Q&A: Passing on a TFSA

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Question: As my wife is 17 years younger than me, I’ve set up my RRIF payments based on her age as you recommend. However, I have concerns over the disposition of my TFSA in the event of my death.

We have both made maximum contributions each year and named the other as beneficiary. However, I understand that it is possible to designate a “successor” to pass a TFSA to and that appears to be more tax-advantageous.

My question is: how does one name or appoint a spouse as the successor? Via a will, or through some other mechanism? I’d very much appreciate your guidance on this. – Garry G., Lantzville BC

Gordon Pape answers: Just contact the financial institution that handles your TFSAs and ask for the appropriate forms to designate a successor holder. Do not name your wife as a beneficiary as well, which will only confuse the matter. Rescind that and make her the successor holder.

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