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Naming Your Beneficiaries


The Importance of Naming Your Beneficiaries

In Ontario, Beneficiaries in a Will can be individuals or organizations such as charities. Here are some key points to keep in mind when Naming Your Beneficiaries in your will in Ontario:

  1. Age of majority: In Ontario, Beneficiaries must be at least 18 years old to inherit property under a Will.


  1. Spousal rights: In Ontario, spouses have certain legal rights to inherit from their spouse’s Estate, even if they are not named as a Beneficiary in the Will. However, if you want to disinherit your spouse, you should consult with a lawyer to ensure your wishes are properly documented.


  1. Alternate Beneficiaries: It’s a good idea to name alternate Beneficiaries in case your primary Beneficiary dies before you or is unable to inherit for some other reason.


  1. Specific bequests: You can leave specific gifts or amounts of money to individual Beneficiaries in your Will. For example, you may want to leave a sentimental item to a family member or make a bequest to a charity.


  1. Residual Beneficiaries: The residual Beneficiary is the person or organization that receives the remainder of your Estate after all specific bequests have been made. You should name a residual Beneficiary in your will to ensure that your remaining assets are distributed according to your wishes.

It’s important to seek the advice of a lawyer to ensure that your will complies with Ontario law and accurately reflects your wishes. Remember, anything not taken care of could become Government of Ontario property!


Read about the Importance of an Estate Plan

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This material is for general information and educational purposes only. Information is based on data gathered from what we believe are reliable sources. It is not guaranteed as to accuracy, does not purport to be complete and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions.