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Monday, September 11, 2017

How to handle a belligerent beneficiary

One of the regular readers of this blog (I'm looking at you, webeye) suggested the following article to me. Though the article is American, the ideas in it translate into our system pretty well. In it, the author talks about demanding beneficiaries becoming belligerent beneficiaries, and how he handled it when it happened to him. Let's face it; not all beneficiaries are rays of sunshine! Click here to read the story from  Keep in mind as you read it that the author isn't a lawyer, but someone who has been through the experience of being an executor.


  1. Hi my siblings and I are beneficiaries to my father's pension in Ontario but are not able to receive it because he was previously married to a lady in Guatemala and they never divorced but he was in a common law marriage with my mom for 18 years. And how can the company change the beneficiary my father chose without his consent??

    1. Daniel,
      I'm not understanding how you claim you and your siblings are beneficiaries to your father's pension, when you later say he chose someone else as the pension's beneficiary.

      Although you and your siblings maybe the beneficiaries to his estate as per his will, a plan which permits naming a separate beneficiary such as a life insurance policy or RRSP, are not included within the estate unless the estate is the beneficiary named.

    2. Hi Daniel,
      The company won't change your father's choice of beneficiary once that choice has been made known and accepted by the company. Keep in mind, though, that pensions are regulated by laws and by company policies.

      If your father was legally married and not divorced from the lady in Guatelmala, she is still the beneficiary because she is still the legal wife. The company didn't change that. It would have been that way when he was married and never revised.

      Either he didn't tell them he was living common law, or they didn't accept a common law as having the same status as a legal wife. And yes, they are allowed to set those rules.

      Even if your mother was the beneficiary, that doesn't mean that you are now the beneficiaries.



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