Trust is Paramount
In choosing MacMillan Estate Planning Corp, you have chosen the elite estate planning firm in Canada

For nearly two decades, MacMillan Estate Planning Corp. has provided families with comprehensive estate planning to maximize wealth and minimize tax. Many families are unaware that an effectively planned estate should encompass a multitude of elements in addition to traditional will planning. For those with an asset base of a million dollars plus, proactively planning beyond a will could prevent considerable challenges down the road. As specialists, our senior Trust and Estate Practitioners have a contemporary understanding of the most innovative and creative methods currently available to families.

Should you have specific questions or concerns pertaining to your estate, please take advantage of our complimentary consultation. In order to inquire further about this service, feel free to contact us. One of our representatives would be more than happy to discuss your ideas further.

Back to Top

Harmony Creates Peace of Mind

We properly structure your estate today in order to ensure harmony and peace of mind for tomorrow

The MacMillan Corporate Philosophy:

We are committed to the protection of you and your family’s future. In order to fulfill this commitment, we design comprehensive estate plans that incorporate creative solutions tailored to each family. At MacMillan, estate planning extends well beyond the preservation of wealth; it is about maintaining quality of life. This principle is central to the exceptionally high professional standards upheld by every member of our firm.

Sheri MacMillan:

Host Sheri MacMillan is the Founder & President of MacMillan Estate Planning Corp, Canada’s elite estate planning firm, and is a highly respected industry professional.

She is a regular guest on the AM770 CHQR program “Talk to the Experts" and is routinely invited to deliver keynote speeches on the subject of estate planning.

Sheri is also an active member of the following industry organizations:

  • The Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners
  • The Estate Planning Council of Calgary
  • The Canadian Association of Gift Planners
  • The Canadian Academy of Senior Advisors
  • The Canadian Initiative for Elder Planning Studies

Sheri proudly contributes to local charitable organizations and enthusiastically supports the Calgary Zoo Conservation Fund which finances the zoo's important initiatives at home and abroad. She also generously donates both time and resources to the Arthritis Society on behalf of herself and MacMillan Estate Planning Corp. through the ‘Care’ program.


Within our firm, each planner holds a Trust & Estate Practitioner designation awarded by the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). STEP members are experts in their field having earned the profession’s most respected and recognized title. Senior practitioners are involved in the creation and management of trusts and estates for high net-worth individuals and families.

Membership of STEP is both diverse and highly specialized, with accredited professionals from all facets of the trust and estate planning industries, including legal, accountancy, corporate, trust, banking and insurance. With over 10,000 members worldwide, STEP provides senior Practitioners with a local, national and international learning and business network.

In addition to being senior members of STEP, our planners are also active members of the Estate Planning Council of Calgary, the Canadian Association of Gift Planners, the Canadian Academy of Senior Advisors and the Canadian Initiative of Elder Planning Studies.

Back to Top

Corporate Charity:

MacMillan Estate Planning Corp. is committed to a lasting social impact through inspired and responsible giving. Although we participate in numerous fundraising ventures, the Arthritis Society and the Calgary Zoo Conservation Fund are our Corporate Charities of choice.

Team MacMillan participates every two years in the Las Vegas Marathon on behalf of the Arthritis Society. 2010 marks the tenth consecutive year that MacMillan Estate Planning has been involved in the Arthritis Society’s annual marathon fundraising venture, The Care Program.

A big thank you to all our clients, business associates and friends; your generous contributions have brought the Arthritis Society one step closer to finding a cure for the number one cause of disability in Canada.

Back to Top


MacMillan Estate Planning Corp. is unique in that we operate as independent and unbiased consultants. Once your estate has been evaluated, a customized quote will be provided. This quote is based upon the amount of hours that it will take to both design and implement your comprehensive estate plan. For further information about hourly rates, please contact our offices.


Download the printable MacMillan brochure in PDF format.

