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What will you learn about?

  • Understand how different types of wealth may be transferred to others
  • Understand how taxation, estate planning and finance impact wealth transfer strategies
  • Understand the roles of Wills, Powers of Attorney, Living Wills and Probate in a wealth transfer plan
  • Identify the importance of tax planning in the wealth transfer process
  • Provide succession planning for small business and identify the appropriate solution for each unique situation
  • Explain the challenges and benefits of gifting assets and charitable giving and the tax implications
  • Understand the role of trusts in the wealth planning process

How will you learn?

  • Consists of seven independent modules
  • Each module consists of PDF and E-Pub files (accessible on mobile devices) and an online quiz
  • Modules are completed when the candidate passes the online quiz
  • Module completions result in CE credits being awarded, earn CE credits incrementally as you progress through the course
  • Candidates completing all modules within the course will earn a Micro-Certificate in the form of a digital badge

What is the course syllabus?

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Module 1 - Wealth Transfer and the Family (CIRO CE PD Credits: 2.5)

In this module, we talk about the issues that clients should discuss with their families regarding the transfer of their wealth, either before or after death. We provide a three-stage approach to your own discussion with the client, and we identify the family-related issues you should address. You will learn how various family law issues can affect wealth transfer arrangements and the importance of having a team of professionals you can rely on to provide advice to clients in this regard. You will also learn how to deal with potential family conflicts during the family conference. Finally, you will learn the importance of having a structure in place to deal with potential issues of mental or physical incapacity in the future.

Topics covered in this module are:

  • State what clients should discuss with their family members
  • Identify issues in the transfer of wealth within a family
  • Explain the three-phase approach which may be used by advisors in discussions with clients and their families
  • Identify specific family-related wealth transfer issues when dealing with clients
  • Explain how alternative relationships and family law issues affect wealth transfer arrangements
  • Identify the professionals that clients should consult for the development and implementation of a wealth transfer plan
  • Discuss potential family conflicts
  • Explain how to deal with incapacity

Module 2 - Creating Client Awareness of Wealth Transfer Issues (CIRO CE PD Credits: 2)

In this module, we discuss the importance of developing constructive relationships with your clients in order to build a successful wealth transfer plan. You will learn how to adopt an approach that reflects the needs of aging Canadians and to present yourself accordingly. We provide a step-by-step method of developing a wealth management plan in a way that helps clients avoid common mistakes. You will also learn about the factors to consider when you are dealing with aging clients and with clients who are going through various life transitions. Finally, you will learn to recognize when third-party expertise is called for and the importance of having external resources you can rely on.

Topics covered in this module are:

  • Discuss the reasons for a wealth transfer plan with your client
  • List the five steps in designing a wealth transfer plan
  • Address the top ten mistakes typically made by clients regarding their estates and the transfer of assets upon death
  • Discuss the concerns that clients have with the transfer of their wealth
  • Describe how the psychological, social, and neurological changes that occur with aging affect the decisions made by clients
  • Explain how clients typically react to life transitions and events
  • Discuss the wealth transfer decisions needed to be made that will be triggered by death
  • Gather information with the right questions and identify needs that require third-party expertise

Module 3 - Preparing Clients for the Inevitable (CIRO CE PD Credits: 2.5)

In this module, we explain how to help your clients plan their affairs before dying to ensure that their assets are transferred smoothly and as intended. You will learn how to discuss estate planning issues with clients, and in particular, the importance of transferring assets to their beneficiaries in a way that meets their estate planning goals. We discuss the consequences of dying without a will and the factors to consider when creating a will. We also discuss spousal rights and the effect of spousal and child support obligations on a client’s estate. You will learn the purpose of powers of attorney and living wills, and finally, you will learn about the effects of probate on a client’s estate, along with several strategies to reduce the cost of probate.

