Avoiding a Common Disaster

Many times when we meet with our clients to discuss their estate planning, the question of what happens if your spouse and all of your children fail to survive you, triggers a blank reaction. More often than not, this consideration of a common disaster occurring is something that tends to be overlooked.

Usually a married couple will look to the other surviving spouse to be the primary beneficiary of their estate and as the guardian of any children. But unfortunately, as we have seen time and time in the news, it is not a far-fetched possibility that a family goes on a roadtrip and experiences a fatal accident. In this scenario, if all the beneficiaries simultaneously die, who will inherit the deceased’s estate?

A common disaster provision in a will is an important clause to ensure that an alternate beneficiary is designated in the event all of your primary beneficiaries die at the same time, which is preferable than having your estate distributed in accordance with the law if you do not make such a designation.

We all want to best control the outcomes of our estates when we die and to leave legacies to our loved ones of our choosing. Having a properly drafted will covering a common disaster scenario is something we encourage everyone to think about when planning your estate, and is something we can definitely help out with.

Michelle Eames, LLB, LLM