Interactive legal guides > Legal Guide to help you plan for the protection and transfer of your wealth

Legal Guide to help you plan for the protection and transfer of your wealth

Using the legal information at your disposal and based on the answers you will provide to the few questions asked, you will obtain a practical and concise guide to help you plan for the protection and transfer of your wealth.

Once you have answered the various questions, you may print your personalized guide.

In addition to the different legal videos at your disposal, you have access to our Frequently Asked Questions section.

Did you know that your will and protection mandate in case of incapacity are documents that must keep track of the changes in your personal and financial life?

Do you have a shareholder agreement?

In the event of your death or that of a shareholder, did you plan to purchase life insurance for the redemption or repurchase of your or his shares?

In the event of a prolonged illness of a shareholder, did you plan to purchase disability insurance?

Does your marriage contract include a testamentary provision known as the gift morta causa (gift in contemplation of death) clause?

Did you sign a Will that voids the gift mortis causa (gift in contemplation of death) clause included in your marriage contract?

Does the gift mortis causa (gift in contemplation of death) clause included in your marriage contract reflect faithfully your family and financial situation?

Have you arranged for your mandatary to have your various passwords in his/her possession, should you become incapacitated?

Have you planned for the appointment of a mandatary who will run your business in the event of your incapacity?

Have you provided, in your protection mandate in case of incapacity, for the appointment of a tutor/guardian for your minor children?

Did you obtain the agreement of the persons appointed to act as your mandataries in the event of your incapacity?

In the event of your death, have you made provisions so that your family can maintain its current standard of living?

Do you fully pay your credit card balance on or before due date?

Will your assets include jewelry or artworks upon your death?

Do you believe that creating a testamentary trust may be appropriate for your situation?

Have you inquired about whether or not the creation of a testamentary trust would be appropriate to address your situation?

Are you a business owner?

Have you already made funeral pre-arrangements?

Is your father, mother, brother or sister still alive?

Do you have children or grandchildren?

Do you know who will be your heirs if you die without a Will?

Is your Will up to date and does it reflect accurately your current family and financial situation?

Do you believe that creating a testamentary trust may be appropriate for your situation?

Have you inquired about whether or not the creation of a testamentary trust would be appropriate to address your situation?

Do you have a trust Will?

Have you designated, in your Will, a qualified person to take over and carry on your business?

Have you provided, in your Will, for the appointment of a tutor or guardian for your minor children?

Have you already made funeral pre-arrangements?

Do you have a Will?

Are you a member of a professional body or association?

Select the type of business:

Does your cohabitation agreement (or contract between common-law partners) contain provisions with respect to the household expenses or the sale of your home, on a contractual and consensual basis?

Is it the main residence of the couple?

Are you the only property owner?

Did you sign an indivision agreement between co-owners?

Are you the only property owner?

Do you regularly provide a wealth inventory and assessment worksheet to your liquidator or a person you trust?

Is it the family residence?

Is your spouse the sole owner of the family residence?

Are you a business owner?

Do you own at least one immovable or real estate property?

Is one of your children still a minor?

Do you have children from another union?

Did you sign a cohabitation agreement (or contract between common-law partners)?

Did you sign a notarized marriage or civil union contract?

Specify what type of union do you live in:

Do you live with someone as a couple?

What is your age?

Are you a man or a woman?

214 Did you take out or contribute to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)? Yes

Did you take out or contribute to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)? Yes

Did you take out life insurance policies?

Did you take out life insurance policies?

Do you live with another person as a couple?

Specify what type of union do you live in:

Do you know who will be your heirs if you die without a Will?

Is your protection mandate in case of incapacity up to date and does it adequately address your current family and financial situation?

Do you know the consequences for a person who becomes incapacitated without a protection mandate in case of incapacity?

Did you know that it is best to obtain the consent of the persons appointed to act as your mandatary?

Did you know that you can include in your protection mandate in case of incapacity the appointment of a tutor/guardian for your minor children?

Do you live with another person as a couple?

Do you have children or grandchildren?

Do you have children or grandchildren?

Are you a business owner?

