September 2019

Most people know that by naming beneficiaries for their life insurance policies, RRSP’s, RRIF’s and TFSA’s, the proceeds of these assets on their deaths fall outside their estates, avoiding probate fees.

A better alternative for TFSA’s is to name your spouse as a successor holder. This allows the TFSA proceeds on your death to pass directly to your spouse’s TFSA. If you name your spouse as the beneficiary, there’s no direct transfer of your TFSA to your spouse’s TFSA. A form has to be filed with CRA, and any gains from the time of your death until the proceeds are transferred to your spouse’s TFSA are taxable.
You should contact your investment advisor and check if you’ve named your spouse as a successor holder.

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