Back to Top

Comprehensive Estate Planning To Protect Your Wealth

We tailor creative solutions to fit each family’s unique circumstances

Similar to an architect, our primary role is to facilitate the design and the implementation of your comprehensive estate plan. As senior Trust and Estate Practitioners, we are well-versed in the various methods used to achieve a family’s objectives within their estate. First and foremost, we present families with the various options available to them. By providing a thorough understanding of the estate planning process, the most suitable solutions can be determined within the scope of a family’s unique circumstances. Once the best course of action is established, we coordinate the implementation of your estate plan in collaboration with the most qualified team of professionals available. This team may be comprised of a family’s current team of lawyers, brokers and accountants or of our capable in-house experts.

The concepts and ideas presented are for information and explanatory purposes only; they are not suitable for all circumstances. Obtain professional advice prior to initiating any estate plan, including the use of the concepts expressed herein.

Will Planning

Will planning is the most traditional approach to designing an estate plan.

Will planning should be comprised of three key legal documents: a will, an enduring power of attorney and a personal directive. Enacted upon death, a will provides instructions for the distribution of your estate as well as appointing an executor to act on your behalf. By contrast, an enduring power of attorney and personal directive both come into effect during your lifetime in the event of that you are unable to manage your affairs. An enduring power of attorney determines who will administer the financial side of your estate; a personal directive appoints an agent to manage non-financial matters, such as your personal care and health choices.

Trust Planning

When applied under the right conditions, trusts can offer a remarkable sum of benefits

Essentially, a trust is a legal relationship that maintains ownership of an asset on behalf of a beneficiary. Unlike a will, a trust may provide a family with taxation, matrimonial and credit protection. In addition, your wishes and estate are held privately. With the assistance of a qualified Trust and Estate Practitioner, trusts can be tailored to fit you and your family’s specific requirements.

Trust planning is often a missed opportunity for most Canadians. Although trusts have been available in Canada for quite some time, it is only until quite recently that our country has contained enough wealth to take advantage of trust law. For countries with an extended history of prosperity, such as the United States and Britain, trusts have been in use for hundreds of years.

Case Study:

Client Challenge: A couple in their late fifties bought a piece of lakeside property with the intention of building a cottage to enjoy with family during their retirement years. The real estate agent estimated that upon building the structure, the value of the property would double, thus resulting in a substantial capital gain. The couple had envisioned that their cottage would be a source of enjoyment for their children and grandchildren long after they passed. However, upon their passing, a huge amount of tax would be owed on the cottage. Should the estate be unable to absorb this immense cost, the couple’s family would run the risk of losing the property entirely.

Creative Solution: In order to avoid the capital gains tax, the clients’ cottage was put into trust. By effectively deferring the tax burden to the next generation by way of trust, the asset will be effectively protected for generations to come.

Business Succession

Proactively planning a clear and timely business succession scheme will help to secure your company’s future prosperity.

Remarkably, seventy percent of all family businesses in Canada fail to properly succeed to the next generation due to poor planning. In order to avoid unnecessary complications, it is important to use the most qualified professionals available.

Our planners have an extensive understanding of the structures that regulate business transfer and succession. Acting as an unbiased consultant, a planner devises a competent exit strategy based upon a business owner’s unique retirement objectives. Once a realistic course of action is determined, a planner guides and supports the transition process from beginning to end.

Case Study:

Client Challenge: A wife-and-husband team running a successful family business had begun to plan their retirement strategy. They had two adult children, one working in the family business and the other employed in a company abroad. The child that worked abroad had never expressed any interest in the family business. Consequently, this led them to assume that she was not committed to its future.

Client Solution: Upon interviewing the two children, we discovered that the exact opposite was true. The child currently working within the family business intended to end his involvement once the parents were no longer part of the day-to-day aspect of the company. By contrast, their daughter was very passionate about her family’s business. In fact, her education had been pursued in expectation of continuing-on her family’s legacy. Our clients concluded to give their son a cash settlement upon their passing. Currently, the daughter has begun grooming under her parents in order to succeed the business.

Due to the daughter’s innovative business practices, the family business has been projected to grow quite substantially. In order to ensure proper succession, the family business was put into trust and the current business value was frozen within the parent’s estate. This method will effectively protect both parents and children as well as defer a substantial amount of tax on the growth of the business.

