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How Can You Protect Your Assets from a Bank Freeze?

Feb 18, 2022 2:35:46 PM The MacMillan Estate Planning Team Tax Planning, estate plan, living trusts, canadian revenue agency, tax returns, final taxes, tax filing, estate freeze

It was announced this week that due to new powers given to banks by the government, banks will now be able to freeze accounts and cancel insurance linked to the truck blockades happening throughout Canada. 

The federal government invoked new emergency powers to expand the abilities of financial institutions in Canada to allow them to temporarily freeze personal and business accounts, without a court order, which have been suspected of being used to assist the blockades. Banks and other financial institutions are also required to report financial relationships with customers

Though this announcement seemingly caught banks off guard, there are ways for your accounts to be creditor protected in the event that your bank account is frozen.

Trust Planning

Proactive planning is key to protecting your personal assets, and those of business owners, from third parties and external powers. Trusts are created as a legal relationship that maintains ownership of assets on behalf of a beneficiary. 

Trusts can be built in a multitude of different ways, in order to protect the assets that you hold most dear. There are Testamentary Trusts, which come into effect after your passing, and there are Inter-Vivos Trusts that can be of use during your lifetime and help you with your retirement plans. There is essentially a Trust that can be built for any situation you may anticipate yourself and your family to be in.

Trusts have been available in Canada for a long time, but most Canadians often miss the opportunity to build this asset protection planning strategy into their Estate Plan by simply creating a Will. A Will alone is not an Estate Plan, and cannot protect your loved ones or assets from unforeseen events, such as divorce, third party claims, or bank account freezes.

Investments Trusts

Many families come to us with worries about losing control of their assets to unpredictable future events, undue taxation, or to market volatility. In these situations, we recommend our families explore the idea of an Investment Trust to protect themselves from the risks of approaches via Bank Law. 

Investment Trusts are rooted in Trust Law via The Insurance Act, meaning they carry much less risk and provide a number of benefits. This means that many people who we talk with choose to put a percentage of their estate into an Investment Trust in order to protect their retirement nest egg and enjoy it without the worry of unforeseen events impacting their precious retirement years and the time they can enjoy peacefully with their loved ones.

To find out more about estate planning strategies that can protect your assets and your accounts, register for out upcoming webinar at www.macmillanestate.com/seminars, or contact us directly at 1-833-266-6464.

At MacMillan Estate Planning, our team of professional trust and estate practitioners, chartered accountants, financial planners, and legal professionals look forward to assisting you with the design of your estate plan and will ensure you build, protect, and enjoy your wealth. The information provided is general and may not be suited to your objectives or sufficient to ensure the protection of you and your family. You should not act on this information without providing MacMillan Estate Planning with the opportunity to ensure that it is suitable for your unique situation.

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