Monday, July 31, 2017

5 steps for saving for retirement

Save for retirement in five simple steps

Here at Continuum II we get asked all the time "how much do I need to save before I can retire?"

The answer is; retirement is not one-size-fits-all and everyones ability to retire depends on a variety of factors. For example; it depends on how much you make, what age you want to retire, your current standard of living, your pension (or lack thereof), only to name a few.

To help give you a ball park figure of what you need to save for retirement, The Globe and Mail has put together a list of 5 simple steps to arriving at your ideal retirement goal.

1. Figure out how much of your working income you will have to replace in retirement.
  • Most people find they will need to replace between 50-70% 
2. Consider how much you will receive from the government by the way of Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security.
  • For a lifelong resident of Canada who has worked steadily for decades the typical annual payout is $15,000 (this is just a rough number, it could be lower or higher depending on your financial history)
3. Do the math.
  • If your household income is $120,000 a year (and you need to replace 60%, your target income would be $72,000). From this figure subtract what you would receive from government programs. If you receive roughly $30,000 from government programs, that means you will need to generate $42,000 from other sources.
4. Consider your pension.
  • Your workplace pension may be able to cover the remaining portion of your retirement income not covered by government programs.
  • If you don't have a pension, you could purchase annuity, which would pay you the remaining portion annually. Find out more here.
5. Plan for the unexpected.
  • We can't stress enough how important it is to plan for the unexpected. To be more safe than sorry, you might want to add a little extra to your figures as cushion

While the above can help to give you a rough idea of what you'll need to save for retirement, the best option will always be to contact an advisor who can help you build a plan that fits with your unique financial lifestyle.

Don't have a retirement plan? or do you need a little extra help with your current retirement plan? Contact our offices today and let us help you feel comfortable and confident about retirement.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Holograph Wills In Ontario

Holograph Wills 

A holograph will that is wholly handwritten by a testator is called a holograph will. Holograph wills are exempt from the statutory requirement that a will be witnessed by at least two people, who each subscribe the will in the presence of the testator.

Below, our friends at Pallett Valo LLP, have laid out everything you need to know about validating a holograph will.

A testator may make a valid will wholly by his or her own handwriting and signature, without formality, and without the presence, attestation or signature of a witness.

Wholly in the handwriting of the testator

An essential aspect of a holograph will is that it to be wholly in the testator’s own handwriting. Partially handwritten wills, such as fill-in-the-blank forms, do not meet the requirements of a holograph will. Whether or not such a document will be admitted into probate will depend on the court’s ability to sever the handwritten portions from the written portions so that they themselves form a complete expression of the testator’s wishes.

Likewise, it has been determined by the courts in Ontario that typewritten documents cannot be incorporated by reference into a holograph will. Where a holograph will makes reference to a typewritten document, the type-written portion will not be admitted into probate and the handwritten portion must be able to stand on its own as a testamentary document.

Signed by the testator

The signature of the testator will also play a key role in creating a valid holograph will. The signature must be at the end of the document and this will give effect to any disposition that comes before the signature. Anything that follows the signature will not take effect. As well, any disposition or direction inserted after the signature was made will not take effect.

Full and final expression of intention 

Separate and apart from the above two formal requirements set out in the SLRA, case law has established that the contents of a holograph will must reflect that the testator possessed the necessary intention that it be a fixed and final disposition upon death, and not merely some other expression of their wishes. The onus falls on the party alleging the document to be testamentary to show, by the content or by extrinsic evidence that it reflects this intention. 

Handwritten Alterations
Handwritten alterations to wills are governed by section 18 of the SLRA. Where a handwritten alteration is made to a formal will, the alteration must meet the same formality requirements set out in s. 4(1) of the SLRA, i.e. the alteration must be signed by the testator and witnessed by two witnesses, who each subscribe as witnesses to the alteration.

In the case of alterations to holograph wills, a handwritten alteration will only require the signature of the testator. Where there is no signature (or initials) beside the alteration, the issue becomes one of determining when the alteration was made. If the alteration was made at the time of execution of the holograph will, the change is valid. If the alteration was made after the execution of the holograph will, the alteration would be invalid.

In conclusion, while holograph wills can be a quick and inexpensive option, it is evident that there are numerous issues that may affect their validity. As with any legal document, it is always prudent to obtain legal advice about the manner in which a holograph will must be made, and the potential issues that may arise.