Did you know that, in the event of your incapacity, you can appoint a mandatary to run your business?

Did you know that it is better for your mandatary to have your various passwords in his/her possession, should you become incapacitated?

Do you regularly provide a wealth inventory and assessment worksheet to your liquidator or a person you trust?

Have you signed a general power of attorney?

You can set out the age to be reached by the heirs to receive their share

Be aware that you can determine in your will the age at which your heirs, including your children, will be able to receive their share of inheritance. The distribution period may even be spread over several years.

Funeral pre-arrangements

When funeral pre-arrangements have already been made, it is best to leave written instructions to this effect or mention them in your will.

Deceased person who left no descendant, married or civil union spouse, father, mother, brother, or sister behind, but left behind ordinary ascendants or ordinary collaterals.

The Civil Code of Quebec contains provisions governing the distribution of property of a person who died without a Will, by first giving priority to the closest relatives of the deceased, then gradually including more distant relatives of the deceased. All these provisions are known as the legal devolution.

Check out the tables allowing to determine the heirs of a person who died without a will.

Deceased person whose father, mother, brother and/or sister are still alive.

The Civil Code of Quebec contains provisions governing the distribution of property of a person who died without a will, by first giving priority to the closest relatives of the deceased, then gradually including more distant relatives of the deceased. All these provisions are known as the legal devolution.

Check out the tables allowing to determine the heirs of a person who died without a will.

Deceased person who did not leave descendants behind, but left behind a spouse to which he was married or civilly united.

The Civil Code of Quebec contains provisions governing the distribution of property of a person who died without a Will, by first giving priority to the closest relatives of the deceased, then gradually including more distant relatives of the deceased. All these provisions are known as the legal devolution.

Check out the tables allowing to determine the heirs of a person who died without a will.

Deceased person who left descendants behind (children or grandchildren).

The Civil Code of Quebec contains provisions governing the distribution of property of a person who died without a Will, by first giving priority to the closest relatives of the deceased, then gradually including more distant relatives of the deceased. All these provisions are known as the legal devolution.  

Check out the tables allowing to determine the heirs of a person who died without a will

Your wealth planning

If you do not plan for the transfer of your wealth in your will, then the Civil Code of Quebec will decide on the distribution of your assets upon your death.

View the clauses that would usually be included in a will in order to be complete.

A Will planning is necessary

You have planned for the management of your wealth throughout your life, a Will and estate planning is now necessary.

Make yourself online your will with

Trust will

The Trust will is a legal instrument by which a person, the testator, transfers, upon his death, his property into another partimony that he creates (trust estate). The trustee will manage the property in accordance with the provisions of the trust will and in the best interest of the beneficiaries.

For more inquiries, please contact a team member of

Creating a testamentary trust

The creation of a testamentary trust may be appropriate in the following cases:

  • Bequeath money to minor children or grandchildren;
  • Saving a spouse the worry and hassle of managing his inheritance;
  • Ensuring sufficient income to the surviving spouse until his death and stating that the remaining capital of your estate will then be transferred to the children or grandchildren;
  • Making an important bequest to the benefit of a vulnerable person or prevent an heir from squandering his inheritance.

The heirs of a member of a professional body

Note that it is important for the heirs of a member of a professional body to ensure that errors and omissions liability insurance be maintained even after the death of the latter.

Appointing a person to take over your business.

Did you know that, if you are a business owner, you can designate in your will the person who will be able to take over and ensure the operation of your business?

Appointment of a tutor/guardian by will

Did you know that parents can designate a tutor for minor their children by will? If such a clause is not set out in the will and both parents are deceased, a meeting of family members should be held to choose a tutor/guardian for their minor children.

Funeral pre-arrangements

If you have already made funeral pre-arrangements, it is best to leave written instructions to this effect or mention them in your will.

Indivision agreement among joint purchasers of a real estate property

To avoid any possible issues when buying a property jointly with other people, it is useful to sign an indivision agreement among joint purchasers or co-buyers.

