A fistful of money

Inheritance: everyone dreams of inheriting oodles of money from a rich aunt or uncle. But what happens when you actually get the money? It might not be everything you wish for.

Marlene Engelhorn is exactly in that position: she inherited a whopping $36.6 million dollar (in Canadian dollars) from her rich grandmother. She should be set for life, right?

Instead, the wealthy heiress is quite unhappy with the princely sum of money.

Inheriting the money was bittersweet for Engelhorn; it’s enough to live on for the rest of her life, but it left the heiress with a nagging feeling in the back of her mind. Engelhorn felt conflicted: “I am only wealthy because I was born in a rich family. And I think in a democratic society of the 21st century, birth should not be the one thing that determines whether or not you’re gonna get to lead a very good life,” Engelhorn was reported as saying.

Engelhorn began a campaign for heavier taxes on the wealthy in Austria; this included campaigning for an inheritance tax. Her pleas to the Austrian government fell on deaf ears; the tax inheritance laws that Engelhorn was hoping for didn’t come to fruition. She has therefore decided to spearhead a grass-roots campaign for heavier taxes to be levied against the wealthy in Austria.

Partnering with the Foresight Institute in Austria, Engelhorn is looking to have a committee of Austrian residents tackle economy inequality by redistributing the €25 million ($36.6 million Cdn) she is generously giving the committee to play with.

How does this work?

Engelhorn and the Foresight Institute invited 10,000 Austrian residents over the age of 16. The number will be whittled down to a lucky 50 residents, who will be randomly selected to form the “Good Council.” These members will decide (over a period of six weekends) as to how the money will be spent.

Engelhorn also continues to work with charitable groups, like Millionaires for Humanity and Tax Me Now.

She continues to lament that “the Austrian system shouldn’t allow her to accumulate so much wealth.” But without any inheritances taxes in sight, Engelhorn is left to her own devices to distribute her own wealth.

Until that changes, Engelhorn plans to give away most of her inheritance.

You can read more, here.

A car only rich people could afford

Wealth: we all chase after it. We all want to be debt-free, worry-free, and provide for our family and friends.

People are grappling with high inflation, stagnant wages, skyrocketing housing, and working “side hustles” to pay the bills. Did you know that even wealthy people are feeling this way? In 2023, 59% of what could be described as “affluent” U.S. citizens, feel secure in their assets. Compare this to the whopping 72% of Americans who felt the same, just a year before that, in 2022.

The wealthy are like us: worrying about rampant inflation. They’re not investing, they’re not taking risks with their money: they’re holding on to it, which could be a sign of how shaky the economy is right now.

The wealthy are saddled with substantial debts: they (much like the average joe) is struggling to pay off their mortgages, car loans, and wipe out their credit card balances. Yes, they probably struggle less than the average joe to pay their debts off, but struggling to pay off debts may lead to excessive borrowing. Just like the average joe, the wealthy too, should avoid maintaining credit card debts and pay off loans they have as soon as possible (easier said than done.)

One of the most pressing concerns for wealthy Americans is how much they have saved for retirement. Not just retirement, but their overall estate planning, which includes: paying taxes, paying off loans, ensuring that you have good life insurance, managing issues surrounding health, etc.

These are all things that people across every generation should think about, even cash-strapped Millennials and GenZ.

Taxes are going to become a concern heading into 2024: many taxes could increase in U.S. households. There are a number of taxes from 2016 that are set to expire in 2026. This means that taxes would increase for a number of families. Getting creative with estate planning is the answer.

One way to get around these tax cuts is to gift large trusts to children and other family members.

Hopefully, you’re off to a good start in 2024. You may be able to increase your wealth if you follow sound advice and do your research on estate planning.

Online will Canada

As our world becomes increasingly digitized, the importance of navigating online becomes essential. This includes preparing for what’s best for ourselves and our loved ones. We need to protect both our digital and physical assets. This is where online Wills come into play. It is a testament to the marriage of technology and legal paperwork that we can now create online Wills.

