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Family Trusts

At Belyea Colwell Daley Chartered Professional Accountants, we have considerable experience in the use of Family Trusts as an income splitting and estate planning mechanism. A Family Trust is an instrument used in estate planning that provides substantial benefits over traditional corporation ownership. A Family Trust is a trust that is created by a taxpayer (business owner) for the benefit of their family. This trust differs from a testamentary trust (created on death) as it is created during the taxpayer’s lifetime.

The benefits of using a Family Trust include:
  • Creditor proofing of assets
  • Reduced income taxes
  • Multiple capital gains exemptions
  • Delayed taxation on death
  • Reduced probate fees on death

Examples of when a Family Trust should be considered:

  • Taxpayers who own a corporation and are seeking to spread income between family members
  • Taxpayers wishing to lock in their estate value to minimize tax on death
  • Taxpayers wishing to transfer wealth to family members while maintaining control over the assets
  • Taxpayers who own a corporation and are funding children’s post secondary education

The implementation and structure of a Family Trust is complex and should be discussed with both an accountant and a lawyer. Please contact our Tax Group for more information on Family Trusts or any other tax matters.

Testamentary Trusts

Testamentary trusts are automatically created upon the death of taxpayer. We have developed a considerable amount of expertise in this area. We can assist executors of estates in filing the final personal tax return of the deceased and filing of trust returns for the estate. We will help you understand how capital gains on assets are taxed upon death.

The importance of the executor’s role in keeping detailed accounting records for an estate cannot be emphasized enough. We can assist the executor in preparing financial statements for the estate including original assets at date of death and statements of receipts and disbursements.