Tax services | Succession and estate planning

You built your business and spent your career running it—let us help you steer it into the future.

Like many private business owners today, you’ve spent your career building and running your business successfully. Now you’re faced with deciding on a successor—a successor who may not want your direct involvement and may not share your vision.

Whether you’re bequeathing a business or an accumulation of wealth, having a succession plan (transfer of business ownership) or an estate plan (transfer of personal wealth) in place is the only way to ensure an effective and smooth transition of your business and wealth. The decisions you make now will affect the future of your business, customers, employees and, most importantly, your family.

Family-owned businesses face many unique issues when developing and implementing a succession and estate plan. We understand that. Our people have not only a high level of technical knowledge and experience, but also the finely developed interpersonal skills required to help you effectively face these unique challenges.

We work with your family well in advance of the anticipated transition to ensure that tax, communication and industry-specific issues are addressed while helping you maintain the value of the business and balance family relationships throughout the process.

          • Facilitation services
          • Business succession planning
          • Trust planning
          • Domestic and cross-jurisdictional tax minimization strategies           
          • Will planning and review
          • Post-mortem planning—avoiding double taxation
          • Asset disposition planning  
          • Charitable gift planning

Facilitation services

We can assist you with the many interpersonal challenges that can arise in the wealth transition process. By applying active listening, communication and conflict management skills, we help

          • clarify your wealth transition objectives;
          • identify and address issues that arise; and
          • develop, communicate and implement plans to achieve 
            your objectives. 

Business succession planning

There are many ways to transfer your business, both before, and at the time of your death. These include reorganizing the business structure, setting up trusts, gifting assets and other alternatives. We will help you build a tax-effective plan that will transfer ownership and maximize benefits for you and your heirs. Our integrated approach utilizes the knowledge and experience of our professionals in income tax, valuations, corporate finance, human resources and personal financial planning.

Trust planning

Inter-vivos trusts established before your death or testamentary trusts established on death can be used for the following:

          • taking advantage of tax planning opportunities, including income
          • safeguarding your assets and property from claims of creditors;
          • reducing probate fees;
          • maintaining control over your assets while passing the growth of 
            those assets to your beneficiaries; and           
          • holding shares in a family-owned company.

We can assist you in setting up a trust to meet the needs of your particular situation.

Domestic and cross-jurisdictional tax minimization strategies

All plans for transitioning a business or personal wealth have tax implications— especially when the beneficiaries reside in a different tax jurisdiction than the deceased. Our tax minimization services include consideration of extra-jurisdictional issues, particularly in the area of Canada/US cross-border taxation.

Will planning and review

You’ve stated your wishes in your will. But does your will take into account all of the possible tax implications? To help ensure that your estate planning objectives are achieved in a tax-efficient manner, we provide will planning and review services.

Post-mortem planning—avoiding double taxation

Without proper planning, the estate of a taxpayer who owned private company shares may be exposed to double taxation. There are strategies to mitigate this exposure, and our tax practitioners can help.

Asset disposition planning

Through our tax, valuations and corporate finance services, we have the right mix of professionals to help you with planning for the disposition of a significant asset.

Charitable gift planning

Your wealth transition objectives may include a significant gift to charity. Through the use of private foundations and various other gift planning mechanisms, we can help you realize this objective while minimizing your tax burden.