You do not need to go with some online Will template that is a boilerplate option. You will want to work with a proper legal platform offering the best online Will option in Canada. When you create your Canadian Will online, you will want to ensure that it legally holds up in court or during a dispute. There should be instructions regarding what to do once the Will is complete.

What’s in a Will?

Breaking down Wills

Are Online Wills legal?

What service should I use?

In the End

What is included in a Will?

Let’s take a closer look at what a Canada online will looks like: it requires exactly the same type of requirements of that a traditional paper Will. You should start with the first and last names of the beneficiaries. Your beneficiaries are the recipients of the assets you are leaving behind once you pass away. There should be a breakdown of the assets each beneficiary is meant to receive. This breakdown can include either specific items or a percentage of assets.

You also want to include someone responsible for carrying out the wishes that you have requested in your Will. This person is called the Executor of your Will. This person is responsible for distributing your assets and managing your requests.

If there are minor children involved, you can also appoint a Guardian for those children (in the event of your untimely departure from this world.) Finally, if there are any special instructions, requests, or actions that your beneficiaries or Executor need to be made aware of, those should also be included in the Will.

Understanding the mystery of Online Wills In Canada

Online wills can also be known as electronic Wills or even digital Wills. These are stored electronically. They can even be delivered electronically. You simply have to print out the Last Will in question and make sure that it’s signed and witnessed in the right places.

Another benefit of creating an online Will versus a traditional written Will is the convenience factor. Online Wills can be made from the comfort of your own home (or office), which removes the need for any type of in-person meeting as well as any costly meetings with lawyers.

Another major plus point is just how accessible creating an online Will is. It is perfect for those who may live in remote areas (or have reduced mobility). Online Wills may allow people living in (relatively) inaccessible areas the convenience of creating their Will online. They would simply have to have access to a computer, the Internet, and a printer. This also goes into the benefit of cost-effectiveness. An online Will tends to be significantly cheaper than creating a traditional Will.

You may think creating a Will is a complex, taxing process, but you would be wrong. Many services today offer an online Will kit for Canada. You may want a service providing you with a step-by-step guide to create your Will. These services will take you by the hand and guide you through a platform that helps simplify the creation of your Will. Before creating your Last Will, you need to know what your assets are, who your beneficiaries are, your Executor(s), Guardian(s), etc. Have your information ready before you start.

Online Wills offering customization options that cater to your specific needs are the best option for you. Online Will services allow you to create a Will that is tailored to your circumstances. Your Will can be tailored to your wishes.

The legality of the Will may vary from province to province. You may want to check directly with your provincial laws to see the rules and current legislation. But any credible Will service will have the proper instructions to follow in your province/territory of residence. You can print the Will and signing instruction letter out. Just follow any instructions in letter that comes with it. Be certain the letter is tailored to your province/territory of your residence. With that said, if you feel as if you require legal advice, you may still want to consider speaking with a legal professional. This too, is covered by credible online Will services. When you create your Will, these online Will services may have lawyers you can consult with (for a fee). The cost of using these lawyers may be a lot cheaper than going through a lawyer directly. There are always options available.

If you follow the instructions provided by the online Will service, the Executor should be able to access your Will with no issues. Once the Testator (the person who drafted up the last Will) passes away, the Executor should know what to do: the Executor should know where to find the Will, what the next steps are, etc. This will help streamline the process of Will creation.  

It is important to note that there are fundamental requirements for the Will to be considered legal. They are as follows:

The first specification is to ensure that whoever is creating their Will is of sound mind; that their mental capacity is not in question. The Testator needs to be able, within the legal framework, to understand what they are doing. There may also be requirements to have witnesses present and sign off on the Will. These witnesses, may or may not able to be beneficiaries themselves. This information should be included in your Last Will.

Another legal requirement circles back to storage requirements. As mentioned above, the document should be securely stored and yet, easily accessible.  The right people should be able to access the document when necessary.

