP and the
CESG, it makes sense to start your savings program early.
Together we can determine the best way to finance your
child’s education and then develop a savings program that
ensures you’ll meet your education savings goals.
NetWorth Summer 2010
Structure your portfolio asset allocation in a tax-efficient
Take Action To Meet Your manner. If you have investment assets in both registered and
Retirement Goals non-registered accounts, tax-efficiency planning is essential.
Interest income, dividend income and capital gains are all
As a result of the market turbulence in the past few years,
taxed differently in Canada, so it makes sense to place the most
many Canadians, especially those who are nearing retirement,
heavily taxed assets inside tax-sheltered accounts (i.e. the
are questioning whether they can afford to retire as originally
RRSP and the TFSA) while leaving those that are more
planned. To get back on track to ensure a financially secure
favorably taxed in your non-registered accounts.
retirement, here are a numbers of strategies you can consider:
Extend your work life
Save more, save smarter
Canadians are living longer and healthier lives, and many of
Saving more will certainly help, but getting the most out of
them plan to work in some capacity after reaching traditional
your investments is equally important. One sure way to grow
retirement age to stay “mentally active”. Delaying retirement or
your savings faster is to minimize taxes on your investment
taking up part-time work during retirement can also be
income. Here are some strategies you can consider:
healthy for your pocket book, because:
Maximize RRSP savings. The RRSP is the primary retirement
savings vehicle for Canadians who do not have a pension plan • You continue to receive an income stream, which enables
at work. Yet a recent study indicates that only one-third of you to delay withdrawing from your retirement savings. As a
eligible Canadians make RRSP contributions; and of these, result, you can accumulate a larger retirement nest-egg; plus
only 22% contribute the maximum allowable amount. If you you shorten the period during which you need to make
have so far underused the RRSP, it is time to catch up! Because withdrawals from those savings.
of tax-free compounding, even a small increase in your savings • If your investments have suffered during the recent market
can make a big difference over an extended period. turmoil, the ability to leave them intact allows
Make full use of the TFSA. Like the RRSP, the TFSA allows you to “sit it out” for market recovery.
you to accumulate retirement savings tax-free. Even better,
• If you belong to a pension plan at work, working
the TFSA allows you to make withdrawals tax-free, and
longer may result in a larger pension income when
gives you complete freedom to decide when and how much
you fully retire.
to withdraw. These unique characteristics make the TFSA a
valuable and effective tax planning tool in retirement, so To review your retirement plan and help you decide
maximizing your TFSA savings should be a key part of your which of these strategies are most appropriate for you,
retirement savings strategy. let's discuss.
If you are already a client of BMO Nesbitt Burns, please contact your Investment Advisor for more information. The comments included in the publication are not intended to be a definitive analysis of tax
law: The comments contained herein are general in nature and professional advice regarding an individual’s particular tax position should be attained in respect of any person’s specific circumstances.
BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. and BMO Nesbitt Burns Ltée provide this commentary to clients for informational purposes only. The information contained herein is based on sources that we believe to be reliable,
but is not guaranteed by us, may be incomplete or may change without notice. The comments included in this document are general in nature, and professional advice regarding an individual’s particular
position should be obtained. BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. and BMO Nesbitt Burns Ltée are indirect subsidiaries of Bank of Montreal.
“BMO (M-bar Roundel symbol)” is a registered trademark of Bank of Montreal, used under licence. “Nesbitt Burns” is a
registered trademark of BMO Nesbitt Burns Corporation Limited, used under licence. TM/® Trade-marks/registered trade-marks
of Bank of Montreal, used under licence.
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