Entries by Steve Syrett

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 […]

Defined Benefit Pension

Defined Benefit Pension changes are coming! Defined Benefit Pension changes are coming later this year. Will this impact your pension? Would it make sense to retire before the changes come into effect? Canadian plan sponsors (i.e., the companies) are finding it increasingly difficult to fund Defined Benefit (DB) pension plans, which used to rely exclusively […]

IIROC fines TD Waterhouse $4 million for “a willful business decision”

By: James Langton, March 23, 2020 IIROC staff argued the non-compliance was “a willful business decision” The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) has fined TD Waterhouse Canada Inc. $4 million for failing to comply with certain provisions of the Client Relationship Model (CRM2) reforms. An IIROC hearing panel handed down a record fine […]

Common RDSP misconceptions

By: Jacqueline Power, assistant vice-president with Mackenzie Investments, March 3, 2020 The Registered Disability Savings Plan requires proper planning The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) launched more than a decade ago, but there’s still confusion about some of the more intricate details. One of the RDSP’s largest benefits is the “free” money that beneficiaries can […]

Selling real estate? The CRA is watching

When you sell property, the transaction must be correctly defined and reported for tax purposes. Failure to do so may result in unwanted audits, potential back taxes, and related interest and penalties. Such negative outcomes occur regularly. Last spring, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced updated results of its audits in the real estate sector, […]