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Estate Planning

Pieces of an Estate Plan

October 14, 2021 by Colin Flannigan

Associate Colin Flannigan regularly advises clients in the practice areas of wills, trusts, estate and incapacity planning, estate administration, residential and commercial real estate, property matters, corporate transactions and business law.

Frequently Colin assists clients with their final will and testament.  However, a will is just one piece of an entire estate plan that is designed to make sure what you want to happen after you pass is what exactly happens.  He explains in Legal Matters.


An estate plan is much more than just a will; the big picture is how you want everything to work together, so what you want to happen will happen when you pass away.

There are some assets the will form part of your estate to be governed by your will. There is also a way to pass some assets outside of your estate. You can do so by way of joint tenancy and have assets passed by rate of survivorship.

You could also have registered accounts for financial assets, things like an RRSP possibly converted to an RRIF. You can have that value pass outside of your estate to a designated beneficiary; however, there might be some special tax plan that needs to be taken into account for your RRSP or your RRIF.

A tax-free savings account is another type of registered account where you can have a designated beneficiary and have that money pass outside of your estate. Just remember you want these designated accounts to work with your Will, so everything works together.

Another type of registered account is an RESP and that is for an education savings plan. You might want to address this in your will because you might have questions on whom you would want to be a successor subscriber to maximize the benefit to your beneficiaries.