Cohabitation agreement

The cohabitation agreement is a legal document by which you can particularly set out, on a contractual and consensual basis:

  • The nature of your economic relationship;
  • The beginning of your life together;
  • The ownership of property acquired during the common-law union;
  • The provisions for the name and maintenance of your children, as well as the custody and support of the latter in the event of a separation.
Make yourself online your cohabitation agreement with

Indivision agreement among co-owners of a building

To avoid any inconvenience that may occur when buying jointly with others, it is useful to sign an indivision agreement among joint purchasers or co-buyers.

The real estate guide

You are thinking about buying a property, we can help you!

Click here to view our legal guide for a real estate purchase

Cohabitation agreement

Common-law partners or de facto spouses are free to enter into agreements among themselves in order to specifically agree on what rights and obligations will flow as a result of their relationship and the possible end of their relationship. Obviously taking into account public policy rules, common-law spouses can create written contracts or agreements to protect their rights while they are in a relationship and upon the end of their relationship.

Make yourself online your cohabitation agreement with

Warning!

This guide is intended for adults.

To avoid any misunderstanding

The masculine form is used herein for the sole purpose of brevity and no discrimination is intended.

Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)

If you leave your RRSP to a relative other than your spouse, the amount accrued in your RRSP will then be taxed as if you had cashed it in the year of your death

Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)

If you contribute to a RRSP, you will:

  • Reduce the amount of tax payable.
  • Ensure financial protection for you and your family.

Life insurance

When you take out a life insurance policy with a designated beneficiary, the proceeds thereof will not be part of the assets of the deceased's estate and the designated beneficiary will directly receive the proceeds of such insurance policy.

In contrast, the proceeds of a life insurance policy that do not contain a designated beneficiary or that are payable to the estate are included in the assets of the deceased's estate

Life insurance

In order to provide financial protection for your loved ones, you can take out a life insurance policy which will enable you to leave a substantial non-taxable inheritance to your family members.

Spousal rollover

The only way to bring down the tax payable on your estate to zero is to bequeath everything to your spouse. If you leave all your property, including your real estate properties, RRSP, RRIF, TFSA, to your spouse or common-law partner, there will be no tax payable on your estate. The tax payable will therefore be deferred to the spouse's estate through a tax mechanism commonly referred to as spousal rollover.

If you are separated, divorced, widowed or single, things can get complicated, depending on the assets you are leaving. Here is an overview of the main tax rules that apply to most common legacies for the majority of people.

The rights of a common-law partner

The Civil Code of Quebec grants the surviving spouse no right in the property of a deceased common-law partner/de facto spouse. This means that, regardless of the number of years of life together, the surviving spouse will inherit the property of a deceased common-law partner/de facto spouse only if a Will was made to his/her benefit.

Learn more about the rights of common-law partners/de facto spouses

the signing of a new protection mandate in case of incapacity is necessary

You have been planning for the management of your wealth throughout your life, reviewing your planning in case of incapacity is now necessary.

For more information, visit

The consequences for a person who becomes incapacitated without a protection mandate

  • If a person becomes incapacitated without a protection mandate, such person and his/her property will be taken care of and managed by a tutor or a curator.
  • Without a protection mandate in case of incapacity, the institution of protective supervision will be required, and the resulting situation will perhaps not be the one you would wish for.
  • Thus, protective supervision can be more burdensome as the designated tutor or curator will have to render accounts to a tutorship council, which must be created, as well as to the Public Curator of Quebec.

Agreement of the persons appointed as mandataries

Prior to the signing of a "mandate", it is best to always ask the persons you wish to appoint as your mandataries if they would agree to act as such in the event of your incapacity.

Appointment of a tutor/guardian

Parents may appoint a tutor/guardian for their minor children through the protection mandate in case of incapacity or by a statement to the Public Curator of Quebec. If this appointment is not set out in these documents and both parents are deceased or incapacitated, a meeting of family members will be held to choose a tutor for your minor children.

In the event of your incapacity, provide for the use of your assets for the welfare of your spouse and your children

In case of your incapacity, and if you want your mandatary to use your assets to address the ongoing needs of your spouse and children and ensure their welfare, you must expressly specify such use in your protection mandate in case of incapacity.

