NON-INSURANCE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS
AbstractRetirement plans contain provisions which entitle a member to designate a beneficiary if the member should die before the plan starts to provide the anticipated stream of retirement income. All of the common law provinces and territories have statutory provisions designed to facilitate the use of these designations. This article argues that it is not clear that these statutes remove the important jurisprudential differences which may exist between designations under different plans within the same jurisdiction, or insulate designations from all or some of the more general law of the jurisdiction which would be expected to apply to them apart from these statutes. In particular, the article considers what types of designations would, at common law, be considered testamentary in nature, and discusses how far, despite the legislation, it may still be necessary, either generally or in specific cases, to deal with that question. Finally, it explores some problem areas where the persons entitled to receive the benefits may differ depending upon the manner in which the courts resolve some of these problems.
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