Burlington CPAs Providing Estate Planning & Post-Mortem Tax Guidance
Estate planning, especially in situations involving trusts, businesses, and other complicating factors can be overwhelming but left undone, can result in significant financial liabilities. High-value estates, in particular, can attract considerable tax penalties, so it is extremely important to have a strategic plan in place to effectively minimize liabilities while maximizing what is passed on to loved ones.
Estate administration can be equally overwhelming and complicated, especially for the estate trustees. Depending on the structure of the estate, administering estate finances after someone has passed away, may involve complex tax considerations with ongoing trusts or businesses that need to be handled properly. Facing the long-term management of an intricate estate and its beneficiaries while also trying to minimize tax liabilities can be a lot to deal with, particularly when one is affected by a personal loss. Securing a finance and accounting professional to provide guidance throughout the process can go a long way towards lifting the burden.
How Edelkoort Smethurst Schein Can Help with Estate Planning & Post-Mortem Financial Matters
At Edelkoort Smethurst Schein CPAs LLP in Burlington, our accountants have considerable experience assisting clients with both effective estate tax planning as well as post-mortem estate tax management. Due to our extensive experience, we have become highly adept at reviewing assets and liabilities and are particularly skilled at identifying potential pitfalls and effectively avoiding them through proper estate planning. We work with clients to make a comprehensive plan that works to maximize the distribution to beneficiaries while mitigating tax consequences wherever possible.
With respect to post-mortem financial matters, our accounting professionals regularly work with estate trustees to plan, prepare, and manage the tax requirements of even the most complex estates. Filing taxes for an estate requires keeping highly detailed accounting records of any transactions and adhering to strict deadlines. The process can be time-consuming and complicated to manage. Our accounting professionals work with their clients to plan out the tax requirements and deadlines, manage the tracking of an estate’s finances and then complete all required filings while working to minimize tax liabilities for the estate.
What is a Family Trust & How Can it Benefit Your Estate?
A trust is an established relationship whereby a person gives money or property to a third party (known as a trustee), who then maintains those funds according to the trust guidelines for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiaries. The trustee owes a legal duty to the beneficiaries of the trust to act in their best interest with respect to the property they have been entrusted with.
A family trust is generally set up as an inter vivos trust or a testamentary trust, and each must adhere to different rules when it comes to tax requirements. The difference between the two lies in when the trust takes effect.
Inter Vivos Trust
Inter vivos trusts are created and put into effect during the creator’s lifetime. Often these trusts will be set up in order to take advantage of income splitting plans that enable family members to share income, thereby lowering the tax obligations for each individual. Trust, like individuals, must track and file tax records and generally pay tax at the highest individual rate. For this reason, it is important to make efforts to allocate trust income to the beneficiaries and have it taxed through the individual.
The terms of a testamentary trust are generally set out in a Will and become active upon the testator’s death. Testamentary trusts are commonly set-up to allow one person to earn income from the trust during their lifetime while allocating the principle to another individual after the initial beneficiary’s death. Such testamentary trusts are often applied when a person is married and has children from a previous marriage or relationship. A testamentary trust can allow the testator to provide income security for their current spouse after they die while ensuring the principle amount will eventually pass down to their children after their spouse’s death.
Estate Tax Requirements Are Often Complicated & Onerous
Handling the tax requirements of a complicated estate can be burdensome, especially while also dealing with the loss of a loved one. Depending on the nature of the estate, there may be business considerations, ongoing trusts and charitable donations to manage in addition to the regular tax filings of an estate. Edelkoort Smethurst Schein CPAs LLP regularly works with clients to oversee complex estates and provide guidance to estate trustees with respect to managing and minimizing the estate’s potential tax burdens.
We review the entire estate and provide advice, guidance and management of various issues with an eye to mitigating the estate’s tax liabilities, including:
- Management of trust income and reporting;
- Beneficiary distribution;
- After-death income of the estate;
- Tax compliance;
- Work with estate lawyers on the passing of accounts; and
- Any tax filings associated with the estate, including T1 and T3 returns.
Contact Edelkoort Smethurst Schein CPAs LLP in Burlington for Experienced Guidance on Estate Planning and Post-Mortem Tax Compliance Issues
Handling the finances of an estate is especially complicated, as those who are left to deal with these issues are often suffering a personal loss. At Edelkoort Smethurst Schein CPAs LLP, we understand how difficult this time can be and will take on the stress and pressure of managing estate finances and tax obligations. In addition, we provide our clients with exceptional estate planning advice so that they can get on with their lives, secure in the knowledge that their families and businesses have been adequately taken care of. To speak with one of our knowledgeable Chartered Professional Accountants, please contact us online or by telephone at 905-517-2297.
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From real estate to income tax, we guide clients on both sides of the border through their U.S. and Canadian tax filing requirements and help to minimize their obligations.
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