have been used for many years for estate planning, tax
planning and creditor protection purposes. Recent amendments
to the Income Tax Act have introduced Alter Ego and Joint
Partner Trusts to the estate planner's bag of tools and
have generated a wider interest in the use
of trusts among taxpayers.
speaking, a trust is a legal relationship in which a
person ( the Settlor) transfers legal ownership of property
to one or more persons (the Trustees) to be used for
the benefit of one or more persons (the Beneficiaries).
The rules under which the Trust will operate are set
out in a document commonly called a "Trust Deed".
The popularity of trusts stems largely from the fact
that they are flexible documents that can be structured
to meet the specific needs of the parties. Additionally,
trust, unlike probated wills, are not public documents
so confidentiality can be maintained. On the other hand,
there are factors that must be considered to ensure
that the trust does not run afoul of the many rules,
tax and otherwise, that affect trusts.
appropriate use of trusts can be an effective means
of achieving a client's objectives, but like anything
else, one should ensure that the additional cost and
complexity do not outweigh the benefit to be gained.
will assist our clients in setting up trusts, where
appropriate, as part of their estate or tax plan. A
complete analysis of the clients' current situation and
longer term objectives is the starting point to any
discussion regarding the use of trusts. Clients can
initiate the process by going to the Wills section of
this site and downloading the Estate Planning
Questionnaire posted there. New clients and current
clients who do not have a password can obtain one by
calling us at (416) 691-4529 or by sending an email to