Tag: insurance policies

17 Oct

Hull on Estates #531 – Beneficiary Designations for Insurance Policies

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Today on Hull on Estates, Natalia Angelini and Rebecca Rauws discuss the decision in Sun Life v Nelson Estate, 2017 ONCA 4987, and beneficiary designations for insurance policies.

Should you have any questions, please email us at webmaster@hullandhull.com or leave a comment on our blog.

Click here for more information on Natalia Angelini.

18 May

Complications from Simultaneous Deaths

Natalia R. Angelini Estate Planning, Executors and Trustees, General Interest, In the News, Joint Accounts, RRSPs/Insurance Policies, Support After Death, Trustees, Uncategorized, Wills Tags: , , , , , , 0 Comments

In Ontario, if two people die at the same time or in circumstances rendering it uncertain which of them survived the other, the property of each person shall be disposed of as if he or she had survived the other (see s. 55(1) of the SLRA).  In short, each person’s Will is administered as if the spouse predeceased. This outcome can be particularly problematic in various circumstances, a few of which I touch upon below.

Spouses with mirror wills.  Without a common disaster clause that would address circumstances where both spouses die simultaneously, there may be certain bequests that are triggered twice.  For instance, mirror wills may provide that (i) the residue of the testator’s estate is to be transferred to the spouse if he/she survives the other by 30 days, and (ii) if the spouse predeceases or fails to survive the other by 30 days, a specific bequest is gifted to Child #1, with the residue going to Child #2.  Since neither husband nor wife survived the other for30 days, Child #1 would get two specific bequests, one from each of the parents’ estates, reducing the entitlement of the residuary beneficiary, Child #2.

No alternate executor. Spouses often name the other as their executor.  If no alternate is named and they die simultaneously, the executor appointment would go on an intestacy (see s. 29 of the Estates Act), and the testator has lost the power to control who administers the estate.

Joint assets. Where joint tenants die at the same time, unless a contrary intention appears, the joint tenants are deemed to have held the property in question as tenants in common (see s. 55(2) of the SLRA).

Insurance proceeds. If the insured and the beneficiary die at the same time, the proceeds of a policy are to be paid as if the beneficiary predeceased the insured (see SLRA s. 55(4), and Insurance Act ss. 215 and 319). If there is no alternate beneficiary, and unless the insurance contract provides otherwise, the proceeds would be payable to the estate and subject to probate fees.

These examples serve to illustrate the value in having simultaneous deaths form part of your checklist when advising estate-planning clients.  For more on this topic, I encourage you to read this article and to watch/listen to my recent podcast with Rebecca Rauws.

Thanks for reading and have a great day,

Natalia R. Angelini

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In

Life and Death Under the Health Care Consent Act

Double Legacies – A Trap to Avoid

Polygamous Marriages and the SLRA

26 Apr

Hull on Estates #464 – Insurance Policies & Estate Litigation

Hull & Hull LLP Archived BLOG POSTS - Hull on Estates, Hull on Estate and Succession Planning, Hull on Estates, Litigation, Podcasts, PODCASTS / TRANSCRIBED, Show Notes, Show Notes Tags: , , , , 0 Comments

This week on Hull on Estates, Noah Weisberg and David Morgan Smith provide a general discussion on insurance policies in the context of estate litigation.

Should you have any questions, please email us at webmaster@hullandhull.com or leave a comment on our blog.

Click here for more information on Noah Weisberg.

Click here for more information on David Smith.

06 Apr

Beneficiary Designations Left Unchanged Are Not Changed

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In Chanowski v. Bauer, the Manitoba Court of Appeal recently revisited the recurring dilemma posed when the uncompromising law of insurance beneficiary designations runs up against facts that may seem to call for an equitable remedy.

The deceased had a group life insurance policy in the amount of $55,000, which he held through his employer.  When he lived with his first common-law wife (on and off for a period of four years), he executed documents listing her as his beneficiary.  However, at the time of his death, he had a different common-law wife.  Notwithstanding these facts: (i) the deceased had not had any relations whatsoever with the first spouse for some thirteen years, (ii) the first spouse had remarried, and (iii) the deceased had held his house and all assets jointly with the second spouse with whom he had lived for ten years, the Trial Judge found that the first spouse nonetheless received the benefit of the deceased’s group life insurance. The second spouse appealed this finding and lost on appeal.

The Appellant’s counsel gamely tried every available argument but did not succeed.  The Court of Appeal "while having much sympathy" for the Appellant, determined that it was bound by Manitoba’s statute (virtually identical to Ontario’s) and found as follows:

"The documents which Ms Chanowski would have the court accept as evidence of a change of beneficiary do not provide the necessary clear and express intention to remove Ms Bauer and appoint Ms Chanowski as his beneficiary.  They merely speak to Mr. Miterek’s intention to increase the amount of his death benefits and to insure the life of his current common-law wife.  One may speculate that it is unusual for an individual to increase the death benefits for a former common-law spouse, but more is needed here than speculation to override a written designation (emphasis added).

David M. Smith – Click here for more information on David Smith.

05 Feb

Asset Particulars – Hull on Estate and Succession Planning #98

Hull & Hull LLP Estate & Trust, Hull on Estate and Succession Planning, Hull on Estate and Succession Planning, Podcasts, PODCASTS / TRANSCRIBED, Show Notes Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Listen to Asset Particulars

This week on Hull on Estate and Succession Planning, Ian and Suzana talk about the importance of keeping track of asset details.

Comments? Send us an email at hullandhull@gmail.com, call us on the comment line at 206-457-1985, or leave us a comment on the Hull on Estate and Succession Planning blog.

 

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10 Apr

Insurance Planning – Hull on Estate and Succession Planning Podcast #55

Hull & Hull LLP Estate Planning, Hull on Estate and Succession Planning, Hull on Estate and Succession Planning Tags: , , , , 0 Comments

Listen to "Insurance Planning"

Read the transcribed version of "Insurance Planning"

During Hull on Estate and Succession Planning Podcast #55, Ian and Suzana discuss insurance planning in the context of wealth and estate planning strategies.

They cover the advantages of integrating insurance policies into your estate plan focusing on disability insurance, critical care insurance and life insurance.

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