Advisory Services

In addition to our investment* and insurance services we offer assistance in other areas that impact your financial well being. Individuals may be interested in developing a plan for retirement and dealing with estate issues. Business owners require additional planning with their corporate structures and compensation.

In some cases maybe you need help to keep your financial plan organized and up to date. Creating a plan is one thing, implementing it, making sure it’s followed and documenting things as you go can be another. You are busy with work, business and family. We help by offering customized assistance in maintaining a family office to help keep you on track.

Estate Planning

You have worked hard to create and grow your assets which may include a business. You have family and perhaps business partners that will take over where you leave off if something happens to you. It is important to make sure this transfer occurs the way you want it to with minimum disruption and in a way that reduces any related taxes.

Your will is the final document that sets out how your estate is dealt with. Without one you are letting the Courts determine who receives your estate and how it is distributed. This can not happen until your estate pays income taxes that are due plus expenses you may have incurred prior to your death. Upon your death you are deemed under the Income Tax Act to have sold all your assets at fair value. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will ensure that the taxes due are collected from your estate. If you have a surviving spouse the tax can be deferred until the last death provided the assets pass directly to the spouse.

Important estate planning concepts include:

  • Use of testamentary trusts in your Will control assets after death
  • Use of spousal trusts to defer tax to last death
  • Use of estate freeze to cap estate tax liabilities
  • Use of family trusts to defer tax to next generation
  • Use of wasting freeze to transfer existing estate tax to next generation
  • Reduce, defer or eliminate tax on accrued gains in a business, real estate or investments using freeze or insured redemptions

Private Client

The Affinity Private Client Group is our premiere service offering for qualified individuals and families.* We recognize that as your financial success grows, the time commitment and complexities also drastically increase. Our premiere offering seeks to address all financial needs from asset management and business advisory to cross-border planning.

We have developed a global resource pool to guide you through the daunting task of comprehensive Wealth Management and the many planning synergies that go along with it.

We want to ensure you are taking advantage of all available resources while limiting your time commitment and stress associated with those responsibilities.

*Speak to an Affinity Financial Group Advisor about qualifying.

    Retirement Planning

    Planning is an on going process. It requires time and attention. Often there is a point where your business or practice requires your full time focus. There are also those that realize the planning detail is important but don’t want to be responsible for the day to day documentation and implementation that may be required.

    The concept of “a family office” gives you the capability to delegate those financial items that you don’t have the time or the desire to do. You want to be able to turn to one person who is your liaison to all your professional advisors, your bank and CRA. You can custom design a service that could include:

    • Manage your insurance portfolio
    • Manage your family trust and document transactions
    • Manage holding company and document transactions
    • Monitor your sources for cash – record inter corporate dividends, personal dividends, trust allocations
    • Assistance with bill payments
    • Monitor tax installments
    • Provide detailed income information (corporate or trust dividends, investment income) at year end to accountants
    • Monitor the year end process
    • Advise on and assistance to implement wills, family trusts, holdco’s or restructuring

    Tax Planning for Business Owners

    As a business owner you have additional issues but also additional planning possibilities.

    How the ownership of your business is structured can impact much of your planning. A small business corporation provides opportunity to reduce tax on current earnings, split income, use one or more capital gains exemptions and a level of creditor protection. It is important to see how the proper structure will ensure you can take advantage of these tax planning concepts.

    CORPORATE STRUCTURES

    Operating your business via a corporation provides more planning opportunities than a proprietorship or a partnership:

    • Use of the small business income tax rates
    • Direct share ownership with spouse or family member
    • Income splitting via a family trust
    • Lowering the cost of insurance using a small business corporation
    • Use of a holding company to provide creditor protection
    • Ability to use multiple capital gains exemptions for family members
    • Use of Holding company as an alternative to RSP’s

    FAMILY TRUSTS

    Combining a family trust with a small business corporation can provide tax planning opportunities. It is important to set the trust up properly to avoid potential income tax penalties and ensure it functions in a way to best suit your circumstances.

    • Where there is an existing business corporation, a valuation and estate freeze will be necessary
    • It is important to determine the proper settlor, trustees and beneficiaries
    • Once established, after tax corporate income can be paid to the trust as a dividend then redistributed to one of more of the beneficiaries by the trust.
    • This is effective in providing income to low bracket family members such as students during their university years or non working spouses.
    • Use of a holding company to provide creditor protection
    • Ability to use multiple capital gains exemptions for family members
    • Use of Holding company as an alternative to RSP’s
    • Ability to control assets that benefit your family members

    SALARY VS. DIVIDEND

    As the owner of your small business corporation you have the option of paying yourself a salary or using dividends as compensation. While recent Federal Budget changes have increased the tax rates on dividends, there may still be some advantages to paying dividends over salary. It is important to do an analysis based on your individual circumstances.

    • Income splitting with family members
    • Paying dividends will reduce your income subject to CPP premiums
    • Consider the impact on disability insurance programs
    • Dividends do not create RRSP contribution room but you may use a Holding company as an alternative
    • Earnings in excess of personal cash flow requirements can be left tax deferred at the corporate level

    *Insurance based investment solutions are provided through Affinity Financial Group. All other investment solutions are through Affinity Securities / Worldsource Securities Inc.