Client story

After building a successful professional career and raising two adult children with her husband, Peter, Sonia continues an active lifestyle in retirement. She spends her time between her home in Calgary and her vacation home in Los Cabos, Mexico.

As Sonia enters a new chapter of her life without her husband, who recently passed away from dementia, Sonia focuses on preserving her wealth, Peter’s legacy and the family’s future in every way possible.

For over 20 years, Sonia and Peter worked together with their ScotiaMcLeod Wealth Advisor to build and manage their wealth. Today, Sonia and her relationship manager have a new plan in place that provides thoughtful advice for all her deepest concerns:

  • Wealth preservation strategies
  • Estate, trust and legacy planning
  • Support for the administration of day-to-day financial affairs
  • Incapacity planning
  • AGE 
    75 years old

    2 grown children, widowed


    key need – wealth preservation and legacy planning

  • How we structured Sonia's wealth

    Sonia’s relationship manager worked closely with her and introduced her to our specialists: an Estate and Trust Consultant, a financial planning expert and insurance specialist to review her financial plan and her estate and trust needs. Together, they implemented key ideas to address all of her concerns.

    Investment Management

    After reviewing her situation with her relationship manager, Sonia continues with a discretionary investment portfolio. Handing over this discretion allows Sonia to spend more of her time with family and abroad with peace of mind, knowing her advisor is managing day-to-day investment decisions in accordance with the guidelines and goals they established together.

    Support for administration of day-to-day financial affairs

    Having recently managed the details of her family’s financial affairs during her husband’s illness, Sonia prefers to have the administrative side of her financial affairs taken care of by Scotiatrust through a Personal Office account. Personal Office provides day-to-day management of finances and financial reporting for clients.

    Sonia worked with her Scotia Wealth Management team to set up Personal Office, giving her peace of mind that all of the details of her day-to-day financial affairs will be smoothly, securely and efficiently handled by her Scotia Wealth Management team. With Personal Office, Sonia will no longer spend time or worry about collecting all of her pension and investment income, charitable donations, handling her tax preparation and monthly bills. This solution gives her professional support and provides her with a convenient, detailed, consolidated monthly report that complements her discretionary investment portfolio. 

    Estate and legacy planning

    The Estate and Trust Consultant on the Scotia Wealth Management team met with Sonia to review her Will and Powers of Attorney to ensure they continue to reflect her current wishes, and that her assets are properly managed and transferred if she becomes incapable during her life and upon her death. Her Estate and Trust Consultant also recommended that she have a separate Will in Mexico to facilitate the timely transfer of her property located there when the time comes. To relieve her children of the burden of responsibility that comes with being Executor and Power of Attorney at a very difficult time, Sonia decided to appoint Scotiatrust as her Corporate Executor and Attorney for Property. Now her children need not worry about the time, work and complexity involved in administering their mother’s estate and finances.

    Philanthropic planning

    It was important to Sonia for her to preserve her husband’s legacy and to give charitably. Working with her Wealth Advisor and a Scotiatrust philanthropic expert they developed a strategy using the Aqueduct Foundation to establish a tax-efficient, personal charitable foundation in memory of her husband. Using Aqueduct allowed Sonia to create a personalized foundation with practical administration and flexible gifting options. Sonia was able to fund the foundation by converting a portion of her RRIF each year to a non-registered portfolio using her charitable foundation and significantly reduce her tax burden. More importantly, Sonia created a lasting legacy for her husband through the foundation that is personalized in name and purpose, which their children can give to now, and carry on after her death to preserve their parents’ memory.

    Wealth preservation and incapacity planning

    Working with the Scotia Wealth Management team, Sonia was able to establish an alter ego trust. This will allow her to reduce future probate costs and to transfer much of her wealth privately and tax-efficiently to her children upon her death from the trust while taking care of all her financial needs during her lifetime.

    In naming Scotiatrust her co-trustee, Sonia also ensures that the ongoing management of the trust will not become an administrative burden to her while travelling or to her family in the event she becomes incapable during her lifetime. 

    Insurance planning

    As part of her estate planning process, Sonia’s Scotia Wealth Management insurance consultant developed a personalized insurance strategy so that her estate meets her tax liabilities at the time of her death, thereby preserving the overall estate value she leaves to her family. Knowing that Sonia gifted her vacation home to one of her children in her Will and that she wanted to make sure her other child receives an equal benefit after her death, the team structured insurance for her now so that at the time of her death, the proceeds would be used to even out the estate gifts between her children, preserving family harmony.

    Contact us to learn more how these services can be customized for your financial goals.

    Others we've helped


    Over a period of 40 years, James and his wife Debbie built a business empire. He is looking to retire, transferring ownership of the business to a son.

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    David recently retired from his position as senior partner at the largest law firm in Montreal.

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    Ellen is a mother to three children. Her husband is an executive at a multi-national corporation. 

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