Top 10 estate planning tips to drive your family crazy

From an estate planning point of view there are a number of ways to drive your family nuts.

From an estate planning point of view there are a number of ways to drive your family nuts. Not only can you drive them nuts but you can also create tensions and rifts in your family for generations to come.

Here are the top 10 ways to achieve this:

1. Make sure you don’t have a will, this ways the courts can decide how your estate is to be distributed. If you were smart enough to get a will be sure to hide it so no one knows where it is, nothing like a good will hunt to get the family excited. If you do have a will make sure that it so old that it is no longer valid and does not remotely reflect your current wishes.

2. Be sure to name your estate as the beneficiary on your RSP, RRIF and TFSA accounts so that your assets do not bypass probate and flow through your estate, this way the government can collect probate fees and your executor can earn more as your estate will be larger.

The key takeaway of this strategy is that your spouse will not receive the assets immediately but will rather have to wait for the cash until your estate is settled, it will only be a couple of years at the most.

3. The above point applies to life insurance policies too, if you make the estate the beneficiary of your life insurance policies, you turn what is a essentially a tax free, immediately payable benefit to a benefit that has to be waited for and will attract probate fees, your family will probably have smoke coming out their ears when they discover this one.

4. It is very important to leave bequests directly to minor children so that the office of the public trustee can oversee the cash the way they see fit and charge your family a fee to do so.

5. If you are the last surviving spouse make sure that you put your home and your investments in joint name with your kids to avoid probate fees, the beauty of this strategy is that if they ever get divorced or  sued, you get to potentially lose those assets.

6. If you have a spouse make sure all your non-registered assets are not in joint name, this way you will not get to use the spousal rollover and your spouse will again have to wait until your estate is settled before accessing the assets and again probate and executor fees will apply. You will also be happy to know that your estate will also have to pay any tax on the investments if you have any unrealized capital gains.

7. Make sure you don’t have an enduring power of attorney, this way if you ever lose your mental capacity your spouse may not make any financial decisions on your behalf that might benefit both of you.

8. If you are the last surviving spouse make sure that all your non-registered investments have no ability to designate a beneficiary, that way all your assets can flow through your estate again costing money and wasting time. Whatever you do, do not use investments regulated under the insurance act where you can flow the proceeds directly to your heirs avoiding the estate and the fees associated with this, that would be way too simple.

9. Here is a good one, if you have a safety deposit box make sure your family does not know which bank you have it with. Even better, hide one key and lock the other one in the box.

10. Finally make sure your family has no idea where you have your investment accounts. They must not know who your investment advisor, accountant or lawyer is, this must be kept secret, this way it will take them months to find these accounts.

If you are like most people that love and care about your family then don’t follow the advice above. Call me if you have any questions.



Written by Stuart Kirk, CIM. Stuart Kirk is a Retirement Planning Specialist with Precision Wealth Management Ltd. The opinions expressed are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Precision Wealth Management Ltd. For comments or questions Stuart can be reached at  or 250-954-0247.

Just Posted

Farewell to Parksville Beach Festival for 2019

People’s Choice Awards tallied, organizers report another successful year

Group aims to preserve French Creek tree

Save Estuary Land Society says bald eagles used tree for nest

UPDATE: Nanoose Bay residents miffed as roadwork on Northwest Bay Road causing long delays

‘I sat in traffic for a half-hour and moved approximately 50 feet’

Oceanside RCMP officer makes Alexa’s Team

Munro able to stop and process 15 impaired motorists during the past year

Oceanside Generals boost arsenal for coming VIJHL season

Coach Lemmon gets a good look at players at main camp

VIDEO: RCMP unveil new, state-of-the-art forensics lab in Surrey

The laboratory is expected to handle thousands of forensic services from across Canada annually

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Parksville man, 75, goes missing from north Nanaimo home

Police dog services called in to help with search

B.C. seizes 1.5M grams contraband tobacco, down from 5.75M grams the year prior

The 2019-2020 seizures were a sharp drop compared to the 2018-2019 year,

B.C. Speaker tight-lipped about aide’s legislature security tour

B.C. Liberals question Alan Mullen’s drive across Canada, U.S.

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Most Read