Key Points from Canada’s 2024 Federal Budget and Strategies for our clients. Click Here.

Estate Planning Gone Terribly Wrong

Estate Planning Gone Terribly Wrong

November 14, 2021

The Rogers family public battle is a lesson on how estate planning efforts can backfire, writes Peter Watson

A large part of estate planning is deciding how to allocate your wealth to different beneficiaries. For most families this means distributing your wealth to your children.

The late Ted Rogers built his tech company and according to the Rogers website it has 25,000 employees and annual revenue of $13 Billion. For personal reasons involving the premature death of his father, he wanted to protect his children and ensure they would benefit from his financial success.

In theory, all of these good intentions should come true.

Except, however, when you add in human element. For the last while, we have seen what amounts to a family feud that has reached high levels of anguish, disbelief, and sadness.

Siblings are arguing against each other, their mother has been vocal on which children she agrees with in which she does not.

The argument is now in court. The press is having a field day.

This is a learning opportunity everyone. How can our estate planning efforts avoid this kind of family infighting?

A starting point is to understand we are all human.

People change. We change over time and so do our priorities. We are not going to always agree with others, including family members.

Parents must realize if their estate planning is overly complex and relies on ongoing family harmony, that might not actually happen.

Estate planning is an extremely important aspect of managing your wealth. Managing family harmony during this process deserves your careful consideration.

Peter Watson, of Watson Investments MBA, CFP®, R.F.P., CIM®, FCSI offers a weekly financial planning column, Dollars & Sense. He can be contacted through