What to take into consideration when choosing an online Will service in Canada

If you have already made up your mind and want to go completely digital with this critical document, the next step is finding the right platform for you. It all starts with finding one with a strong reputation. You’re looking for a track record, testimonials, and reviews of their products and services. This allows you to better understand whether the service in question is the right fit for you. You are looking for people with a background in legal expertise and are familiar with Canadian laws/laws related to Wills, etc.

Beyond this, you want to do your due diligence on the security features these online platforms have. Make sure they are robust with the right type of encryption and authentication features and have a proper team managing their cyber security.

The final item you’re going to want to take a look at is pricing. You clearly want to compare the cost to the quality of service. Just be comfortable with everything before proceeding.

In the end

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re not old enough to set up a Will. Creating your online Will in Canada can be done as soon as you have loved ones you care for and assets in your possession. This also applies to both Millennials and GenZ; yes, these two generations are struggling financially, and yes, they have a rocky start in comparison to the post-war baby boomers of the 50’s and 60’s. But, and this is a big but, at some point in their lives, there will be a time when they accumulate at least some of their wealth. This could be in the form of digital assets (such as bitcoin), or physical assets (such as jewelry, antiques, etc.)  As life circumstances change and evolve, you may want to create a Will at some point in your life. Additionally, creating a Will has many tax benefits. A Will can also eliminate any family squabbling that could occur after your passing. There is no reason to postpone such an important document as you may never know when your time comes.

Even with an online Will, nothing is set in stone, and you can periodically review your Will to ensure the document is kept updated. Maybe your children are no longer minors, or there are additional assets to add to your Will. You can easily update these items through your online Will. You can do this without the need to go through expensive revisions through a lawyer.

This is a revolutionary option that can help protect generational wealth in an easy-to-use format. There’s no fear of losing your documentation as the documents will be stored digitally. Whenever you’re ready to consider doing your Will online, feel free to reach out to us. We will be prepared to handle your inquiries and help get your online Will setup in no time. We can help you make the best-informed decision about online Wills and, more importantly, ensure that you’re going to secure your legacy and protect your loved ones.

Rich person enjoy money

A supposed “wealth transfer” is occurring. How do rich people pass on their fortunes to their heirs? What can you learn from them?

A whopping $84 trillion in assets will trickle down to Millennials and Generation X. Families should (hopefully) put a lot of thought and planning into how that wealth will be passed down.

This is even more true for uber-wealthy families.

It’s no secret that Millennials and Generation Z are two generations that have been beset with financial and economic struggles: student loans, high inflation, housing, and low job prospects all paint a bleak economic future for both generations. This is why many members of the younger generations are scrambling to make money through “side hustles,” living with roommates for a lot longer, live longer at home, and scrimp and save as much as possible.

The Importance of Estate Planning

The most common challenges

Family Dynamics

Wealth Succession

Other Things

Family Relationships

Philanthropic Giving

Financial Education

Life Insurance

Estate Tax

Wealth Transfer

Passing on wealth to the next generation

This is where the importance of passing down your inheritance comes in:

For a lucky few (we’re talking a very small minority of people on the planet), they have had the good fortune to inherit wealth. The small minority of lucky (wealthy) Millennials and members of GenZ may face other problems when it comes to receiving their assets: they may inherit less than they actually believe. Taxes and other estate fees may eat up their inheritance. Here is how you can learn from the uber wealthy: a study of 270 individuals from families with $50 million showed that some of the most important lessons on wealth planning are as follows:  

The most Common Challenges in Wealth Succession

Managing tax liabilities while transferring your assets can significantly impact (i.e. diminish) the wealth passed on to heirs. This means that proper estate planning and a good strategy for passing down wealth is of the utmost importance. In fact, 33% of respondents to a survey said that COVID-19 lead to more frequent conversations about their familial wealth.

78% of people reported having unplanned conversations about wealth, which didn’t go well at all. 26% of of those respondents actually regretted having those conversations. Ouch!

