You can change the beneficiary information in the contract and notify the financial institution that manages your retirement account, or indicate your decision in your will.
Retirement funds are the most heavily taxed because they are added to your final tax return as taxable income. A person who has $100,000 in their RRSP or RRIF will have that amount added to their income for the year of their death, and it will be taxed at the highest marginal rate. However, when a charity is designated as beneficiary of a registered plan, the official receipt issued by the registered plan and covering the full amount transferred may offset the tax.
- When plan assets are directly designated, they do not go into the estate and are therefore not subject to probate fees (these do not exist in Quebec). In addition, your estate will receive a tax credit.
- This is an effective way to avoid a tax bill and preserve the value of funds.
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