WILLS – Revocation by will or other dispositive instrument

Law360 Canada (May 5, 2023, 6:28 AM EDT) -- Appeal by the appellants from the application judge’s findings that the general revocation clause in the testator's will did not revoke her beneficiary designations by instrument(s) of her four children for her Registered Retirement Income Fund (“RRIF”) and Tax-Free Savings Account (“TFSA”) plans. The appellants raised issues as to whether the application judge was correct in law in her findings and whether the decision in Ashton Estate regarding the effectiveness of a general revocation clause in a will was correct. The testator had four children, the appellants and the respondents. By her will, she named the appellants as her Estate Trustees. At her death, the testator possessed RRIF as well as TFSA plans and she named all four of her children as equal beneficiaries of the plans. In their application, the appellants argued the general revocation clause was effective to revoke the designations by instrument(s) of the four children as equal beneficiaries of the plans, and those plans formed part of the estate to be distributed in accordance with the terms of the will. The appellants submitted the references in the will to the plans constituted designations relating expressly to the plans either generally or specifically under s. 51(2) of the Succession Law Reform Act (“SLRA”), and therefore the earlier designations were revoked in accordance with s. 52(2)....
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