Posted by Dhanni Ramdeen
May 13, 2020
Chair: Barry Smith
Attendance: 24
Guests: Anna Marie Korell, Past President of our club and president of Calgary East Rotary Club; Saty Seemungal, Past President, Port-of-Spain West Rotary Club; Laura Moore, Recipient of Canada 150th medal; Dorothy  Evans, Past President, Markham Sunrise Rotary Club; Hans; Zachary Sikorski, Director of Sales, Sun Life Canada; Michelle Connolly, speaker.
David Seemungal introduced the speaker,
Michelle L Connolly, Director, Tax and Estate Planning at Sun Life Financial.
Michelle holds the CPA, CA, TEP, CFP designations and has completed the CPA in-depth Tax Program. Prior to joining Sun Life Financial, Michelle was VP, Tax, Retirement and Estate Planning at a large Canadian Financial Services firm and a Tax manager for an international accounting firm.
According to Michelle Connolly, 60-70% of Wealth Transfers stories in Canada are not successfully allocated due to incomplete and outdated documents at the time of death.  She gave several examples of celebrities who died intestate or don’t have the appropriate planning documents in place and as a result their wealth transfer distributions were not allocated according to the intended wishes of the deceased
A WILL is one instrument in the WEALTH TRANSFER PLANNING (WTP) process. There are several other instruments in WTP such as named beneficiary designation on Registered Accounts such as TSFA, RRSP, RIF and unregistered accounts; Insurance policies and other insurance based wealth products.
From a planning prospective, Michelle stressed the most common oversight or omission in the Wealth Planning is “Die Intestate” (die without a will). The impact is that the estate is lock down for the first year and the deceased lost control of choice of who receive the estate and who is going to oversee the distribution of the estate according to the manner in which the deceased intended. Everything is put in a lump-sum and distributed in accordance to Ontario law of Intestacy. CRA is the biggest beneficiary.
Another common oversight is naming an Executor who may be unsuitable for the task due to lack of time (it takes up to 4 years in Ontario to administer the estate); lack of knowledge and expertise; executor lives out of province/country; executor inability to manage conflicts among beneficiaries. In addition, the executor must be informed that they have been named as executor and must be informed where to locate and access the wealth transfer documents.
Michelle pointed out that it is extremely important to revisit wealth transfer documents once every three years to  determine if updates are required as there can be life events that may have changed and have  significant impact on the choice of asset distribution. When these documents are outdated and incomplete upon death, the process of asset distribution comes to a screeching halt and the government is the largest beneficiary.  She gave 5 examples of life events in Ontario that can trigger a change to the Wealth Transfer documents as follows:
  • Change in relationship status such as marriage, divorce, common law.
  • Birth of children or grandchildren or other beneficiary being introduced.
  • Purchase of real property
  • Change of residency
  • Significant change in health, financial and other economic circumstances.
Tony Baker thanked Michelle for taking the time to deliver this comprehensive talk on this subject.
Courtney Fisher: Masks from Marks Warehouse arrived at the Scarborough Rosewood Food drive. Also, they approached Costco to match funds SRFD collected and waiting to get approval from Costco.
Barry Smith: Social Meeting on Wednesday, May 20th at 8:00 pm
SAA – Mike Mushet
Anna Maria – Nice to see everyone. Her club is inducting 8 new members
Saty Seemungal – Thanked Barry for inviting him to the meeting.
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