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January 18, 2016

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Why Wait Until You’re Dead?

We’re all going to die!

Don’t worry, this isn’t a prediction of the apocalypse. It’s just a simple fact. We’re all going to die, yet many high-net-worth individuals continue to put off creating a succession plan for themselves and their estate - often until it’s too late.

I’m going to demonstrate how by doing this you’re not only putting your estate and family at risk. You’re also missing out on the outstanding benefits that succession planning can produce immediately for you in your own lifetime.

What are the consequences of delaying succession planning?

One cost of failing to put together an adequate succession plan is having to share way too much with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). You’re making the CRA a beneficiary of your success and basically adding another person to your estate. Why the hell would you want to do that?

There’s so many other smart things that you could do with your money. Philanthropy, for example. How about supporting a local hospital through donations? Being an outstanding corporate citizen requires social responsibility and there’s no better way of tracking it than by giving to your local healthcare facility.

That’s why I follow my own advice. Right now, I’m putting into place a private foundation that has a number of my family members on the board of directors. We’re going to be focused on two sectors of philanthropy that I’m really passionate about: helping aspiring artists and healthcare.

I’m doing this because I understand what the best options out there are. Smart people are taking advantage of succession planning right now - often in ways the government openly supports - and creating immediate benefits for themselves and others in their own lifetime. You don’t want to miss out on these opportunities.

Why do people put off succession planning?

You might be delaying succession planning for a number of reasons:

  1. Perhaps you’re not comfortable or familiar with the subject and think that it will be a daunting process.
  2. You know it gets more expensive the longer you wait. You assume that the estate will be big enough and that relatives will be covered.
  3. Your family is estranged.
  4. You’ve been in control your whole life. You kid yourself that you’re immortal and in charge of your own fate.

If any of these refer to you then it’s time to wake up. The above excuses no longer apply and I can show you why.

How straightforward can succession planning be?

My business Ocean West Financial Group (OWFG) has created a four-step process which demonstrates just how painless, quick and immediately beneficial succession planning can be.

  1. The first stage of the process is an overarching preview of the available structures.
  2. We then directly collaborate both with the client and their trusted advisor(s). Naturally, the whole process from start to finish is a collaborative one - but this is the stage where we draw up a highly innovative, effective and low-risk solution, tailored to the client’s own individual needs.
  3. The third step - following buy-in - is engagement. A waiver is signed and a Step Memo issued. This document outlines the actions and responsibilities of the client, their accountant and lawyer - allowing us to get all the moving parts in place leading up to implementation.
  4. This is the final stage, in which we implement the policy.

Following traditional methods this process would take 18 months to over 2 years. But here at OWFG, we are done and out of your hair in 4 months. In fact - taken from the point of engagement to implementation - the total time needed is only 3 months!

The whole purpose of this streamlined process is to let the business owner remain as engaged and involved in their business and day-to-day routine as ever. We involve the client as little as is necessary, leaving you free to continue to focus on your business.

We also only work with two types of cost. Either the out-of-pocket expense to the client in year one is zero (and remains that way), or there is a one time fee but with no ongoing annual maintenance. Which of these structures is best for you depends on your own individual, specific needs as each and every one of our solutions is highly customised. Of course, there are embedded costs - but these are more than offset by the tax deductions that our expertise and structural machinations uncover.

The very best part is that OWFG’s unique process isn’t only quick and zero cost, we also create benefits specifically for the client in their own lifetime. That`s right, we don't just work for the good of the estate. Through our expertise we also introduce benefits that incur immediately upon implementation, whether for the business owner themselves or the current shareholders. It’s a win-win scenario for both you and your estate. Why would you wait until you’re dead when you could be enjoying these fantastic opportunities right now?

Due to OWFG’s straightforwardand quick four-step process, succession planningis no longer a daunting, stressful or expensive undertaking. Our system is smooth, simple, and rewards the client with both short and long-term benefits. Thanks to this straightforward and painless four-month strategy, there is simply no excuse for putting off your succession plan.

So do yourself, your family, your business and your philanthropy a massive favour: call us!

G. Kim Hinkson is the President and Founder of Ocean West Financial Group, a team of
Advanced Insurance Specialists based in Vancouver BC, Canada. He can be contacted at
604-662-3150 or
kim.hinkson@oceanwestfg.com.

 

Alter Trust Versus Traditional Will
A will is the traditional way to distribute your assets upon your death.

But it may not be the best estate planning tool for you. Depending on your circumstances, an alter ego trust or joint spousal or partner trust could be a better choice.