authorities pre-dating the Supreme Court of Canada’s decisions
in Soulos and Garland.
 Although it was not put this way in argument, a number
of these authorities might be explained on the basis of a theory
somewhat akin to the equitable assignment argument — namely
that there was a contractual arrangement which was tantamount to an irrevocable beneficiary designation, thereby effectively depriving the insured of any further ability to deal with
 Given the foregoing discussion, I believe that proposition
to be questionable at best. However, authorities such as
Shannon v. Shannon (1985), 50 O.R. (2d) 456,  O.J. No. 2501
(H.C.J.) may be open to that interpretation.
 Shannon is frequently referred to for the proposition that
courts are willing to override a beneficiary designation on the
basis of a prior contract. There, the deceased specifically agreed
in the prior separation agreement that he would continue to
name his former wife as beneficiary and agreed not to revoke
that beneficiary designation at any time in the future. He subse-
quently removed her as beneficiary, however, and named
his nephew and niece as revocable beneficiaries, without their
having provided any consideration for his act. McKinlay J.
(as she then was) held that the wife was entitled to the proceeds.
In an oft-cited passage, she said, at p. 461 O.R.:
The Insurance Act does not specifically preclude the existence of rights
outside its provisions. It would go against all conscience to hold that because
of the provisions cited, the plaintiff’s clear rights under an agreement with
her husband for good consideration can be taken away in favour of a niece
and nephew who have given no consideration for those rights.
The plaintiff is entitled to a declaration that the proceeds of the policy are
impressed with a trust in her favour.
 McKinlay J. did not say whether the trust she found
was express or constructive. Either might be inferred from her
analysis. An important factor in the case, however, was the fact
that the separation agreement provided that the wife’s designation would not be revoked (or, to put it positively, that it was to
be irrevocable). Here, we have no evidence suggesting that the
oral agreement contained such a stipulation.
 Bielny v. Dzwiekowski,  O.J. No. 1187,  I.L.R.
I-4018 (S.C.J.), affd  O.J. No. 508, 113 A.C.W.S. (3d) 525
(C.A.); and Fraser v. Fraser,  B.C.J. No. 1347, 16 R.F.L.
(4th) 112 (S.C.), at para. 18, could also be explained on the basis
that there was an agreement to name the plaintiff as an irrevocable beneficiary. That said, Shannon and Fraser v. Fraser predate the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Soulos —