What insurance protects travelers and visitors?

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These insurance plans can offer emergency medical protection for visitors, immigrants, foreign students and residents who are not covered by government health insurance. Visiting guests can be covered by valid medical health insurance which begins upon arrival here insofar as it is bought ahead of travel.

Emergency medical expenses While travelling outside your country or locality some expenses may be partially covered by your government health insurance. There is both daily or annual coverage, which is great if you travel to the warmer climes in the winter or travel year-round.

What about travel coverage? Travelling outside of his or her country, an insured individual is covered by emergency insurance which pays for expenses related to an emergency medical condition (covered by the plan). These expenses may be a hospital stay, prescription drugs, ambulance transportation, etc. Please refer to the policy for more details.

Coverage can include these expenses:

  • Bedside companion travel and sustenance allowance
  • Ambulance transportation
  • Diagnostic (X-ray, lab tests)
  • Hospital (semi-private room)
  • Flight and travel accident coverage
  • Prescription drugs
  • Physician or surgeon
  • Return transportation to location of travel departure if emergency medical attention is needed
  • Emergency dental treatment by a licensed dentist and associated cost of prescription drugs while the insured is travelling
  • Accidental injury, dismemberment, or death by accident where the accident occurred during travel
  • Loss/damage of baggage and personal effects
  • Trip cancellation and interruption

Understand the details It is better to fill in a form and/or get a copy of the questions and answers within a contract related to any age-related or medical underwriting processes, versus doing an application over the telephone. File these documents in case of the need to claim against travel insurance. Avoid policy cancellation due to misinforming the insurer in relation to medical questions which should always be answered very fully with regard to all past history and medications used, plus retain a hard copy as your proof.

Note: Refer to the policy which may vary. Special plans may be bought outside of an employer’s group plan.

 

 

The most important business insurance coverage

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Financial products and services can address specific needs in your financial security plan and help you build a successful business. I have access to a broad range of insurance, investment, employee disability and group benefit products to help meet your individual and business needs and goals. You may have put all your focus and hard work into your business. It makes sense to protect it properly against the risks that can bring financial hardship.

How to Protect Your Business

I offer unique planning solutions using:

• Life insurance

• Disability insurance

• Critical illness insurance

How to Protect Your Employees

The people employed in your business or organization help you succeed regardless if you depend on three key employees, or a team of 100. We can offer your firm a comprehensive group benefit plan which may help you to retain your most important staff:

• Benefits plans for small business

• Health care and dental care benefits

• Wellness and disability benefits

• Life and accidental death and dismemberment benefits

The Buy-Sell Agreement: A financial safeguards for shareholders

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Buy-Sell agreement is one of the most important legal documents a business can have to protect shareholders in the event of the death of a business owner/partner.

They must be planned ahead Whether you own a partnership or corporation, we can help you set up a buy-sell agreement while you are alive and capable of doing so. We will help you value your company and set up the right Buy-Sell Agreement to meet Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA’s) standards.

Funding the Agreement We can determine if the company has the cash flow or a large amount of money available to fund the buy-out of the deceased or disabled owner. If not, life insurance can be used to fund a buy-sell agreement as it can pay a large amount of tax-free capital at the right timing of the death of a business owner/partner.

Making it legally binding We can meet with your lawyer and the buyers’ lawyers. After it is drafted, all parties will review it to their satisfaction, and then sign it to make it legal. It is suggested that the life insurance be purchased first to ensure that one is insurable. Even where there is a medical problem, in most cases, there is an insurer willing to design a policy to suit the risk, based on the respective health of the individual.

Essential Estate Planning protects your financial security

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A comprehensive estate plan includes a will, a plan to minimize the capital gains liability and provide for any family income needs. This often involves life insurance which is an effective tool to maximize the size of your estate and pay any tax liability cost effectively. I will design an estate plan tailored specifically for your situation because every person is a unique individual.

Providing both personal and business insurance solutions to protect your financial security.

Business Insurance solutions:

• Partnership insurance
• Buy/Sell agreements
• Key Person insurance
• Business disability insurance
• Business/office overhead
• Collateral loan insurance
• Group health benefits

Personal Insurance solutions to protect you and your family:

• Life Insurance
• Critical Illness Insurance
• Long-term care insurance
• Estate Preservation
• Individual health and dental plans

How can I reduce business owner risks?

