Estate Planning

Smart tips for estate planning

Smart tips for estate planning

I am very excited to announce the release of my new book SMART TIPS FOR ESTATE PLANNING co-authored with my good friend Marvin Toy.

What could be more tragic that having your life savings squandered and your family left unprotected? Many Canadians risk these consequences because they do not know how to plan for their estates after they die. With Smart Tips for Estate Planning, you will learn the critical knowledge necessary to maximize the value of your estate and provide the maximum protection for your loved ones.

Written in an easy-to-read and practical style, Smart Tips for Estate Planning simplifies concepts that are unfamiliar to many people. The estate planning strategies in this book were once used by only the wealthiest and best-advised Canadians, but now they are available to you and your family.

Smart Tips for Estate Planning gives you what you need to avoid the trap of having an inappropriate cookie-cutter Will and estate plan. Instead, you will learn how to legally take advantage of tax breaks, avoid unnecessary probate fees, thwart creditors, and establish trusts for your children and grandchildren.

Canadians who use the ideas in Smart Tips for Estate Planning will be able to develop fully customized estate plans that protect families, safeguard assets, bring peace of mind, and leave a legacy for future generations.

About Marvin Toy

Marvin is a lawyer who has practiced in the fields of tax law and estate planning over the past 12 years. As a practicing lawyer, he served the clients of Felesky Flynn, LLP, the leading tax law firm in Alberta. He has also provided estate planning, estate settlement, and trust administration services to the clients of CIBC Trust Company and MD Private Trust Company (a trust company exclusively serving medical doctors and their families). He has guest lectured for the Canadian Bar Association and the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta.

Marvin was helping me out with My Estate Organizer software and mentioned he had an Estate Planning book in the works. When I saw what Marvin had assembled, I jumped at the opportunity to work with him on this project. Together we have come up with a book that is packed with great information but still easy to read. Marvin takes a complex subject and turns it into simple English. The best part of the book is the stories at the end of each chapter designed to help people relate to the technical information. I always think stories make information real.

What you can expect in the book.

SMART TIPS FOR ESTATE PLANNING contains 45 chapters broken down into five main sections. Here’s a list of the contents:

A. Essentials of Estate Planning
1. Introduction
2. Getting organized
3. Get your legal estate planning documents done!
4. Understand the power of trusts
5. Avoiding the probate process and probate taxes
6. Writing your Will: do-it-yourself or hire a lawyer?
7. How to find good professional advice
8. When is the right time to do your estate planning?
9. Estate planning for the separated or divorced
10. Dying without a Will

B. Giving to the People You Love
11. Leaving assets to your spouse
12. Creating a spousal trust in your Will
13. Leaving assets to your children and grandchildren
14. Creating trusts for your children in your Will
15. Leaving assets to your parents
16. What happens to my pet?
17. Can I leave something for my friends?
18. How do I leave money for charity?

C. Key People in Your Estate Plan
19. Choosing an executor
20. Choosing a trustee
21. Choosing a guardian

D. Dealing with Specific Assets
22. Who should I name as beneficiary on my RRSP?
23. Joint ownership of bank and investment accounts
24. Tax free savings account (TFSA)
25. Joint ownership of my home
26. Dealing with your personal residence in your Will
27. What should I do with the cottage?
28. Other real estate holdings
29. In trust accounts for children and grandchildren
30. What happens to the RESP?
31. What do I do with my corporation?
32. Other business interests or partnerships
33. Life insurance
34. Your heirlooms and precious things
35. Loans or advances from you to others
36. What do I do with the farm?
37. What do I do with foreign assets?

E. More Estate Planning Issues
38. Giving it all away while you can
39. Alter ego trusts and joint partner trusts
40. Organ donation
41. Making your own funeral arrangements
42. Dealing with loss of your mental capacity
43. Health care decisions
44. What is your legacy?
45. Concluding remarks

My two cents

The purpose of this book is to introduce Canadians to the many ideas and techniques that they can use to protect their families and maximize the wealth they leave behind.

It is also about preserving family harmony and helping families avoid fights and conflict (which happens all too often).

After reading this book, we hope you recognize the importance of estate planning and that we have given you enough knowledge to take the first steps towards planning your estate. We hope to inspire you to action to find more security and peace of mind with your financial affairs.


  1. kcf2011

    good post.more power on estate planning

  2. Solly Tamari

    Good Info regarding estate planning checklist, I have also found other site related to estate planning related services i.e.:, can you please give me some more relevant information regarding that also.

  3. Sherry Franklin

    How do I get your book on estate planning Jim.

  4. Deborah M.

    Where can I get a copy oy your book on estate planning?

  5. Gary Simpson

    Jim, very informative site. Please advise on how to get your book on Tips on Estate Planning, e.g. purchase online.
    Thank you

  6. Deanna R. Jones

    My mom has been working on planning her estate for the past couple of months. She’s recently been diagnosed with cancer, so she only has a very limited amount of time to live if the chemo fails. She’s going through a few of these issues right now. Mom’s particularly struggling with arranging her funeral and deciding how she’s going to divide everything she owns. How can I help her with planning her estate? It would mean a lot to the both of us if we both worked out her estate together.

  7. Greg Lach

    I am just a little concerned that book published date is 8-9 ago…….has no updates been done since that time and has any provincal/federal rules been changed to make the book info out of date

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