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Planning to give it away

Planning to give it away

In our last blog, we spoke about increasing the odds of building a successful Continuity Plan with the core premise for success being “communication”. Unfortunately, one of the conversations that is often forgotten centers around philanthropic interests.

How many people wait to leave something for a cause or organization they care about only in their will? Often, there is no family discussion about the importance of the cause to the deceased – the donation is often a huge surprise when the will is read.

A great way to promote togetherness and communication within families today is to give funds during your lifetime. So, communicate and don’t wait to donate! (more…)

July 9, 2019 0

Evolving a Succession Plan with a Simple Idea – Talk

Evolving a Succession Plan with a Simple Idea – Talk

In our last blog, we discussed the idea of Continuity Planning; how it can differ from the traditional definition of Succession Planning, and how the Family Enterprise Advisor (FEA) program and designation can help advisors guide their client families through some of the non-technical (or soft) issues.

The problem with not dealing with the soft issues

Tax and legal solutions to Succession Planning like insurance, estate freezes, etc. unfortunately only deal with the technical pieces and completely ignore the family and their non-technical concerns. Remember when it comes to the family piece – failing to plan is planning to fail.

So, let’s get into it – what is the main tool that takes a technical Succession Plan and evolves it into a well-rounded Continuity Plan.

The Discussion

What we often see is a family that has worked hard, either through a career or a business they have built, created wealth that is more than they will need in their lifetime, and have two core issues:

  • How do I effectively pass this on to my children and/or grandchildren without ruining them; and
  • Who is going to take care of all of this when I’m gone, and how?

On top of these two issues are things specific to each family: maybe a child has some health challenges that will impede their ability to make decisions; a soon-to-be ex-spouse; estranged family members, etc. Specifics also change over time, so the plan you make today may not work when needed.

How to get to a solution

If the lack of communication often leads to a doomed Continuity Plan, then by logic, the converse – lots of communication – should lead to a successful Continuity Plan.

If you’re worried about them knowing the amount of their inheritance (or not) or who will be running the family business, not having a conversation will not stop them from being unproductive or unengaged. If they have these tendencies today or are prone to them, what makes you think their behaviour will be any different when they receive their inheritance?

Which scenario has the higher likelihood of success when an heir loses their family member:

  • A child has an inheritance windfall, much larger (or much smaller) than they were guessing and magically becomes capable of managing it or dealing with it on top of dealing with the emotions of family loss; or
  • As above, but with discussions held in advance, preparations made for and introductions to good advisors etc. without magnifying the emotional challenges by suddenly having money or a business handed to them they weren’t ready for?

One doesn’t have to share a dollar amount with an heir, but if there’s a range, or an expectation set in advance (not just an expectation of dollars, but also the why’s and how’s, etc.), the likelihood of success goes way up. By increasing the likelihood of success, you also increase the probability that your legacy will last longer, and be a positive one…not a burden on those left behind.

Next up – give some of it away

Speaking of Continuity planning, a financial legacy is often overlooked. As a parting thought, we wanted to touch on philanthropy, and specifically, and to give an early plug for Leave A Legacy Month, which is in May.

This movement was started by The Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP) and their members to remind people that when you’re creating your Continuity Plan, to remember the charities you’ve supported through your lifetime, and to remember them for when you’re gone.   Have a conversation with your family and advisors about what’s important to you, and if there are specific bequests you want made on your demise, either through your estate, or “in honor of” contributions after the fact.

We’ll get deeper into the philanthropic conversation in a future blog.

A Blog Note

Going forward, we are going to blog quarterly and post on LinkedIn more frequently as we see things of interest. Our testing shows that this gets us greater interest and readership.  To stay up to date on CV TrustCo, follow us on LinkedIn


April 2, 2019 0

Continuity Planning – The Evolution of Succession Planning

Continuity Planning – The Evolution of Succession Planning

In our August blog, we wrote about Steve Ivacko’s recent receipt of the Family Enterprise Advisor (FEA) designation, via the Family Enterprise Xchange and the Sauder School of Business at UBC.  This program helps families in business (and the advisors to those families) to get a better handle on the unique challenges they face.

This month’s post will focus on what typically happens in the context of succession planning, and how this exercise is evolving into continuity planning.  If you want to understand this evolution, please read on! (more…)

October 29, 2018 0

My Executor’s Executor is now my Executor!

So, what is the blog title referring to? Quite simply, if the stars align (or mis-align, as it were) your executor may not be the person you picked to do the job. How can this happen? What we’re talking about is the scenario of something happening to your executor while they are in the process of administering your estate. The job then becomes their executor’s! Confused yet? (more…)

September 17, 2018 0

Leave a Legacy Month

Leave a Legacy Month

In April, we wrote about “Make a Will Week”, and now, May is “Leave a Legacy Month”.  In the financial services industry, many people talk about “legacy” mostly in financial terms. But leaving a legacy usually means more than leaving financial assets to family.

This month’s post explores the concept of leaving a legacy and the various forms a legacy can take.  If you’ve got your legacy figured out a la Ray Charles, no need to read further, but if you are struggling like most of us, this post may provide a thought. (more…)

May 23, 2018 0

It’s Make a Will Week!

It’s Make a Will Week!

April 8 – 14 is Make a Will Week in British Columbia.  A 2014 report noted that only 55% of British Columbians had a will.  I would venture that from what we’ve seen in our business, for those who have a will, a very large percentage of them are in desperate need of an update.  We saw one will where a guardian was named for a child, who is now over 50; that means the will was written over 33 years ago, and we’re guessing a few things changed in those 33 years.  If you need any help in understanding why you need a will, with a bit of insight, or if you just want to understand why we started with an Abe pic – Read On (more…)

April 9, 2018 0

Estate Planning Council Roundtable Discussion on Corporate Fiduciaries

Estate Planning Council Roundtable Discussion on Corporate Fiduciaries

Our Steve Ivacko recently presented at the Estate Planning Council, Vancouver Chapter, together with BMO’s Lisa Finden.  The topic they were tasked with was ‘The Benefits of a Corporate Trustee’.  As expected, there was a bit of a back and forth on using a large bank as opposed to a local independent corporate trustee.  To not sound too biased, we thought we would post what both presenters could agree on – the 7 benefits of using an independent fiduciary.


March 13, 2018 0

I want a Trust just like Justin’s

I want a Trust just like Justin’s

As mentioned in our last CV TrustCo blog, we will discuss what is left after the federal government’s July 18th tax proposals.  Using a Canadian Controlled Private Corporation may lose some of its tax advantages.  However, Trusts have survived.  This blog will highlight the benefits of holding assets in a Trust and how a Trust can facilitate long term family planning.  

(Trust and Estate law, Family law, and Tax law are all minefields in their own right, and increasing areas in family litigation.  This CV TrustCo blog discusses Trusts and concepts at a very high level, so please read and appreciate accordingly. ) (more…)

September 26, 2017 0

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