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Start-up firms and smaller companies are especially vulnerable to potentially devastating financial risk because they often lack big company sophistication and in-house risk-control expertise. We will help you gain control of your financial risk.

Life Insurance. We help business leaders provide appropriate life insurance to pay off debts and/or the mortgage, educate the kids, and/or provide income for a spouse or a disabled dependent.

Disability Income Replacement Insurance. We will examine your need for income replacement insurance that can help replace your paycheque in case you get hurt or sick.

Key Person Insurance. We will assess your need for an insurance policy designed to hire the right person if a key individual became sick or died.

Critical Illness Insurance. If a business owners develop cancer, a heart attack, or a stroke, the illness can wipe out a small business. We have many plans to protect you from such concerns.

Considerations when designing an Estate

Estate planning is a process that allows one to determine how their assets will be distributed upon death.  As we prepare to pass our lifetime assets to our heirs, there are key components of an estate plan that should be given careful consideration.

The fundamental component of any estate plan is the Last Will and Testament commonly referred to as the will.  It is also important that an individual maintains and updates their will and two powers of attorney documents: 1) for property such as real estate, bank accounts, and investment assets, and 2) a power of attorney for personal health care.

Review your estate planning documents

Life changes can affect the integration of each of the above strategic solutions. Therefore, it is important to review the above aspects of an estate plan every three to five years. For example, there may be a change in family structure, so beneficiaries may need to be reviewed.  Or, if you remarry, your existing Will may automatically become nullified.

Your net assets can change Keep an eye on your net worth. Other life changes that require updating your estate plan include changes in your net worth, or if the value of your residence or investment changed. If you have significant changes in net worth, have your accountant make sure that the best tax arrangements are in place.

Business strategies to protect your net assets If you are the shareholder of business assets, make sure that a buy-sell agreement is in place in the event of your death or disability, assuring that every owner is covered with life and disability (income replacement) insurance.

An estate plan may benefit from using formal trusts to reduce taxes. Life insurance products such as segregated funds and term funds can also be used to circumvent or minimize probate or government estate administration taxes (EAT) or attending legal fees. In most cases when a beneficiary is named in a life insurance policy, proceeds will pass and the capital in most cases will transfer on a tax-free basis to beneficiaries, thus avoiding probate or EAT scrutiny.

For an estate plan seeking to transfer large capital assets to named heirs, it would be wise to discuss these capital-transfer techniques with an accountant and/or tax lawyer.

How can I minimize the need for estate probate?

There are a few tactics whereby you can reduce the need for an estate to be probated by the government:

• Defer possible probate by holding assets jointly. Probate fees may be charged when that asset is transferred later through the will of the second spouse.
• Establish a person as a beneficiary on your life insurance policies independent of the estate. This way, all monies pass to the heirs tax-free. If the estate needs probating, this portion of the assets will not be included in the estate, as the death benefit will flow directly to the heirs circumventing scrutiny. Life insurance strategies are excellent financial tools to circumvent probate on larger wealth transfers to heirs. Family wealth can be positioned to pass trough life insurance policies, delivering tax free benefits without probate. This method has frequently been used to transfer inter-generational estate wealth in the millions.
• Name your beneficiaries on your RRSPs and RRIFs. Insurance products may allow you to side-step probate in this way. To protect themselves, banks and trust companies will probably require probate or a letter of indemnity from the estate’s lawyer if the assets are significant. If your spouse is your beneficiary, consider a secondary beneficiary shouldyour spouse die at the same time you do.
• Consider setting up a spousal testamentary trust in your will to avoid double probate. When the second spouse dies, the assets can be distributed via the trust directives as opposed to a will.
• With your spouse, set up mutually owned property as ‘joint tenants with rights of survivorship’ to transfer these assets automatically outside of thewill.

Once a will has been probated or faced estate administrative tax (EAT), if necessary, and the executor has been informed that it is achieved, only then can he or she start transferring assets as directed by the will. Some assets can be transferred easily within a short period of time. Others have to wait until the estate expenses have been paid, including any final income taxes due to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), after which they will issue a tax clearance certificate.

Can insurance replace my income if I am sick or hurt?

