RBC Wealth Management offers tips to make estate planning process a
TORONTO, June 10, 2014 /CNW/ - An estimated $1 trillion, or more, is
positioned to change hands in Canada over the coming years as baby
boomers age and assets begin to transfer to younger generations. The
country's high-net-worth population alone held close to $900 billion1 in investable assets in 2013, according to RBC Wealth Management, and
with improving economic conditions that figure is likely to grow. This
impending transfer of wealth is putting the onus on baby boomers to
ensure that their estate plans are crystal clear about how a lifetime
of hard-earned assets are to be managed upon their passing.
"No one likes to think about death, let alone build an actual plan
around that fateful day," says Tony Maiorino, vice-president and head,
RBC Wealth Management Services at RBC Wealth Management. "But one of
the most important financial decisions you can make during your
lifetime is to take the time to develop a well-thought-out estate plan
to ensure assets are seamlessly transferred according to your wishes."
A new report by RBC Wealth Management - Until Death Do Us Part … Then Everything Can Change - explores a key aspect of estate planning for married couples, in
particular, and that's the critical role a surviving spouse plays in
managing and maintaining family wealth for future generations.
"We find that when we talk to couples about estate planning, most of
them naturally focus on their kids," Maiorino says. "Children are an
important part of the decision-making process, no doubt, but a
comprehensive estate plan needs to consider an important step before
the kids, and that's the surviving spouse."
Until Death Do Us Part … Then Everything Can Change provides a comprehensive, plain-language look at estate planning
essentials for married couples in Canada, including the various ways to
leave assets to a spouse, while allowing the estate to seamlessly flow
through to the next generation.
1 According to the World Wealth Report 2013 from Capgemini and RBC Wealth
The report also offers practical tips for estate planning first-timers,
Take a Family Inventory - A good first step in developing an estate plan. Compile a list of
information pertaining to your family's banking and investment
accounts, advisors, assets, pension information and insurance policies.
Don't forget about your digital legacy - e-mail accounts and passwords,
social media profiles, domain names, etc. Share and discuss this
information with your spouse.
Introduce Your Spouse to Your Advisors - If your wealth, legal, tax and other advisors only have a
relationship with you, consider an informal meet-and-greet with your
spouse, and possibly other family members. This will allow your
surviving spouse and other family members to continue working with
advisors who know your history.
Create/Update Your Financial Plan - A current financial plan is critical and helps ensure that life goals
will be met. Involving the family in the financial planning process can
mean that they are more likely to understand each other's needs, goals
and concerns. A financial plan is not a one-time exercise, however - as
circumstances change, it is important to review and adjust your
financial plan as necessary.
Choose the Right Executor - An executor is the individual or institution appointed to administer
the estate. A common practice is for each spouse to consider the other
as their respective executor. Alternatives include family members,
including children, professionals such as a family lawyer, or a trust
Build a Business Succession Plan - Business owners have additional planning requirements and should
consider having a succession plan in place that addresses the needs of
the business and the surviving spouse if they are involved in the
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate - If your spouse will be the first heir of your estate, and potentially
your executor, it is important that you have open and regular
discussions about your intentions, goals and plans.
"It's important that your spouse is familiar and comfortable with the
tasks they will face," Maiorino says. "And, just as important, ensure
you communicate your plans to your children."
Maiorino adds that many couples also revert to the common estate
planning approach of simply leaving everything to the surviving spouse,
without taking other family members into consideration, which isn't
always the best course of action either.
"The suggestion isn't that the surviving spouse won't do their best in
honouring your legacy," Maiorino explains. "Rather, the surviving
spouse may simply not be experienced enough in managing finances, they
may become ill, they may develop solvency or creditor issues, or they
may re-marry, while other family members might contest the estate in
court believing they were entitled to certain assets."
Maiorino says clients today are looking for an increased level of
support around how to achieve their life goals, including how and where
they will retire, how will they manage their business, how they can
ensure their children are taken care of, having the right amount of
insurance, and how they can contribute to philanthropic causes.
"Having these discussions during your lifetime may help alleviate any
misunderstanding and problems that arise in settling your estate," says
Maiorino, whose team of more than 200 RBC Wealth Management Services
specialists has conducted close to 8,000 wealth planning discussions
with clients of RBC Wealth Management Canada's investment professionals
over the past year. "Most importantly, it will provide peace of mind
that your goals and objectives will be met."
To read Until Death Do Us Part … Then Everything Can Change, click here.
As always, you should obtain professional advice from a lawyer or
accountant, as applicable, to ensure your own circumstances have been
About RBC Wealth Management
RBC Wealth Management is one of the world's top 10 largest wealth managers*. RBC Wealth
Management directly serves affluent, high-net-worth and ultra-high net
worth clients in Canada, the United States, Latin America, Europe, the
Middle East, Africa, and Asia with a full suite of banking, investment,
trust and other wealth management solutions. The business also provides
asset management products and services directly and through RBC and
third party distributors to institutional and individual clients,
through its RBC Global Asset Management business (which includes
BlueBay Asset Management). RBC Wealth Management has more than C$690
billion of assets under administration, more than C$426 billion of
assets under management and approximately 4,400 financial consultants,
advisors, private bankers, and trust officers. For more information,
please visit www.rbcwealthmanagement.com
*Scorpio Partnership Global Private Banking KPI Benchmark 2013. In the
United States, securities are offered through RBC Wealth Management, a
division of RBC Capital Markets, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of
Royal Bank of Canada. Member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC.
Royal Bank of Canada is Canada's largest bank, and one of the largest
banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North
America's leading diversified financial services companies, and provide
personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance,
investor services and capital markets products and services on a global
basis. We employ approximately 79,000 full- and part-time employees who
serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and
institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 42 other
countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com.
RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations,
sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2013, we contributed
more than $104 million to causes worldwide, including donations and
community investments of more than $69 million and $35 million in
sponsorships. Learn more at www.rbc.com/community-sustainability.
For further information:
Tony Maraschiello, RBC Corporate Communications, 416-974-9334, firstname.lastname@example.org