In the event of your incapacity, provide for the use of your assets for the welfare of your spouse

In case of your incapacity, and if you want your mandatary to use your assets to address the ongoing needs of your spouse and ensure his/her welfare, you must expressly specify such use in your protection mandate in case of incapacity.

In the event of your incapacity, provide for the use of your assets for the welfare of your children

In case of your incapacity, and if you want your mandatary to use your assets to address the ongoing needs of your children and ensure their welfare, you must expressly specify such use in your protection mandate in case of incapacity.

Appointing a person to take over your business

Did you know that, if you are a business owner, you can appoint, in your protection mandate in case of incapacity, the right person to take over or carry on your business, or even to liquidate or sell your business?

Transfer of your various passwords

To avoid hassle to the mandatary to property of an incapacitated person and to preserve the confidentiality of the deceased's life, some approaches are currently available on the Web, even if they are not perfect or not entirely problem-free:

  • the digital safe which allows you to transfer to the person appointed by the deceased or the incapacitated person all the digital data of the deceased or incapacitated person, such as its user IDs, access codes and passwords; and
  • the storage by the deceased during his/her lifetime, or by the incapacitated person, while he/she was still able to do it, of all of its digital documents and files or digital data in a storage space rented on a specialized website.

Signing a protection mandate in case of incapacity is necessary

You have planned for the management of your wealth throughout your life, the planning in case of incapacity is now necessary.

Make yourself online your protection mandate in case of incapacity

You have planned for the management of your wealth throughout your life, the signing of a protection mandate in case of incapacity is now necessary.

Make yourself online your protection mandate in case of incapacity with -=REPLACE_LINK=-

Congratulations! Keep doing so, as this is the best way to proceed.

Wealth inventory and assessment

The contents of a wealth inventory and assessment worksheet should reflect, as accurately as possible, the current situation of your wealth, namely the information and location of your assets and your liabilities as well as an overview allowing you to determine the value of your wealth.

General power of attorney

  • It is possible to attach a power of attorney to your protection mandate in case of incapacity.
  • It allows your mandatary, among other things, to administer your property pending the Court decision during the homologation proceedings for your protection mandate in case of incapacity.
Make yourself online a general power of attorney with

Congratulations, you are well informed!

Reviewing your documents

  • The review of your documents should be in connection with your personal and family situation.
  • Ideally, whenever an important event occurs in your life, your will and protection mandate in case of incapacity should be reviewed to ensure their relevance.
  • For example, the birth of a child, a marriage, separation, divorce, serious illness, death, or a new relationship.

Shareholder buy-sell agreement

This document allows you to organize the administration of your business corporation and plan for the disposal of the shares upon the death or withdrawal of a shareholder from the corporation.

Draft yourself online a shareholder buy-sell agreement using

Congratulations, you are proactive and well organized!

Life insurance

  • To ensure the financial protection of shareholders, a life insurance is used to finance the purchase of shares of a deceased shareholder.
  • The insurance policies on the life of each shareholder of a corporation can be taken and kept in force by the business corporation upon payment of the premiums to this effect.
  • A life insurance should, where possible, be taken out for an amount representing the valuation of the shares held by each shareholder.

Congratulations, you are proactive and well organized!

Disability insurance

Why not apply for disability insurance? There are disability buy-sell insurance or critical illness insurance which allow the beneficiary of such insurances to withdraw a cash amount which can be used to pay for the shares of a shareholder becoming seriously ill or disabled.

The benefits of having a protection mandate in case of incapacity

  • The protection mandate in case of incapacity allows you to choose one or more mandataries and to specify the powers entrusted to them.
  • It is actually possible to appoint a mandatary to the person and a mandatary to property.
  • You can also specify what kind of medical treatment you wish to receive or not receive, if any, and avoid aggressive therapy and agressive diagnostic measures.
  • In case of incapacity, your close relatives will have in hand the document indicating what type of care and what kind of treatments you wish to receive.

Congratulations, you are well organized!