Managing Family dynamics:

The above stat shows why families with strained relationships, conflicting values, and differing values all complicate the process of transferring wealth. This is where the strategies for successful wealth succession comes in: asset preservation, safeguarding your assets from economic downturns, and preparing your heirs for the future are all important (it’s especially important in this day and age, where inflation is at 40-year high.)

Strategies for Successful Wealth Succession:

Estate planning is the basic cornerstone of wealth succession for affluent families (and not-so-affluent families.) This involves creating a comprehensive strategy to manage and distribute assets upon death (or in some cases, while the heirs are alive – which you can read about here.)

Wills: This is a no-brainer: everyone should have a Last Will and Testament, and if you need a basic Last Will drawn up, see here as to how we can help you with that. These are legally-binding documents to help specify how your assets should be distributed and managed upon your death.

Other things an Estate Plan should include:

Asset protection: optimize your tax strategy by utilizing tax-efficient strategies to minimize estate taxes. That will allow you to maximize your wealth and increase the amount of money that your loved ones get. That may include receiving professional financial advice, if you need it.

Family Relationships:

This should be a no-brainer, but having these conversations about money can elicit feelings of anger, sadness, confusion, etc. If you’re going to sit down and have these (uncomfortable) conversations about money, you’d better be prepared for some crying, anger (possibly screaming, yelling), and maybe even threats of physical violence. One way to handle this is through annual family meetings: gather everyone to discuss your plans for your estate, your long-term goals, and how you want your things to be handled upon your death. A good discussion to air things out may help clear the air of any ambiguity regarding your estate.

Philanthropy and Charitable Giving:

Many affluent families engage in philanthropy: they pass on their money to worthy charitable causes. This is their way of leaving behind a positive impact on society upon their deaths. You can see this with wealthy celebrities who have left everything to charity, rather than to loved ones. There are celebrities who believe that their own children should work for their own money (usually with the help of their parent’s connections, of course.) Funneling money through family foundations or through charitable trusts can seamlessly support charitable causes, and get the heirs involved in charitable giving. In other words, having your heirs involved in charitable giving and distributing that money may keep the children of the uber-wealthy from being spoiled brats who live off of their inheritance.

Financial Education and Mentorship:

Rich people, just like everyone else, don’t want to see their wealth squandered. They may also prepare the younger generation with lessons about financial literacy at a young age. Of course, this involves networking and connections (probably connections that many of us don’t have.)

Life Insurance:

Life insurance can serve as an effective tool for wealth succession. It’s pretty much a viable tax-efficient way to transfer wealth to heirs. Life Insurance can also be used as a way to pay off taxes on real estate.

Estate Tax Planning:

Estate taxes can significantly eat away at the wealth people have accumulated into your estate. For wealthy people, this is where estate planning attorneys/tax expert come into play: they help minimize tax liabilities. That isn’t what you want, right? You may want to do the same, and talk to an estate planning lawyer when you are settling your estate. You may also want to start with our estate planning articles, here.

Wealth Transfer Laws:

Wealthy families have to stay informed about new laws and tax regulations. They adapt and adjust plans accordingly. Regardless of your income level, you should follow suit and adapt by staying informed with the laws surrounding tax regulations.

Preparing the next generation:

Rich people don’t want their money to be blown – there is some evidence to show that by the third generation, inherited wealth ends up squandered. You too, can avoid having your money (and estate) squandered by emphasizing the importance of your heirs (and their children) about managing their money, consistently educating themselves on changes to the laws, and learning how to spend money wisely.

You can start this entire journey by creating a Will, Power of Attorney or a Living Will for yourself. You can start here. Wealth succession is a complicated journey that goes beyond the transfer of financial assets. You have to balance your assets, estate, family relations, philanthropy, etc. Managing all of this almost appears to be a full-time job. You can learn from wealthy families by making sure that your own heirs are up for the job.