Asset & Investment Protection

Preserve and protect your assets and investments from unnecessary risk.

Assets and investments should ultimately supply families with a concrete source of income for retirement. Unnecessary losses due to tax, market fluctuation or other external forces, such as divorce, bankruptcy or a lawsuit, can be avoided if the proper precautions are taken. There are a multitude of devices available that can shield your estate from undo risk. As part of our comprehensive estate planning services, we thoroughly review your current assets and investments in order to verify that they are structured appropriately and in the most secure manner possible.

Tax Planning

Establish a solid tax strategy to reduce tax implications within your estate.

When proactively planning an estate, a main focus is often tax savings. Each year, countless individuals pay an excessive amount to Canada Revenue Agency. Although tax is an unavoidable reality within even a well-composed estate, by using the right tools and knowledge, this sum can be significantly reduced or deferred.

A proper tax plan should account for both domestic and international issues. Many families are unaware that internationally held assets, such as US property or investments, are liable to both US and Canadian estate taxes. Failure to structure these assets within a larger tax scheme will inevitably cause their real values to be reduced.

In addition to the aforementioned risks, foreign assets can also legally create multiple estates. For instance, by owning property in the USA, you are recognized to possess both an American and Canadian estate. Upon an individual’s passing, these two estates will need to be settled, adding considerably to the amount of time and money required. As experts, our contemporary understanding of current domestic and international legislation enables us to devise the most innovative means of minimizing the workload surrounding an estate while maximizing its total net-worth.

Case Study:

Client Challenge: In order to avoid high tax rates, many couples will spend their entire lives developing an estate with an equal division of assets. However, these couples are unaware that upon one partner’s passing, the remaining partner is automatically inserted into a higher tax bracket. Consequently, years of methodical and strategic income splitting are wasted.

Creative Solution: Upon one partner passing, the deceased spouse’s asset base is set to automatically be transferred into a spousal trust. The remaining spouse will continue to have access to the assets and monies held in the spousal trust. However, this mechanism will effectively prevent him/her from being bumped into a higher tax bracket. Moreover, the family unit can continue to income split.

Generational Planning

Transfer your estate to the next generation in both a tax-efficient and harmonious manner.

A comprehensive multi-generational strategy is extremely beneficial for families. In addition to substantial tax advantages, generational planning may determine the nature of a family's future dynamics. Acting as an unbiased third-party, a MacMillan planner provides guidance and objective advice to everyone involved in the estate planning process. By addressing any underlying issues before they become real hindrances, discord amongst loved ones can be easily prevented.

An estate freeze is a useful concept that we often utilize when generational planning. Once an asset is put into an estate freeze, any future growth of all or part of the asset’s current total value is transferred automatically to the next generation. As a result, this defers taxes owed upon the asset that may hinder its smooth succession.

Case Study:

Client Challenge: A couple with a large family had a considerable collection of antiques. Recently, one parent had passed away. The remaining parent wanted to prevent any conflict that could potentially arise within her family over the antique collection when she passed.

Creative Solution: Under our client’s direction, we organized a family BBQ where a mock auction took place. Each family member was given an equal amount of monopoly money that they could use to bid on the items of their choosing. By the end of the auction, each family member had laid claim to certain designated pieces that they deemed were most sentimental to them. Subsequently, our client took solace in knowing that upon her passing, any potential discord arising from her collection had been negated.

Charitable Giving

Offset tax in the year of death by benefiting a charity of your choice.

Upon the year of death, one hundred percent the tax owing upon an estate can be given to a charitable organization of the estate holder's choosing. Instead of surrendering a dollar amount to Canada Revenue Agency, many have chosen to support a charity or begin a legacy by creating a charity or bursary program.

Case Study:

Client Challenge: To both minimize tax owed and create a legacy upon passing.

