Q&A: TFSA beneficiaries

Question: How does survivorship affect the TFSA, if you include children and spouse as beneficiaries in the TFSA account or through a will? Are there any probate fees to be paid? – Philip L.

Gordon Pape answers: Succession laws are governed by the provinces so the situation will depend on where you live. However, in all provinces except Quebec you can now designate a spouse/partner as a successor account holder, which you should do. This ensures the assets in a TFSA will pass to the spouse/partner without having to wait for the estate to be settled and with no probate fees. Do not designate your spouse and children as joint beneficiaries as that could create some legal problems.

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