Preparing for 2016 – Changes to the Taxation of Life Insurance, Prescribed Annuities and Testamentary Trusts
For those of us who focus on estate and financial planning, particularly on the left coast, the last few years have featured a cavalcade of change. 2011 featured changes to how Powers of Attorney must be set up and what they can do, along with the introduction of a new healthcare document called an “Advance Directive” that allows you to dictate your healthcare choices in advance along the lines of a Living Will. 2013 marked large scale changes to family law in beautiful B.C., such as extending property rights to common law spouses and changing how property gets divided in the event of a divorce. This year (2014) saw massive changes to Wills law, including a change on how things get divided if you die without a Will, what happens if two people die around the same time and removing the automatic revocation of your Will upon marriage, to name just a few.
Despite the significant changes already in place, there more still to come. This time they’re coming from the Federal Government and will affect more than just those people who cheer for the Canucks. Fortunately, we’ve been told of these tweaks to the system several years in advance so that we get a chance to either prepare for the inevitable (such as under the new tax rules for how trusts set up in your Wills) or to take advantage of a final chance to buy life insurance and annuities that will continue to qualify under the current rules even under the new regime. Here’s a little bit about each.