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A discretionary family trust can be a practical and useful tool for estate and tax planning, as discussed in Kim Drever’s June 16, 2010 blog post. When properly utilized, it has many potential benefits, including:
In order to reap the benefits of a discretionary family trust, it is critical that steps are taken to ensure that the trust is properly settled and that care is taken to ensure the administrative matters of the trust are dealt with. In recent months, Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) has undertaken an audit program of T3 Trust Returns, which highlights the importance of ensuring that these matters are properly dealt with. Failure to do so can have adverse tax implications. Issues the CRA is looking at include:
The use of discretionary family trusts often results in significant income tax, estate planning and succession planning benefits. These benefits often carry on for a number of years. I believe it is prudent to ensure that your trust is prepared for any review or scrutiny by CRA to ensure that you can continue to fully realize these benefits.
To have your family trust reviewed to ensure that all accounting, tax and trust documents are properly in order, contact me or your local MNP tax advisor.
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