TAX & ESTATE PLANNING

Estate planning involves a lot more than just preparing a will. In fact, wills aren’t necessarily essential to an effective estate plan. Estate planning is about protecting the interest of your family and loved ones, while minimizing or eliminating estate taxes, inheritance taxes and probate fees. Our team of professional accountants in Surrey is trained to give you and your family the most flexible options with respect to tax and estate planning. This includes reorganizing the existing business structure and/or setting up a family trust. Richard Kosick & Co. will work with you and facilitate minimizing taxes and other costs and expedite the healthy transition of wealth without dispute.

Our Surrey-based estate planning team provide individuals, families and business clients with comprehensive advice customized to their specific needs to ensure the smooth transfer of assets to the next generation including reducing or eliminating probate fees and minimizing or deferring tax on capital gains, income splitting through the use of spousal (for married or common law spouses) and testamentary trusts as well optimizing wills to enable charitable giving.

Planning for the transfer of assets on death requires careful consideration of the tax consequences that may arise at such time. Our expert accountant will analyze the different tax consequences that may apply in respect of various asset classes such as registered plans, non-registered investments, corporate assets, real estate and personal property.

Without proper planning, a Canadian taxpayer’s estate may encounter a host of legal issues if he or she dies intestate (without a Will). These include the application of probate tax on assets that may have been transferred without probate, triggering capital gains tax which may have been deferred and/or guardianship issues for minor children.

Our professionals analyze the facts specific to each client’s situation in order to recommend and implement an appropriate plan. We also help clients settle estates of Canadians who pass away owning real property in foreign jurisdictions. In preparing your estate plan we will review your assets, beneficiaries and will, and then communicate with your lawyer, or will refer to one of our own legal contacts should a lawyer be required. Our estate planning services include:

  • Estate planning, including “estate freezes”, to ensure that the impact of taxation on asset transfers is minimized
  • Family budgeting and planning in order to help meet future financial goals
  • Co-ordinating with other professionals to ensure that your specific needs are met
  • Resolving estate beneficiary disputes
  • Financial and tax planning
  • Business succession planning
  • Wills and power of attorney
  • Advice on the use of trusts, including family, alter ego, and spousal trusts
  • Mitigation of double taxation exposure through post-mortem planning
  • Preparing financial statements for estates and trusts
  • Advice on charitable giving, including the use of private foundations


Estate planning can be a difficult process emotionally, but it is an important matter and there are many personal factors to consider. We may not look forward to making these types of decisions, but it is extremely important to have a solid plan in place. Estate planning is about planning for others – your family, your business partners, other special people in your life, and your favourite charities.

When you work with us we want to: ensure that you and your family have control over who oversees the estate, explain what you can expect to pay in estate fees and keep these fees to a minimum, allow your family to receive money and property from the estate in the least stressful and costly matter, review your Will with you and help you update or change the document according to your wishes, anticipate and avoid any family conflict that may arise after death, and implement a tax planning strategy that will minimize the taxes of the estate.

Preparing yourself and your family to plan for your estate can be a daunting task. We will guide you, step-by-step, through the process of establishing an effective estate plan.

Trusts

Learn About Trusts from the Expert Accountants in Surrey, BC

A trust is a legal entity that can be set up to help in achieving your estate planning goals. There are several different types depending on the purpose and timing of when they are set up. We work with your lawyer to establish the ideal trust for your situation. Often we can reduce the estate taxes, or inheritance taxes using a structure involving one or more trusts.

Family Trusts – These can be used to distribute income from a private corporation among family members. These structures have worked well in the past but new proposed legislation is challenging them. See our recent news article.
Testamentary Trust – This type of trust is automatically created upon the death of an individual in Canada. There may or may not be a necessity to file returns for a testamentary trust. It is best to contact us so we can discuss your particular situation.
Alter Ego Trust – can be used to segregate certain assets to be left to specific beneficiaries of the trust. This can be a very powerful tool as any assets held by an alter ego trust are outside of the will and the estate.
Other Trusts – There are a multitude of trusts that can be set up depending on your personal situation. Let’s have a discussion if you are thinking a certain structure is right for you and your family.

Our services include:
  • Preparation of T3 tax returns, T3 Summary and T3 Supplementary
  • Dealing with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) (e.g. Audits, correspondence, questions, etc.)
  • Reviewing correspondence from CRA and advising on appropriate reply
  • Tax planning
  • Estate planning
  • Coordination with lawyers to establish trust
  • Reporting foreign assets
  • Assisting non-resident trusts file Canadian tax return(s), as required

Filing of Tax Returns

A Testamentary Trust is required to file a tax return within 90 days after the anniversary of the date of death. The return would report any income earned during the period. There may be an opportunity to allocate out any income earned to the beneficiaries depending on the terms of the Will.

Clearance Certificate

Should you be acting as Executor or Administrator of an Estate you may wish to apply for a Clearance Certificate? A Clearance Certificate confirms that an Estate has paid all amounts of tax and lets the Executor/Administrator distribute assets without the risk of being personally responsible for amounts the deceased may owe.
Call Richard Kosick & Co. tax accountants in Surrey at 604.584.6822 to set up your free initial consult.