FAQ & RESOURCES
Frequently Asked Questions
Get the answers you need to make an informed decision.
Is the software used for the toolkit created by Finuity Wealth?
No. The Wealth Transition toolkit uses software and programing created by a Canadian Company, QuickEstate™. We have a license with QuickEstate™ to be able to offer this program our clients.
Is Wealth Transition Toolkit a Wills kit?
No. Most people don’t know that a valid Will is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to settling an estate. The Will is a blueprint that governs the distribution of your assets, but it does not tell your executor how to do the job.
The program provides a framework to collect information that will be needed by an executor then gives them step-by-step advice and the tools to do the work when the time comes.
We recommend investing the money to have an experienced estate lawyer draft your Will, power of attorney and any other estate documents.
What happens if you die without a will?
In the absence of a valid Will, settling your estate may take years longer.
Your family will need to hire a lawyer to apply to the Court for “Letters of Administration”, which take the place of a Will. Lawyers charge at least $300/hour for this work, and, at those rates, they’re in no hurry to get the job done quickly. Not how you want your hard-earned savings spent!
The Court issue “Letters of Administration”, appointing a “estate administrator”, who does the same job as the executor of your choosing, if you had a Will. If a family member is not available, the court may appoint a trust company, who charges similar fees to lawyers.
Government rules will determine how your assets are divided amongst family members, not of your choosing. Shares of minor children will be held by a Public Trustee and distributed to the child, in full, when they reach legal age, which could be as young as 18.
Whomever gets appointed must start from scratch to determine who’s involved, what you own, what you owe and where everyone, everything can be found, which takes extra months or years.
Without a Will, your estate may face a higher tax bill and higher accounting fees.
It all adds up to more complexity, more time, more fighting, more legal fees, and less money for beneficiaries who are not of your choosing. Get a Will and enjoy enduring peace of mind!
How safe is my data in Wealth Transition Toolkit?
We take the security of user data very seriously. The QuickEstate™ platform the Wealth Transition Toolkit operates with is secure using best practices, encryption, ongoing security audits, and upgrades to guard against intruders.
The information fields are all optional; you decide how much or how little detail you’re comfortable storing in the cloud. We don’t enter your SIN, full bank account numbers or other data that could prove costly if in the wrong hands. Learn more about how your data is stored. Privacy & Security Of Your Data.
How much information do I have to input in the Toolkit and how long will it take?
The toolkit package provides all possible fields of help to your executor, but you decide how many to fill in. The more information you provide, the faster and easier it will be to settle your estate.
Upon receipt of the completed toolkit, we will have all your information uploaded on the system within 2 weeks and arrange a consultation call soon after.
How often does the Wealth Transition Toolkit have to be updated?
Annually, or in the event of a life changing event such as a death, divorce, sale of a business. Part of our firm’s commitment is an annual review to ensure everything is up to date.
Can I share my Wealth Transition Toolkit file with my spouse, executor, or family?
Yes. The “Invite Trusted Individual” feature allows you to share your file with 2 trusted individuals in “read-only” mode, meaning they can view your file but cannot add, modify, or delete your data.
How does the Wealth Transition Toolkit prepare executors for probate?
The Toolkit prepares executors for probate by telling them what information to gather before making the first appointment with a lawyer, reducing time and costs. If the executor shows up unprepared, the lawyer must keep coming back, week after week, asking them to get this or find that information, charging fees for their time. This happens all the time.
The toolkit lays out all the information your executor will need for probate (forms not provided), substantially reducing the time and cost of the process, whether they hire a lawyer or do it themselves.
Once probate is granted, our Wealth Transition Toolkit process guides the rest of the work.
This was created with the view that your hard-saved estate dollars should not be used to pay a clerk, with too many files on their desk, 100’s of dollars per hour to complete simple tasks that an executor can do themselves in a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost.
Finuity Wealth neither holds itself out as legal experts nor is it to be considered a substitute for legal advice. If there are legal issues with the estate, we recommend using an experienced estate lawyer with an experience estate paralegal.
What is the Difference Between an Executor and a Trustee?
A trustee is a person appointed to manage all or part of the deceased’s property for the benefit of others e.g., for the beneficiaries named in a Will. An executor or court appointed Administrator is trustee of the deceased’s estate.
Trustees have “fiduciary responsibility”, meaning that by taking control of the deceased’s property, they must act solely in the interests of that person or their heirs. In a Will that requires the creation of a trust e.g., for minor beneficiaries, the executor may or may not also be named as trustee of the trust. In the example of a trust for minor beneficiaries, it is usually a surviving parent who is named as trustee.
The executor is responsible for doing everything else to settle the estate, but once they have transferred the necessary assets to the trust, it is the responsibility of the named trustee to administer the trust per the terms of the Will.
How do lawyers and trust companies bill for settling estates?
Legal fees vary, depending on the method of billing the lawyer uses; some bill by the hour and others bill in a lump sum.
The fees of trust companies vary, depending on whether they are appointed sole or co-executor in the Will or if they are hired as agents for the named executor.
If a trust company is told by the deceased, before their Will is executed, that they are to be named as executor or co-executor, then the trust company will insist on having their fees specified in the Will.
If the Will is silent on trust company compensation, their current fee schedule for executor services will apply.
If the trust company is being hired by the named executor to do all or part of the work, then their “agent for executor” fee schedule will apply.
Agent for Executor fees depend on the nature and amount of work to be done. Trust company fees also vary based on the size of the estate. Most banks view estate settlement as a low profit, “loss leader” business. Their goal is to retain the estate assets in their highly profitable wealth management divisions. As a result, many trust companies prefer to deal with estate with assets of at least $3M. Some take on smaller estates but may price to discourage.
How Can an Executor Deal with Family Friction?
It is quite common to see friction amongst family members when it comes to settling an estate.
Past grievances amongst family members often reach new heights when Mom or Dad passes away and there are assets to divide up.
Under such circumstances, it is essential for the executor to maintain an impartial, even-handed stance. They cannot allow themselves to get pulled into a contentious situation or be asked to take sides.
If friction within the family is significant, the executor may opt to delegate the estate settlement to a trust company and, in extreme cases, apply to the Court to renounce their role.
Although some level of friction may be inevitable, ensuring that your estate is organized for your executor can significantly reduce tensions at the onset.