An Introduction to Estate Planning, Life Insurance and Business Family Governance

The purpose of this guide is to provide our clients, prospective clients, and the lawyers and accountants who work with them an easy to understand overview of some essential topics that we at Tompkins Insurance Services work with regularly. Namely, life insurance, estate planning, tax matters and family governance matters.

All of these issues are a vital part of responsible financial management. Nevertheless, they remain at times a subject which many clients would rather avoid. Proper planning of one’s estate ensures that what you have worked hard to accomplish can be transferred to the next generation, in the most tax efficient manner. Understanding the best practices in family governance and continuity planning will help a family business sustain itself for generations to come.

This web resource attempts to provide the reader with an understanding of life insurance, which many clients and their legal and accounting advisors find difficult to comprehend. It specifically addresses the various types of life insurance policies, how they work, how they integrate with estate planning, their unique tax advantages, and a description of the application, underwriting and claim making process of life insurance.

This guide is designed with the focus on allowing the reader to:

  • easily navigate between various topics,

  • instantly access brief definitions on certain terms and phrases used in these subjects,

  • access links between related topics, and

  • obtain additional pertinent information using links to resourceful websites

Estate Planning

An overview of the key topics in estate planning, including wills, trusts, estate related taxes, estate freezes, shareholder agreements and the use of life insurance.

Life Insurance

This section provides you with a description of where life insurance is most often used, the different types of life insurance and the application and claims process.

Tax Basics

While tax is a very complex subject, this is a summary of income, capital gains and dividend taxes, as well as taxes associated with moving out of Canada.

Business Family Governance, Succession Planning and Related Issues

Family businesses need to address issues such as governance and succession. Raising children in a high net worth family pose a unique set of challenges.