Our Estate Planning combine extensive tax knowledge and experience in trusts, estates and succession planning to provide you with forward-thinking tax-saving suggestions tailored to your personal situation. The new Wills, Estates and Succession Act of British Columbia (a.k.a “WESA”) proclaimed in March 2014, replaced a considerable body of legislation. In this article, our Estate Planning Group briefly discuss the new acts opportunity to eliminate probate fees on shares held in private corporations.
Prior to March 31, 2014, if an individual’s assets required a Probate Order, all assets of the individual’s estate were subject to the probate tax at a rate of 1.4% of the value of the assets, including shares owned in private corporations.
Today under WESA, shares held in private corporations can bypass the probate process altogether. That’s because it’s now possible to prepare two wills.
- One will to deal with the usual assets of the estate
- One will to deal with assets such as shares in privately held corporations.
The first will is established to deal with assets that will require probate orders, for example a residence, real estate owned by an individual, an expensive automobile or an investment account.
The second will is established to gift or transfer shares in private corporations. Such assets will be transferred expeditiously and free of probate fees through the normal corporate process.
Typically the only tax payable is the tax one would normally pay on a share transfer transaction such as a capital gain. If an individual’s shares are not taxed or subject to the probate process, the potential savings can be substantial. Take this example:
MacCallum Law Group LLP recently completed a probate and no probate last will and testament for a client. In theory as shares owned by the family transfer through the no probate will, the client’s family saved over $100,000.00 in probate fees based on the value of the shares not transferred via a probate order.
With a better understanding of Estate Planning, you can simply and resourcefully organize your Estate and determine your priorities. If you own shares in a privately held corporation, now may be the time to review and redo your wills.
For more information on this matter or to discuss and review your existing estate plan, contact our Estate Planning team today by calling 604-546-6345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.