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Information about home, mortgage, insurance, homebuyer, real estate, property, buy home, home insurance, financing, home financing, home buyer, first time homebuyer, homes, homebuying, credit, condo.

 


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Home Terms Main Page

This site contains comprehensive definitions for a wide range of terms that cover topics such as home, mortgage, insurance, homebuyer, real estate, property, buy home, home insurance, financing, home financing, home buyer, first time homebuyer, homes, homebuying, credit, condo...

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Beneficiary

This is the person who benefits from the terms of a trust, a will, an RRSP, a RRIF, a LIF, an annuity or a life insurance policy. In relation to RRSP's, RRIF's, LIF's, Annuities and of course life insurance, if the beneficiary is a spouse, parent, offspring or grand-child, they are considered to be a preferred beneficiary. If the insured has named a preferred beneficiary, the death benefit is invariably protected from creditors. There have been some court challenges of this right of protection but so far they have been unsuccessful. See "Creditor Protection" below. A beneficiary under the age of 18 must be represented by an individual guardian over the age of 18 or a public official who represents minors generally. A policy owner may, in the designation of a beneficiary, appoint someone to act as trustee for a minor. Death benefits are not subject to income taxes. If you make your beneficiary your estate, the death benefit will be included in your assets for probate. Probate filing fees are currently $14 per thousand of estate value in British Columbia and $15 per thousand of estate value in Ontario.
Another way to avoid probate fees or creditor claims against life insurance proceeds is for the insured person to designate and register with his/her insurance company's head office an irrevocable beneficiary. By making such a designation, the insured gives up the right to make any changes to his/her policy without the consent of the irrevocable beneficiary. Because of the seriousness of the implications, an irrevocable designation should only be made for good reason and where the insured fully understands the consequences.
NoteA successful challenge of the rules relating to beneficiaries was concluded in an Ontario court in 1996. The Insurance Act says its provisions relating to beneficiaries are made "notwithstanding the Succession Law Reform Act." There are two relevent provisions of the Succession Law Reform Act. One section of the act gives a judge the power to make any order concerning an estate if the deceased person has failed to provide for a dependant. Another section says money from a life insurance policy can be considered part of the estate if an order is made to support a dependant. In the case in question, the deceased had attempted to deceive his lawful dependents by making his common-law-spouse the beneficiary of an insurance policy which by court order was supposed to name his ex-spouse and children as beneficiaries.


Contingent Beneficiary

This is the person designated to receive the death benefit of a life insurance policy if the primary beneficiary dies before the life insured. This is a consideration when husband and wife make each other the beneficiary of their coverage. Should they both die in the same car accident or plane crash, the death benefits would go to each others estate and creditor claims could be made against them. Particularly if minor children could be survivors, then a trustee contingent beneficiary should be named.


Deemed Disposition

Under certain circumstances, taxation rules assume that a transfer of property has occurred, even though there has not been an actual purchase or sale. This could happen upon death or transfer of ownership.


Grace Period

A specific period of time after a premium payment is due during which the policy owner may make a payment, and during which, the protection of the policy continues. The grace period usually ends in 30 days.


Child Insurance Rider (CIR)

Insurance or insurability provided on current or future children of insured.


Equity-based insurance

Life insurance or annuity product in which the cash value and benefit level fluctuate according to the performance of an equity portfolio.



Level Premium

A premium that remains unchanged throughout the life of a policy


Debt ratios

Also called debt-to-income ratio. It is the percentage of a person's monthly earnings used to pay off debt obligations. Lenders consider two ratios, constructed in slightly different ways. The first, called the front-end ratio, is the ratio of the monthly housing expenses -- including principal, interest, property taxes and insurance (PITI) is compared to the borrower's gross pretax monthly income. In the back-end ratio, a borrower's other debts, such as auto loans and credit cards, are also figured in. Lenders usually take both into account and set an acceptable ratio, which might be expressed as 33/39. Some lenders, and some lending qualifying agencies such as FHA, take only the back-end ratio into account.


Title insurance

Insurance that protects against loss from disputes over ownership of a property. A policy may protect the mortgage lender, the home buyer, or both.


Tray ceiling

A flat ceiling with a raised center portion.


Anchor Bolt

Bolt to secure a wooden sill plate to concrete, masonry floor or wall.


Foil-Faced Vapor Retarder

Created by coating a foil-backed paper with a thin layer of asphalt adhesive. The coated side of the foil-backed paper is then applied to the un-faced insulation material. The asphalt adhesive bonds the foil-backed paper and the insulation together.


Grade

Ground level, or the elevation at any given point. Also the work of leveling dirt. Also the designated quality of a manufactured piece of wood.


High Voltage System

See Electricity.


HVAC

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning.


 

 

 

 

 



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