Registered accounts deliver many benefits. One of the many benefits is the ability to add a successor annuitant and/or one or more beneficiaries to your accounts. Not only is this easy and free to do, but it also ensures your assets are passed along to your loved ones.
Depending on the type of registered accounts you hold and your marital status, you can either name a successor annuitant and/or beneficiaries.
A successor annuitant is someone who becomes the new owner of your registered accounts after you pass away. Only your spouse or common-law partner can be named a successor annuitant for your registered accounts.
After taking ownership of the account (once the account holder passes away), the spouse or common-law partner can transfer all or a portion of the investments into their own registered accounts of the same type of request to receive a cash payout instead. If the successor annuitant does decide to transfer the investments to their own registered account, it won’t affect their own contribution limit. If you don’t have a spouse or common-law partner at the moment, you cannot name a successor annuitant, but you can designate beneficiaries.
With beneficiaries, you can list multiple people or organizations in your registered accounts, and it can be anyone you choose (Your spouse, children, a trust, a charity, etc.). You get to specify the account should be allocated (in percentage) to each of your beneficiaries.
As part of the account de-registration, we sell the investments, close the account, and send the proceeds to the beneficiaries. If they deposit the money into a registered account of their own, their contribution limit still applies. If you name a beneficiary under 18 years old, you need to also name a trustee who can manage these funds until the beneficiary reaches the age of majority in the province they live in.
Successor annuitants take precedence over beneficiaries if they are both living at the time of the account holder’s death. And, remember, you can’t name your spouse or common-law partner as both your successor and beneficiary for the same account.