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A Snowbird Checklist - Must Know Investor Insights

Badger Investment Group - Oct 19, 2021
Heading south this winter? While many planning efforts are focused on setting up tee times, updating travel insurance and protecting houses before leaving, one important consideration should be ensuring your estate plan is in good order.
Financial Advisor Edmonton

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Heading south this winter? Winter is the time of year when many Canadians plan their escapes from the cold and head to warm weather destinations. While many planning efforts are focused on setting up tee times, updating travel insurance and protecting houses before leaving, one important consideration should be ensuring your estate plan is in good order.

If you are a snowbird, here is a short list of some estate planning considerations to address before you leave for your warmer destination:

  • Have a valid and updated will and powers of attorney. Those empowered by the documents should know where they are stored should something happen to you while you are away.
  • Make sure you call your home insurance provider and let them know how long you’ll be away. To keep your home insurance active, make sure that someone will be checking on your home for damage or vandalism on at least a weekly basis.
  • If you own property outside of Canada, you may need to seek legal advice to determine if you need a separate will and powers of attorney for that country. If so, ensure that your foreign will and powers of attorney are properly integrated with your Canadian documents.
  • Consult an accountant to plan around any potential income or estate tax liabilities relating to the ownership of foreign property.
  • Keep an updated list of all of the institutions where you have assets or that provide professional services to you (i.e., banks, accountants, lawyers, etc.) and a contact person at each company.
  • Keep track of the number of days you spend away as you may be deemed a resident for tax purposes in another jurisdiction if you spend more than 182 days per calendar year outside of Canada.
  • Pay attention to currency fluctuation. Consider buy US dollars when the Canadian dollar is strong. That gives you an opportunity to put money into your US dollar account and protect against future drops.

If you’re currently a snowbird, or looking to purchase a home down south, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss your plans and help you live a more care-free cross-border lifestyle.

 

CANACCORD GENUITY WEALTH MANAGEMENT IS A DIVISION OF CANACCORD GENUITY CORP., MEMBER-CANADIAN INVESTOR PROTECTION FUND AND THE INVESTMENT INDUSTRY REGULATORY ORGANIZATION OF CANADA This document is for general information only, not intended to provide tax, legal or financial advice, and under no circumstances should be interpreted as a solicitation to act as a securities broker or dealer in any jurisdiction. All views are intended for general circulation only and do not have any regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation or general needs of any particular person, organization or institution. All investors should consult with a qualified investment advisor or tax professional before making any investment decisions. Tax & Estate advice offered through Canaccord Genuity Wealth and Estate Planning Services.