HOW IT WORKS

The Estate Preservation Process: Customized, tax-efficient strategies

Life (insurance) is what you make of it. At Al G. Brown & Associates, we understand that any insurance or financial product — a life insurance policy, a GIC, an annuity — is only as effective as the intelligent, customized, long-term plan behind it.

With our Estate Preservation Process (EPP), we carefully combine and balance insurance and financial solutions into a variety of modules. Each module is designed to achieve a different financial, professional, philanthropic, and family goals. For example, through the EPP we can:

  • Ensure that you can protect and preserve your wealth from excess taxation and the eroding effects of inflation, and maximize the amount you can pass on to the next generation
  • Help you efficiently and effectively transfer liquid assets to your children and grandchildren while minimizing or eliminating, probate and capital-gains taxes
  • Ensure that you realize your philanthropic visions as tax efficiently and effectively as possible
  • Help provide you and your spouse with a tax efficient, creditor-proof lifetime income — upon death, the initial investment is returned tax-free to your estate
  • Significantly reduce or completely offset the costs of your life insurance coverage
  • Help you sensitively and effectively transition your family business from one generation to the next
  • Help you set up and then multiply the assets in a charitable foundation
  • Supplement your retirement income through your corporation
  • Design tax-efficient, highly valued and flexible employee benefits plans that can provide significant savings to business owners
  •  … and more!.

 

Preserving estates, preserving relationships Estate planning means the world to your family

Two questions:

A. What would your family look like if you weren’t there tomorrow?

B. What would you like your family to look like if you weren’t there tomorrow?

Getting from that first question to that second question is, essentially, the process of estate planning. It’s making sure that all of your personal, business, financial and legal affairs are in order, in a way that makes the most sense and gives the most comfort and security to you and your loved ones.

But getting from A to B is isn’t necessarily a simple process. It can be complicated by conflicting emotions and outright fear. Often, says David Wm. Brown, people put off estate planning until the very last minute. “It’s like waiting to do your income taxes until April 30,” he says. “Couples will call the week before they go on vacation. Or, sadly, people will call to discuss their estates after they’ve received a diagnosis.”

As financial advisors, says David, “part of our job is to help our clients put these plans in place, and that means supporting them through the emotional challenges. Because as difficult as it is to sit down and talk about your own death, it’s even more difficult for your family if you don’t do that work.”

“When it comes to estate planning, our strength is being able to ask lots of questions — and the right questions — and then listening carefully, with our hearts as well as with our heads,” says Golda Brown. “Most of the time, people have a sense of the answers to those questions; it’s just that they’ve never been asked before. From there, we’ll create a plan that takes into account their goals, visions and aspirations. Each individual and each family has very specific needs and concerns, and no one, cookie-cutter plan will work. So our system is client-centred, not product-centred.”

For example, she says, it’s important to distinguish between “fair” and “equal”: different children may have different needs, strengths or circumstances that require different approaches.

And while tax efficiency is important, says David, it can’t be the only consideration. “Sometimes it’s more important for a plan to make sense emotionally for a family than it is to save every last tax dollar. Because we have long-term relationships with so many of our clients, we know them well and understand some of the emotional issues underlying their concerns.”

“Families have their own roles and their own dynamics, and our goal isn’t to change the family but rather to tailor a plan that fits the dynamic,” says Golda. “The lovely thing is that we get to develop trusting, long-lasting relationships while helping to minimize anxiety during a stressful time.”

Please contact our office to set up an appointment to discuss your Estate Preservation Plan with Al G. Brown & Associates.