Brantford Testamentary Trusts Lawyers

Experienced Law Firm Serving the Greater Toronto Area

A trust is a legal mechanism to ensure that the assets you wish to transfer to someone are available for their use when they need it. Depending on the kind of testamentary trust, beneficiaries may benefit from tax savings and the exclusion of this inheritance from a financial resources calculation when applying for government assistance. Testamentary trusts can be useful tools to ensure funds reach the second generation.

At our Brantford and Richmond Hill firm of McIntosh & Pease, we advise clients on the creation of testamentary trusts as part of will drafting and an overall estate plan. Our practice is focused on this area of the law, and our years of experience in this area mean we are able to advise on the asset structure best suited to your individual trust and estate planning needs.

Choosing to Leave Your Assets in Trust

Certain individuals may draw particular benefit from having money placed into a trust for them, as opposed to simply being left to them in a will to be transferred in full at the time of your passing. Such individuals may include:

  • Spouses: All spouses should consider spousal trusts. The placement of funds into a trust for a surviving spouse has certain tax advantages over a simple testamentary disposition. In addition, spousal trusts also ensure that any funds left on the passing of the surviving spouse go to the children or other intended beneficiaries and not to a future spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend, or to only one of the children. In second marriage situations, or where there are children from a previous relationship, it is imperative to set up a spousal trust to ensure your children will be protected. Of course, if you have high net worth and your spouse does not need the income from your assets held in a spousal trust, you could instead consider leaving some assets outright to your children on your passing. Another estate planning tool we use in situations where spouses leave most if not all assets to each other outright and to their children on second to die are mutual wills with a side agreement, which is a legally enforceable agreement in which the spouse agrees not to change the scheme of distribution after the first spouse dies. This is another way to ensure that the assets flow to the children as planned and not to a future spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend, or to only one of the children.
  • Disabled dependents: The funds you leave disabled individuals outside of a trust may increase their prescribed limit for assets and may cause their Ontario Disability Support Plan (ODSP) benefits to cease. A specific kind of trust, called a Henson's trust, is a legal mechanism designed to allow you to leave these individuals assets without harming their qualification for ODSP.
  • Children: In Ontario, the age of majority is 18. To preserve an inheritance until your children reach an age where they have the maturity to be fiscally responsible, their inheritance must be placed in a trust to say ages 25 and 30, or in more substantial estates to ages 30, 35 and 40, depending on the client's wishes. This gives the children time to get settled in marriages and careers before inheriting substantial sums. Before they reach the appropriate ages, the children can ask the Trustees for an encroachment of capital for proper purposes, which would typically be for things like education and career expenses.

In addition to the creation of testamentary trusts, our firm also creates inter vivos trusts, or trusts that are in place while one is still alive. These include family trusts and joint partner and alter ego trusts.

Richmond Hill Spousal Testamentary Trusts Lawyers

As skilled estate planning lawyers, we take a comprehensive approach to each client's estate plan. We look at each client's financial situation, assets, responsibilities and goals and create a strategy for the most beneficial and effective estates plan to meet his or her needs.

Contact Us

To schedule an appointment with our Brantford or Richmond Hill testamentary trusts lawyers, contact us online or call us at 519-752-7733 in Brantford, 416-907-4016 in Richmond Hill or toll free at 800-601-6801.