Topics covered in this module are:

  • Explain how to approach estate planning
  • Describe the consequences of dying intestate
  • Explain why having a will is of paramount importance in the orderly transfer of wealth
  • Differentiate between assets covered by a will and those that do not flow through an estate
  • Identify the factors to consider when reviewing a client’s will
  • Describe the role of an estate executor
  • Describe how ongoing spousal and child support obligations may affect the deceased’s estate
  • Describe the nature and scope of powers of attorney documents
  • Explain the nature and the purpose of probate
  • Recommend strategies to reduce probate fees

Module 4 - Trusts as an Estate Planning Tool (CIRO CE PD Credits: 2.5)

In this module, you will learn about the role that trusts serve in both wealth transfer before death and estate planning after death. We begin by discussing various myths and misconceptions you should be aware of when discussing trusts with clients. You will then learn about the different types of trusts, and the way distributions from trusts are taxed. Finally, you will learn how to wind up a trust and how to recognize the circumstances in which a trust may be varied.

Topics covered in this module are:

  • List and address the common myths about trusts
  • Define a trust, explain how it is created and who the parties to a trust are
  • Demonstrate the benefits of using a trust
  • Determine whether the requirements to create a trust have been met
  • Identify the qualities a Trustee(s) should have
  • Describe the different types of trusts available and identify the appropriate types for managing and transferring wealth in different circumstances
  • Demonstrate how trusts and distributions from trust are taxed
  • Outline the general rules applicable to the taxation of an individual on death and the taxation of personal trusts
  • Explain what happens to trust assets upon winding up the trust
  • Determine the circumstances in which a trust can be varied

Module 5 - Planned Charitable Giving for Estate Planning Purposes (CIRO CE PD Credits: 2)

In this module, you will learn about the importance of charitable giving as an aspect of your client’s estate planning. We discuss the various tax benefits of giving and explain how to help direct your clients in making charitable donations in a way that fulfills their wishes. You will learn about the different options available, whether your clients make donations during their lifetime or leave directions for charitable giving after they have passed away. You will also learn about the different gifting vehicles available and their tax implications. Finally, you will learn the benefits of various structured gift instruments that are available.

Topics covered in this module are:

  • Describe what planned charitable giving is
  • Describe how to gift assets in a tax-efficient manner during their lifetime and at death
  • Determine what the maximum amount your client can donate is in order to get the maximum charitable tax credit in a given year
  • Evaluate the benefits of donating different types of assets
  • Describe the vehicles or tools through which a client can make charitable donation

Module 6 - Tax Planning for Wealth Transfer (CIRO CE PD Credits: 4.5)

In this module, we discuss the taxation rules that apply when a client dies, including the taxing of capital gains and registered plans, along with the types of tax returns that may be filed at death. You will learn about the tax minimization strategies available to clients, including those used during a client’s lifetime, those addressed in a will, and those used after the client has passed away.

Topics covered in this module are:

  • Describe the deemed disposition rule and explain its significance at an individual’s death
  • Explain the tax treatment of capital gains and losses
  • List the key exemptions available to shelter capital gains from taxes upon death and explain how they may be applied
  • Illustrate how taxes may be deferred on funds held within an RRSP/RRIF at death
  • List other types of taxes that may be payable upon death
  • Explain why filing additional tax returns for the deceased could reduce terminal taxes
  • Describe tax minimization strategies that may be used during a client’s lifetime
  • Describe tax minimization strategies that may be used in a will
  • Describe tax minimization strategies that may be used after a client’s death

Module 7 - Business Succession Planning (CIRO CE PD Credits: 4)

In this module, you will learn about the importance of business succession planning. You will learn about various options available for valuing a business, transferring a business, and financing options available to the new owner or owners. Business owners usually want to minimize tax when finally making the decision to leave their business. Therefore, various tax strategies will be addressed in this module.

Topics covered in this module are:

  • Identify reasons why succession planning is important and why it is not done by many business owners
  • Suggest viable options for business succession to your small business clients
  • Describe various valuation techniques and approaches
  • Differentiate different sources of business sales financing
  • Describe several ways to fund a buy-sell agreement
  • Describe the techniques available to avoid or defer payment of taxes when planning for the succession of a client’s business
  • Describe the role and duties of an executor in winding up the business of someone who is deceased