A spirit of independence and optimism is typical of many business owners. It is important to realistically plan for your financial security should you become disabled.

When you own your own business, you do not have the security of group insurance that employees have. After several years, you may find that you are drawing a substantial income from a successful venture.

Disability planning brings us face-to-face with a reality check.  If you became disabled, would your business continue to generate the same profits? If not, how would you meet your mortgage payments and pay for your groceries? When we are independent-minded, we tend to be optimistic, to the degree that we might believe one of the following money myths.

Money Myth #1. I will borrow the money until I get well. Reality: Few people will lend money to a disabled person. It’s hard enough to borrow money when you’re in perfect health with a steady income.

Money Myth #2. I’ll live off my savings. Reality: How long would your savings last? Using up your savings at an age when you ought to add to your investments may ruin your retirement plan.

Money Myth #3. I’ll sell off some or all of my business assets.
Reality: How many assets does your business own that are not required for its successful operation? Who will pay fair market value to one perceived as liquidating out of a dire need for cash? The timing may not coincide with market demand for your assets.

Money Myth #4. My business will pay me a salary. Reality: Your partners may need to hire someone to fulfill your responsibilities. Flip the perspective around. If your partner became disabled, how long could you keep paying him or her a salary in addition to the salary for the replacement? If you are a sole proprietor, and disabled to the degree you cannot work, how could you hire and train someone to work hard enough to produce his own salary and yours?

Business Owner Disability Insurance Check List

  • Income Replacement Insurance Pays you a cheque to cover a major portion of your present income drawn from the company.
  • Key-Person Insurance Pays a benefit to enable the business to hire a replacement.
  • Office Overhead Insurance Helps you pay for day-to-day overhead and salaries.
  • Buy-Sell Insurance Creates the cash to allow your partners to buy out your interest, or vice versa, based on a written agreement.

What is the difference between a fixed versus a variable rate mortgage?

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It is easy to understand the difference of a fixed versus a variable mortgage.

Fixed Mortgage Rate: A fixed mortgage rate allows the home buyer to lock in a rate for the duration of the mortgage term, for example over a five year term period. The advantage of the fixed rate is that your rate will not fluctuate and you can count on planning how much your mortgage payment will be for the duration of the term.

Variable Mortgage Rate: A variable mortgage rate means that the interest rate will change depending on the lender’s prime rate. For example, if your lender’s prime rate goes up or down, during the course of your mortgage term, your mortgage payment will reflect that difference in interest which will affect your mortgage payment amount.


 

Solving Capital Gains Tax Exposure

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Capital gains from a business, cottage, second residence, rental property, or non-registered investment are subject to taxation when the property is disposed of.  How and when the property is disposed of requires serious consideration, as the tax implications can be enormous.

Here are some areas where capital gains tax may develop:

  • If you own a Family Business Many family businesses have accrued large capital gains over time, due of course to the success of the businesses.  When sold, the business will incur a taxable disposition that could be subject to high taxable capital gains.
  • If you own non-registered Investments Any capital asset that is held outside of an RRSP, whether a stock, GIC, or investment fund to name only a few, will be taxed on the difference between its fair market value at time of sale, and the cost of the asset.  The difference between the purchase price and the sale price will be either a taxable gain or loss.
  • If you own a Cottage When you sell your cottage, or you and your spouse die, capital gains tax will be triggered on the difference between the cost and the fair market value at the time of sale. One major consideration is how to keep the cottage in the family.

Assuming the kids want the cottage, how can the tax problem be handled?  What if there are not enough assets in the estate to pay the taxman?   If there are not enough assets or cash to pay for the tax bill, it may be that the cottage has to be sold.

Can A Solution Cost Pennies on the Dollar?

One solution that can help overcome tax issues, and provide enormous estate savings, is a permanent life insurance policy.  A permanent life insurance solution will create a non-taxable death benefit that can pay the capital gains tax on the accrued increase in value of a family business, cottage, second residence, or unregistered investment. The most common form of estate policy purchased is a Joint Last-to-Die Life Insurance contract. These types of policies can insure both spouses’ lives, but only pay out on the last death.  The cost of the product is often more affordable than an individual policy since the insurance risk is lessened by insuring two lives.