Estates and Trusts
Wealth Preservation and Maximizing your Last Wishes
Trusts can be utilized in a variety of tax, business, estate and succession planning situations.
The key to recognizing such opportunities is an understanding of the principles which define and govern a trust and how these contrast with other structures. The key aspects which differentiate a trust from other structures are:
- The ability for the trust property to be controlled by persons other than the beneficiaries (i.e., the separation of legal and beneficial ownership);
- The ability to define multiple beneficiaries, describing them by class rather than by name, which can allow additional beneficiaries to be identified after the trust is created;
- The ability to create a discretionary trust so that the interests of the beneficiaries need not be equal and can vary with time; and
- The ability to utilize a trust as a substitute for a will.
Each of these distinguishing features lends itself to planning opportunities.
Further, when someone that dies if the estate cannot be wrapped up before the end of the calendar year in which they passed away then a test is required to facilitate the administration of the estate until it can finally be wound up.
While trusts do not exist as a legal entity separate from the trustees, income tax legislation does, in fact, treat trusts as a separate taxable entity, resulting in the need to file a separate tax return (T3) for each trust. This is established in the Income Tax Act. This means that, in general, a trust will be taxed in the same manner as individuals. However, there are numerous special rules applicable to trusts. As such, each trust will have to determine a Net Income For Tax Purposes, a Taxable Income, and calculate a separate Tax Payable.
It is important to note that a trust can deduct amounts that are paid or payable to one or more beneficiaries. This is usually the most important of the adjustments to the trust’s income in that, in many cases, all of the trust’s income will be allocated to beneficiaries.
The trust tax return (T3 return) must be filed within 90 days of a trust’s year end. With respect to the payment of taxes, the tax payable on trust income is due no later than 90 days after a trust’s year which is usually, but not always, ends on December 31.
Used for passing (or retaining) wealth from oneRead More
generation to the next as well as minimizing
probate fees and litigation. Ultimately, this
increases privacy of your financial affairs.
Once deceased, the main responsibility of theRead More
legal representative (or will executor) is to
manage the estate and ensure that the
deceased’s taxes and beneficiaries are paid.
The process of arranging and managing, aRead More
person’s financial affairs.
Personal tax payments are due. Tax return filing deadline is April 30th unless you or your spouse have business income then filing deadline is June 15th.
Trusts: Payment and filing deadline is March 31st (three months after the year end which is Dec 31st) unless a Graduated Rate Estate which is three months after the...
Tax Slips (T4, T4A, T5, …): Payment deadlines are as per usual (i.e.
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