Estate planning

Securing your family's future

What is estate planning?

Planning your estate lets you decide how you want your assets to be distributed after your death.

You can ensure your wishes are followed and help alleviate the stress your loved ones may face while settling your affairs.

If you recently bought a house, got married or had a baby, it's even more important to start planning your estate! 

Perfect if you're looking to:

  • Draft a will to outline your wishes 
  • Leave a legacy and decide how your assets will be distributed 
  • Minimize your tax liability while maximizing your legacy

The right questions to ask

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What am I going to leave to my loved ones?

Firstly, you'll need to make a list of your assets. This will give you a clear overview of your financial situation. You should share this information with your loved ones. You can print our Inventory of assets to help.

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How do I divide my assets?

Make your wishes known in a will. This document, which is legally binding, names your beneficiaries and indicates what portion of your estate will go to them. You can change the distribution of assets at any time.

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What if I become incapacitated?

If you were no longer able to make decisions for yourself, who would make them for you? You can designate another individual to make decisions on your behalf, should you become incapable of doing so. Find out how you can protect your future by appointing someone to act on your behalf.

Talk to one of our financial planners for advice. If need be, they'll refer you to one of our estate experts at National Bank Financial.

Find a financial planner

Preparing your will

Making a will brings peace of mind to you and your loved ones. There are 3 types of wills in Quebec:

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A holographic will, which is handwritten and signed by the testator.


A witnessed will, which can be handwritten or typed and is signed in the presence of two witnesses.

A notarized will, which is signed in the presence of the testator, a witness and a notary.


We recommend notarizing your will as it makes the estate settlement process smother. By hiring a notary, you'll benefit from the assistance of an expert in the field and ensure that your wishes will be legally conveyed.

You can change or cancel your will at any time to reflect a change in your situation, such as a divorce or a birth.

If you are married or in a civil union, your contract may contain a testamentary provision (or "surviving spouse" clause). This can either make your spouse your sole legatee, or it can provide as a gift to your spouse and children to take effect when you die.

An important step: choosing a liquidator for your estate

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What is a liquidator?

A liquidator is responsible for carrying out the wishes contained in your will. Your liquidator could be a loved one, such as your partner or adult child, or it could be a lawyer or trust company.

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Choosing a liquidator

Choose a person or institution you trust. Make sure your liquidator is able to fulfill their duties objectively.

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When do you need to decide?

Naming a liquidator is a big decision and should be done at the end of the estate planning process.

Is your situation complex?

Consider using a trust company

Hiring a trust company, such as National Bank Trust, is the right choice in many cases. Situations involving blended families or young children are good examples.

Setting up a trust allows you to transfer your assets while you're still alive or after you die. The trustee will administer the trust according to your specific wishes for the benefit of the individuals you designate. 

Useful if:

  • Your financial or family situation is complex 
  • Your children are minors or have a physical or mental disability 
  • You want to ensure that the assets you pass on to your loved ones will be well managed and last over the long term 

The cost of setting up a trust

Set-up costs vary based on the value of your assets. There is a fixed fee to set up the trust, and you'll have to pay management fees, which are calculated as a percentage of your assets.

The role of National Bank Trust

To help you and your loved ones navigate the process, National Bank Trust can be named liquidator, mandatary, trustee, guardian or curator. National Bank Trust will take charge of all legal, tax, accounting and administrative tasks and responsibilities.

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Are you considering donating to a charitable cause?

Continue to support the causes that are important to you by making planned donations or creating a foundation as part of your estate plan.

Useful tips for planning your estate

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Legal disclaimers

Estate planning services are offered throughNational Bank subsidiaries. Estate planning experts provide their services on behalf of National Bank Financial, a subsidiary of National Bank of Canada.

Ready to get started?

Meet with an advisor and get personalized advice.

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