Missed STEP? Check out our tweets

By Staff | June 12, 2012 | Last updated on September 15, 2023
4 min read

Advisor.ca is at the 14th National Conference of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners in Toronto.

Read our live-tweets here. A sampling so far:

#STEP estate freezes below market value will get the CRA’s attention, so have businesses professionally valued

#STEP in a couple of years, the economy should have a life of its own and not rely on zero percent interest rates

#STEP Canada’s housing bubble is now at a higher debt to income exposure than the US at its peak.

#STEP US unemployment rate is only dropping because some long term unemployed have given up. Inventories of unsold goods still an issue

#STEP protecting client accounts from post-decease identity theft preserves and protects the reputation of your practice.

#STEP fraudsters troll death notices because there is a limited window to steal before accounts close down.

Read: Review data security after LinkedIn hack

#STEP laws are evolving so legal status of digital assets are treated the same as physical assets. Executor stands in deceased’s shoes

#STEP a domain name registered for fun in 1998 that’s been maintained can be valuable today. Heirs may be subject to tax on sale

#STEP multiple digital aliases makes it hard for estate administrators to construct a client’s identity for tax purposes

#STEP China’s got a history of executing tax offenders. Italy put its entire tax records for all citizens on the internet

#STEP tax havens are getting squeezed by regulation, but foreign countries will cooperate because they need access to financial markets

#STEP pay as you go pension plans in place in Europe are similar to Ponzi schemes. The greying of populations makes them unsupportable

#STEP pressure on the public purse worldwide means tax collections agencies are under pressure to collect wherever possible

#STEP Regulators are looking for tax avoidance and non-disclosure. But they’re more interested in catching practitioners who aid them.

#STEP you will have clients who will try to get you to bend the rules. What if that “client” is a plant from the regulator?

#STEP Hiring a corporate trustee helps cool multiple executor disputes in estate litigation, spurs conflict fatigue

#STEP Don’t tempt fate and take advantage of obvious typos in wills. You’ll end with no reward and all the costs 4 litigation.

#STEP 3 main types of tough estate cases: mental illness cases, those involving minors, and medical malpractice/injury suits

#STEP Litigation involving company assets, undeveloped land or foreign/alternative investments can be very complex. More common now that plans involve much more than guaranteed products like GICs and one house.

#STEP In cases where litigation cost distribution could fracture family relations, judges often have each person bear own costs. If no reconciliation is possible, though, this concern is disregarded.

#STEP 1 trend is clear in estate litigation; judges cracking down on unwarranted cases, make instigator take the fall for costs. Don’t waste their time with poorly-built cases. Also, simple will administration can be handled by family or a long-time advisor. Payment options include legacy in lieu of monetary compensation or hourly rates for simple jobs.

#STEP arbitrary applications of trust and disposition rules have inappropriately broadened income attribution laws.

#STEP estate trustees are getting yelled at in courts. They’re getting sued. Ppl don’t want to do it anymore.

#STEP in Ontario, we’re seeing the beginning of the end of multiple wills. Remember 1.5% on $1mil = $15k. Just pay the probate.

#STEP hold proprty in a family trust for the full 22 years prior to distribution due to accumulation of asset value. So you can freeze and move the values into a new trust. Or put it into preferred stock to the family members. Also possible to create a sister company that takes the dividends on the founder’s existing value. These strategies can lead to significant payouts for the family. And a lot of things can be retained and controlled.

#STEP effective tax palling takes time so don’t wait until year 20 to deal with the 21 year rule. Start in year 17

#STEP if there are discontented children or rivalries, be careful about how voting interests are set up. A minority holder is dangerous

#STEP know the status of beneficiaries. A US or othe country resident can face significant withholding from a trust distribution

#STEP Alberta’s WASA makes it less advantageous to marry an older man. Used to be if spouses died at same time, younger died after older. Now, spouses are deemed to have predeceased each other.

#STEP BC’s WESA defines spouse as living with someone for 2 years. Survivorship rules = 5 days in between deaths.

#STEP CRA says it’s trying to answer taxpayer questions faster. Developing “income tax folio” product so e-bulletins better organized.

#STEP marriage no longer revokes a will in Alberta, and divorce does. Concern: what about guardianship? Many want that to stay with an ex.

#STEP Ontario is deep in debt and trying to get more through probate. Looking at multiple wills as a leakage point

#STEP if a lump sum RPP payment goes to a sibling post death of pensioner, who pays tax? Sibling, pensioner, estate? Gets taxed to recipient

#STEP an estate IS a trust for tax purposes. “if you’re going to hang your hat on Lipson, do so at your peril.”

#STEP if a life interest can’t be transferred to someone else, it’s not worth much. So problem of double taxation doesn’t really exist.

#CAFE if you kick Germany out of th EU, you can devalue the Euro and bail out the region. Absent something radical, it’s band aids

#CAFE those band aids are good for Canada because they buy time for companies here to decouple from Europe and reduce exposure.

Concerned about cross-border taxes?

Read: Tax cheats beware

Read: U.S. stands firm on tax law changes

Read: New U.S. tax rule fuels frustration

Advisor.ca staff


The staff of Advisor.ca have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.