Entries by Steve Syrett

Helpful Tips for Executors When Dealing with Banks

From providing the death certificate to establishing the estate account, this is what executors need to know. A key challenge executors face when administering an estate is dealing with the banks where the deceased held their accounts. Banks don’t want to expose themselves to potential legal issues by releasing funds to someone who is not […]

Stock picking supports segs in 2022

Doing well last year meant preserving capital and minimizing losses Last year was challenging for investors, including segregated fund managers. With the prices of most equities and fixed income securities down, winning was a matter of minimizing losses and preserving as much capital as possible. Canada Life Assurance Co.’s three seg fund families did this […]

Ontario’s new probate process for small estates is easier

By: R. Mezzetta May 11, 2021 New rules may allow more executors without a legal background to apply for probate The Ontario government’s simplified probate process for estates valued at $150,000 or less will make administering small estates less costly and easier for estate trustees (as executors are known in Ontario), estate practitioners say. Probate, […]

Diversified portfolios – more important than ever

When the world caught Covid, diversified investors stayed healthy By: James Langton May 27, 2021 Bonds and equities continued to offset each other during recent market volatility Even in extreme market conditions, diversification across asset classes remains a “free lunch” for investors, according to research from Morningstar Indexes. In a new report, the firm examined […]

Estate Planning: Proper Documentation Is Critical

Proper documentation can help protect your intent of beneficiary designations In early 2020, the Ontario Superior Court made a decision that has increasingly been a focus of attention: Calmusky v. Calmusky. In that case, the entitlement of a named beneficiary to receive the proceeds of a Registered Income Fund (RIF) was challenged. The designation had […]

Ontario allows probate applications by email

The change is meant to address “perennial” backlog issues Ontarians will now be able to apply for probate and receive probate certificates by email after the Ontario government announced several changes to the application process last week. Previously, an application for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee – as probate is known in the […]

Manulife Bank

This might be the most useful savings account in Canada A 131-year-old insurance company has out-innovated everyone in making savings accounts more useful for everyday banking. New and nimble financial technology companies – fintech – have brought some cool products to personal finance. But the Manulife Advantage Account, offered through the banking division of insurer […]

DIY investors less satisfied with their firms: J.D. Power

Is “Do-It-Yourself” really your best option? By: Mark Burgess, May 28, 2020 Despite strong market conditions last year, do-it-yourself investors’ satisfaction with their firms declined, a report from J.D. Power says, as platforms missed opportunities to connect during client onboarding and improve their mobile experiences. Investors’ satisfaction with self-directed firms declined to 717 from 726 […]

The perils of owning U.S. life insurance

Charmaine Ko, May 29, 2020 These tax-advantaged savings vehicles can result in a tremendous tax headache Many Canadians with life insurance assume their policies will provide tax-free funds to support their beneficiaries. In the cross-border context, however, these generally tax-advantaged savings vehicles can result in a tremendous tax headache. U.S. life insurance may appear attractive […]