When thinking about life in general, one of the most amazing aspects is that no two lives are ever the same. Each individual’s life is a unique combination of experiences, endeavours, successes, failures, personal hopes, and family and friends. As individuals progress through various life stages, there may be any number of changes or experiences that add layers and complexity to their personal situation and that may significantly impact future goals and intentions.
For many Canadians, events such as marriage, home ownership, the birth of children or grandchildren, changes in profession, separation or divorce, health issues or pending retirement stand out as some of the top instances where perspectives, objectives or wishes may shift. And while many of these events and experiences often act as reminders about the importance of planning for the future from a personal and family standpoint, the reality is that many still avoid or overlook estate-related decisions. There are a range of statistics that paint a clear picture of the generally low levels of success families have when it comes to intergenerational wealth transfer. According to research by The Williams Group that took place over a 20-year period, it was found that among the families who were part of the study, only approximately 30 percent of estate and wealth transfers were successful.1 Pair this with the fact that more than half of Canadians don’t have a signed Will in place, and almost three-quarters don’t have an up-to-date Will,2 and it’s fairly evident the majority of individuals are not giving this area of planning the attention and forethought it requires.
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Within this report, we discuss some of the main concerns and situations many Canadians face as part of estate planning. These include discussions around timing for passing down wealth, methods and approaches, promoting equality in planning, and who should be informed and to what extent. We also examine the paramount role of communication and how it is strongly connected to the ultimate success of intergenerational wealth transfer.
This document has been prepared for use by the RBC Wealth Management member companies, RBC Dominion Securities Inc. (RBC DS)*, RBC Phillips, Hager & North Investment Counsel Inc. (RBC PH&N IC), RBC Global Asset Management Inc. (RBC GAM), Royal Trust Corporation of Canada and The Royal Trust Company (collectively, the “Companies”) and their affiliates, RBC Direct Investing Inc. (RBC DI) *, RBC Wealth Management Financial Services Inc. (RBC WMFS) and Royal Mutual Funds Inc. (RMFI). *Member–Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Each of the Companies, their affiliates and the Royal Bank of Canada are separate corporate entities which are affiliated. “RBC advisor” refers to Private Bankers who are employees of Royal Bank of Canada and mutual fund representatives of RMFI, Investment Counsellors who are employees of RBC PH&N IC, Senior Trust Advisors and Trust Officers who are employees of The Royal Trust Company or Royal Trust Corporation of Canada, or Investment Advisors who are employees of RBC DS. In Quebec, financial planning services are provided by RMFI or RBC WMFS and each is licensed as a financial services firm in that province. In the rest of Canada, financial planning services are available through RMFI, Royal Trust Corporation of Canada, The Royal Trust Company, or RBC DS. Estate and trust services are provided by Royal Trust Corporation of Canada and The Royal Trust Company. If specific products or services are not offered by one of the Companies or RMFI, clients may request a referral to another RBC partner. Insurance products are offered through RBC Wealth Management Financial Services Inc., a subsidiary of RBC Dominion Securities Inc. When providing life insurance products in all provinces except Quebec, Investment Advisors are acting as Insurance Representatives of RBC Wealth Management Financial Services Inc. In Quebec, Investment
Advisors are acting as Financial Security Advisors of RBC Wealth Management Financial Services Inc. RBC Wealth Management Financial Services Inc. is licensed as a financial services firm in the province of Quebec. The strategies, advice and technical content in this publication are provided for the general guidance and benefit of our clients, based on information believed to be accurate and complete, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. This publication is not intended as nor does it constitute tax or legal advice. Readers should consult a qualified legal, tax or other professional advisor when planning to implement a strategy. This will ensure that their individual circumstances have been considered properly and that action is taken on the latest available information. Interest rates, market conditions, tax rules, and other investment factors are subject to change. This information is not investment advice and should only be used in conjunction with a discussion with your RBC advisor. None of the Companies, RMFI, RBC WMFS, RBC DI, Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates or any other person accepts any liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of this report or the information contained herein. ® Registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence. © 2017 Royal Bank of Canada. All rights reserved.