Creative Solution: Our client decided that she would like to set up a bursary to aid deserving students in their post secondary studies. However, unlike the conditions of most bursaries, her bursary was quite unique. Although never at the top of her class, our client had worked hard during her studies. She felt that average students were too often overlooked and under-appreciated in the academic world. In order to remedy this, we helped her create a bursary that financially awarded only those hardworking students with a GPA between 65-80%.

Probate & Estate Administration

Complete your estate plan to help ease the emotional and financial burden on your family in the future.

When a loved one passes away, their estate goes through the process of probate. Probate is a court supervised process of validating a will and establishing the distribution of assets of the deceased, including the payment of any outstanding debts. For a trustee, executing an estate can feel like a part-time job. Expensive and complex, probate can take an average of 18 months to finalize. Moreover, beyond the court’s initial filing costs, additional fees can be quite substantial depending on each Province’s specific terms. Fortunately, by proactively planning an estate, a great portion of this work can be avoided or considerably simplified.

Over the years, MacMillan Estate Planning has accumulated ample experience helping families with estate administration. Our extended knowledge of Probate’s intricate requirements enables us to execute an estate both efficiently and effectively.

Knowledge is Freedom

AM770 CHQR’s Talk to the Experts

Estate and business planning specialist Sheri MacMillan will share her in-depth knowledge, offering insight and creative solutions to all your estate planning needs.

Complimentary Estate
Planning Seminars

Thursday, September 29th, 2016 at 7:00 PM
Thursday, October 27th, 2016 at 7:00 PM

Please join us for our upcoming wine and cheese seminars hosted by senior estate planning specialist Sheri MacMillan. Taking place on Thursday, September 29th, 2016 at 7:00 PM and Thursday, October 27th, 2016 at 7:00 PM Sheri MacMillan will discuss the core elements of estate and business planning vital to a proactively planned estate. Topics to be presented:

    • Will Planning
    • Trust Planning
    • Business Succession
    • Asset & Investment Protection
    • Tax Planning
    • Generational Planning
    • Charitable Giving
    • Probate/Estate Administration
    • US Estate Tax for Canadians

    Register today for an upcoming Estate Planning Seminar. A representative will be in touch with you shortly.

    Back to Top

    Estate Planning Articles

    Download an Estate Planning article in PDF format:

Trusts vs. Will Planning

Formal vs. Informal Trusts

Tax Strategy

Alberta Venture “Business Succession“

Family Cottages

Leave A Wise Legacy
Recreational Property
& Your Estate
Calgary Inc. Magazine

Estate Planning is Today’s Strongroom

Listen Live Saturdays at 9:00 am on AM770 CHQR

STRONGROOM: The historical equivalent of a modern day vault, used by royalty and noble class families to protect their wealth, important legal documents and treasured heirlooms.


Sheri MacMillan, President of MacMillan Estate Planning, presents the modern day Strongroom – a radio show created especially for your family.

Tune-in to The Strongroom, Saturdays at 9:00 am on AM770 CHQR, and learn the secrets of sound estate planning from one of Canada’s premier estate planners. As the Senior Trust & Estate Practitioner and President of MacMillan Estate Planning, host Sheri MacMillan has helped hundreds of families attain their estate planning goals and has been a guest on Talk to the Experts for the last seven years. Sheri will offer the advice and tips you need to protect what matters most – your family and your way of life.

The Strongroom focuses on estate plans and how they affect families just like yours. Discover how vitally important it is to prepare a proper estate plan and protect your family’s legacy for generations to come.

August 20, 2016 Broadcast:
Tax Planning Now - What a difference good tax planning makes! New tax rules are coming into effect January 1st of 2017, and on this week's program, Trust and Estate Planning Specialist, Sheri MacMillan explains why the time to act is now.           
Part I & Part II

Back to Top

Submit Your Question

Do you have a question about estate planning, or a story that you would like to share?

Share your questions or stories below:

Share your questions or stories:


Thank you for tuning in to The Strongroom Saturdays at 9:00 AM on AM770 CHQR.Back to Top

Should you like more information regarding our comprehensive estate planning services, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Head Office: 621 – 22nd Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta T2S 0H7
phone: 1-403-266-6464
fax: 1-403-264-6483