Transfer of your various passwords

To avoid hassle to the mandatary to property of an incapacitated person and to preserve the confidentiality of the deceased's life, some approaches are currently available on the Web, even if they are not perfect or not entirely problem-free:

  • the digital safe which allows you to transfer to the person appointed by the deceased or the incapacitated person all the digital data of the deceased or incapacitated person, such as its user IDs, access codes and passwords; and
  • the storage by the deceased during his/her lifetime, or by the incapacitated person, while he/she was still able to do it, of all of its digital documents and files or digital data in a storage space rented on a specialized website.
For more information, visit

Appointing a person to take over your business

Did you know that, if you are a business owner, you can appoint, in your protection mandate in case of incapacity, the right person to take over or carry on your business, or even to liquidate or sell your business?

Possible use of your assets by your children in the event of your incapacity

In the event of your incapacity, your mandatary could allow your children to use your assets for their own welfare, but only if it was provided for in your protection mandate in case of incapacity.

Possible use of your assets by your spouse in the event of your incapacity

In the event of your incapacity, your mandatary could allow your spouse to use your assets for his/her own welfare, but only if it was provided for in your protection mandate in case of incapacity.

Possible use of your assets by your spouse and your children in the event of your incapacity

In the event of your incapacity, your mandatary could allow your spouse and your children to use your assets for their own welfare, but only if it was provided for in your protection mandate in case of incapacity.

Appointment of a tutor/guardian

Parents may appoint a tutor/guardian for their minor children through the protection mandate in case of incapacity or by a statement to the Public Curator of Quebec. If this appointment is not set out in these documents and both parents are deceased or incapacitated, a meeting of family members will be held to choose a tutor for your minor children.

Agreement of the persons appointed as mandataries.

Prior to the signing of a "mandate", it is best to always ask the persons you wish to appoint as your mandataries if they would agree to act as such in the event of your incapacity.

Life insurance and/or RRSPs

Why not take out life insurance and/or RRSPs? You can create wealth to pass down to your heirs or preserve your existing assets.

Congratulations, you are proactive and well organized!

Contact your financial institution

Why not contact your financial institution and apply for a secured line of credit, and you will then reduce your interest costs. Financial institutions offer the possibility to obtain a type of financing that is customized to your needs.

To learn more about the various financing solutions, visit

Congratulations!

In this way, you minimize the interest costs pertaining to your transactions.

Jewelry and artwork

To avoid any conflict, it would be appropriate to mention them in the inventory and specify their value and, if necessary, have them appraised.

Jewellery or artworks with a market value of more than $1,000 at the time of death must be reported to the tax authorities.

Wealth inventory and assessment

The contents of a wealth inventory and assessment worksheet should reflect, as accurately as possible, the current situation of your wealth, namely the information and location of your assets and your liabilities as well as an overview allowing you to determine the value of your wealth.

A Will planning is necessary

You failed to plan for the transfer of your wealth, a Will and estate planning is now necessary.

Make yourself online your will with

Trust will

The Trust will is a legal instrument by which a person, the testator, transfers, upon his death, his property into another partimony that he creates (trust estate). The trustee will manage the property in accordance with the provisions of the trust will and in the best interest of the beneficiaries.

For more inquiries, please contact a team member of

Creating a testamentary trust

The creation of a testamentary trust may be appropriate in the following cases:

  • Bequeath money to minor children or grandchildren;
  • Saving a spouse the worry and hassle of managing his inheritance;
  • Ensuring sufficient income to the surviving spouse until his death and stating that the remaining capital of your estate will then be transferred to the children or grandchildren;
  • Making an important bequest to the benefit of a vulnerable person or prevent an heir from squandering his inheritance.

Appointing a person to take over your business

Did you know that, if you are a business owner, you can appoint in your will the right person to take over or carry on your business, or even to liquidate or sell your business?

Appointment of a tutor/guardian by will

  • Did you know that parents can designate a tutor for their minor children by will?
  • If no tutor or guardian was appointed for their minor children in the will and both parents are deceased, a meeting of family members should be held to choose a tutor/guardian for their minor children.

We hope that this information will help you take the proper steps for the purchase of a real estate property and that your purchase will be made in the best possible conditions.