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Beneficiary/will etc.
April 4, 2009
6:35 pm
ryan
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Hi I have a reasonable amount of money in my savings account, and I recently got a phone call from my bank about my other account "tfsa" about getting someone to sign as a beneficiary. I dont have any money in that account, havent bothered because I am in school again so I'm not really paying tax on the income anyways.

My question is about my savings account "not the tfsa" what can I do so that if I die that someone I choose would get the money. "I dont own a car/house or anything so I dont think I need a will or anything really complicated."

The guy at the bank said my only options where to essentially make that person a power of attourny which gives them the right to withdraw money whenever ( I really dont want this.) or go to a lawyer and set up a more specific "power of attorney"

I dont want to spend allot of money on a lawyer and whatnot what do you reccomend? Thanks.

April 5, 2009
1:43 pm
Doug
British Columbia, Canada
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Forum Posts: 4179
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December 12, 2009
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One key thing to remember about powers of attorney: they are only in effect while you're living and are useful if your mental capacity is diminished or you're sick or just not able to otherwise care for yourself. However, the common denominator in all of those examples is that you must be alive. Immediately upon your death, the bank will block or "freeze" your accounts and only allow payment of things like utility bills, funeral expenses and so forth or as authorized by your Estate's executor.

It obviously depends on the rules at different banks so talk with your personal account manager at your financial institution as some banks treat accounts you hold jointly different from those in your name only. They may not block or "freeze" accounts in which you're a joint owner. So, you could potentially have all of your accounts held that way. Another option, and obviously you'd want to talk to your lawyer/tax advisor/financial planner, is perhaps setting up a trust.

Beyond that, for monies held outside of a registered account like an RRSP or a TFSA which let you specifically designate a beneficiary that is outside of a will, those are the only real options other than having a will (you really should have one, even if it's one you used will creation software to make and had notarized or a holographic will you handwrote).

Cheers,
Doug

April 5, 2009
4:26 pm
ryan
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Thanks, ya all my money is in a scotia power savings account (Im going to change that soon) so I think I'm going to get a knew account and then maybe make up a will and have it notarized. I'm going to my accountant to sign off on my taxes tomorrow, maybe I'll ask him. Iv'e heard the government might end up with the money if anything happens so I dont want that.

I guess I might have to get a power of attorney and a will, Thanks.

April 7, 2009
4:40 pm
Selby
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It obviously depends on the rules at different banks so talk with your personal account manager at your financial institution as some banks treat accounts you hold jointly different from those in your name only.

This is important information for many of us now faced with looking after the affaies of one or more parents. Do you you or anyone know which banks block joint accounts and which don't?

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