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Adding beneficiaries to your registered accounts

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.

  • SwitchArrow Adding beneficiaries

    When you open a registered account at Questrade, you have the option of naming a successor annuitant and/or beneficiaries during the account opening application or late on.
    If you have a:You can name:
    TFSA One successor annuitant and/or beneficiaries
    RRIF or RIF One successor annuitant and/or beneficiaries
    RRSP Beneficiaries
    LIRA Beneficiaries
    LIFBeneficiaries
    RESPUnlike other registered accounts, the funds are not distributed when you die. The amount is paid to the account’s beneficiary when your child attends a qualified post-secondary education program

    Click on the account type to download the beneficiary/successor application. The completed and signed form must be mailed to us: 5700 Yonge Street, Unit G1 (Ground Floor), Toronto, ON M2M 4K2.

  • SwitchArrow Important to know

    Here are some important things to know about successors/beneficiaries:
    • Due to provincial regulations, a beneficiary/successor cannot be designated for any registered account (aside from the RESP) if the client resides in Quebec. As well, contingent/secondary beneficiaries cannot be named on Questrade beneficiary forms
    • You can’t name beneficiaries or successor annuitants in margin or cash as these type of accounts are automatically distributed with accordance to the account holders will
    • If you don’t designate either a beneficiary or successor, your registered investments will be sold off and added to your estate to be distributed through your will
    • RESP accounts have a completely different process to add beneficiaries.
    • You can’t name your spouse or common-law partner as both your successor and beneficiary for the same account

    If your life circumstances change, such as getting married, divorced, or having children, review the information you originally set up to ensure your designations are still appropriate

    This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as tax advice. For any questions, you should speak with a tax or estate planning professional.

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The information contained in this website is for information purposes only and should not be used or construed as financial or investment advice by any individual. Information obtained from third parties is believed to be reliable, but no representations or warranty, expressed or implied is made by Questrade, Inc., its affiliates or any other person to its accuracy.

Questrade Wealth Management Inc. (QWM) and Questrade, Inc. are wholly owned subsidiaries of Questrade Financial Group Inc. Questrade, Inc. is a registered investment dealer, a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), the benefits of which are limited to the activities undertaken by Questrade, Inc. QWM is not a member of IIROC or the CIPF.

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