Your RRSP/RRIF – and increasingly, your TFSA – may represent a significant part of your eventual estate. The distribution of these accounts to your beneficiaries should be made effectively, both in terms of tax efficiency and ease of transition. Helpfully, you are permitted to designate beneficiaries in the plan documentation for these accounts (except if you live in Quebec) or name beneficiaries in your will.
Your preferred beneficiary may be a spouse, child or grandchild (adult or minor; independent, dependent or disabled), a non-resident, or another third-party. Each variation has its own important features.
You should discuss your options with your investment advisor and seek guidance from your qualified tax and legal advisors to reach a full understanding of your choices. We have provided articles to give you an introduction to Estate planning for your RRSP/RRIF and Estate planning for your TFSA.