All About Estates

Learning from the rich

The overwhelming majority of high-net-worth (HNW) Canadians are self-made millionaires. This according to RBC Wealth Management research quoted in a recent Maclean’s article – “Advice from the rich“.

While tempting, it would be wrong to think the HNW segment got to be rich by accident or luck. The majority of the segment say they got to be millionaires by diligently focusing on their financial plan.

Financial planning includes estate or wealth transfer planning – taking appropriate steps to minimize tax and ensure the fruits of your labour are effectively passed on, whether to family, charities or both. (At Scotia Private Client Group we capture the concept with the key terms:  Build Preserve Transfer).

The article notes that while techniques such as family trusts, spousal loans and charitable giving may have been designed for the rich, they can be of benefit to a much broader group of Canadians. Concerns such as teaching children the value of money and appreciating the needs of our communities are also shared across a broad spectrum.  As someone who’s spent a couple of decades working in the estate and trust business, I’d add estate litigation, additional costs , unnecessary delays, family conflict, and heartache under the heading “failed to plan”. 

The wealthy epitomize the adage “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.  We could all benefit by taking this page from the HNW play book.

Until next time.

Elaine Blades

About Elaine Blades