Estate Planning Isn’t Just for Couples and Parents

An older women looks off-camera in thought.

The following article was written by Lori Dawson, a member of our Gift Planning Services Committee


As a society, we have acquired more wealth than previous generations in the past 20 years – and become more financially intelligent along the way. With this wealth and astute nature, we have diversified our portfolios and placed money in more varied financial accounts such as RRSPs and TFSAs.

For those of us without spouses or children, what happens to all of these assets when we are no longer here?

Leaving assets to nieces and nephews is common in this scenario but you can get creative and make an impact on the world too. Establishing something for the future that aligns with your values, life story, and legacy is all in the planning!

Creating an estate plan that includes your nieces and nephews as well as a charity can actually help reduce your Estate’s fees and taxes. Let’s look at RRSPs, for example. They come to maturity immediately on date of death. They are therefore deemed income that is taxed to the Estate or in the case of a named beneficiary, the income that is generated is taxable. For other savings accounts, as well as non-primary residences (cottages, summer homes) capital gains will need to be paid by the Estate before the beneficiaries receive their bequest. By naming a registered Canadian charity as the beneficiary to your RRSPs, other assets or life insurance policies, your Estate will receive an income tax receipt which can be used against your Estate’s income tax filing.

Nurturing your philanthropic legacy can be advantageous for all of your beneficiaries and continue your story for years to come. If you include Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation, you will be amplifying your impact on health care. You can choose to make an outright gift to benefit hospital or research programs in a big way immediately or endow your gift for installments to make an annual impact in perpetuity.

Leaving your personal mark on the world can go hand-in-hand with helping your nieces and nephews. Simply plan now for the future!

Head shot of Lori DawsonLori Dawson BA, CFP, CLU, CDFA, EPC
Certified Financial Planner
Escarpment Wealth Management Corp.