All About Estates

Uncovering the Reasons Behind Planning Choices

This blog was written by Justin Ecclestone, Associate Estate and Trust Consultant with Scotia Wealth Management

In this blog post I wanted to share an experience I had with a client. In my role, I meet with people from all walks of life. I’ve met with business owners, retired professionals, working professionals, widows and widowers as well as those who have received the majority of their wealth through inheritance. It has become abundantly clear to me that regardless of a client’s circumstances they generally have one common trait; they are all interested in the peace of mind that estate planning provides. Whether one plans to pass their wealth down to the next generation, donate the vast majority to charity, or make inter vivos gifts, they all value the peace of mind that planning creates.

Now, story time. I was brought into a local bank branch to discuss one of our client’s Aqueduct accounts. Aqueduct Foundation is a charitable public foundation registered with the CRA. Aqueduct Foundation exclusively offers “donor advised funds”, which are charitable giving accounts normally established by individual donors or families. The client wished to make an addition to her Aqueduct account. I could see that the amount of money she wished to donate would create serious liquidity concerns for her. I began speaking with her about the strategy of making a testamentary gift to her Aqueduct account rather than an inter vivos gift. In this discussion, I uncovered that the client wished to donate the money to prevent a family member from gaining access to it. There was a history of this family member taking money from the client and the real need was protection. Given the age of the client and nature of the ownership of the assets, an Alter-Ego trust was an obvious choice for this individual. This solution provided the peace of mind that the client was looking for while accomplishing the charitable gifting endeavours.

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