dependant adults. People can petition to be
the Guardians and the Court will choose.
;at appointee may be the last person on
earth our client wants to raise their children.
Often the Court will appoint the Province
as the Estate Trustee to manage the assets
until the children are of the age of majority.
From experience, I can vouch that the
investments chosen will not necessarily
cover the cost of living or taxes. If your
client has already given money to a bene;ciary as a gift or to bail the ne’er-do-well out
of problems, the Province does not take that
into account if there is nothing in writing.
;e Court also decides who will be the
Executor. All of this can result in litigation
and tie up the Estate for years, as well as
depleting the Estate assets.
Obligation to Know Our Products
We also have an obligation to know our
Private Market products. Due to the illiquid
nature of Private Market products, we need
to make sure that the investments our
clients purchase will not be needed
immediately to settle the estate taxes, to
cover funeral expenses or to support
It is also important we ensure the investments in Registered Accounts have proper
bene;ciary designations and that we are
aware of the tax consequences of the
various account types. Registered accounts
like RRSPs and RRIFs bypass probate and
go to bene;ciaries very shortly after the
fund company has received notice of
death. ;ese timely disbursements are
wonderful for the bene;ciaries. However,
the illiquid nature of Private Market
investments means that bene;ciaries may
end up owning units of the private market
investment rather than receiving cash.
Registered Accounts other than TFSAs,
may have tax consequences that need to
be addressed. RRSPs left to anyone other
than the spouse are taxable income to the
estate of the deceased. In order to cover
the taxes, the estate can be made the
bene;ciary on all or part of these
registered accounts. However, liquidity is
still necessary to pay the estate taxes,
something which Private Market products
do not necessarily provide.
Once we know our clients, and know our
products, it is our obligation to match
each client to the investment products
that are suitable for them and their
situation in life. Dealing representatives
must also ensure bene;ciary designations
match estate planning priorities.
Although we are not tax professionals, we
must consider the tax consequences of
various account types and investments
and encourage our clients to seek advice
on how to minimize tax and estate fees.
Although we may not all be Certi;ed
Executors Advisors, we should raise the
question of whether family members are
the best choice for executors and can
encourage our clients to hire a CEA to
assist family members who do not have
experience with probating an estate.
Finally, although we are not lawyers,
Dealing Representatives should ask clients
the Will question. Oh, and let’s make sure
we are among of the 35% of Canadians
that have an up-to-date Will!
Lorna Hunter is a Dealing Representative
with Pinnacle Wealth Brokers and an
Insurance Broker with National Best
Insurance Network. She completed her
Certified Executor Advisor designation
through CICEA. The opinions expressed in
this article are those of the author and do not
necessarily reflect those of Pinnacle Wealth
Brokers, National Best, or CICEA. The
information given in this article is of a
non-specific nature. Any legal, tax or
financial matters should be discussed with
the appropriate professional.
“Knowing whether my clients have a Will, I believe, is essential when giving them Financial advice.
It is in their best interest to not only have a Will, but also to have done the tax planning to ensure
their Estate taxes can be paid at death.”
Follow the Process
KYC + KYP = Client Suitability