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How do I name a beneficiary to my WealthBar accounts?

They say only two things in life are certain: death and taxes. And of course, most of us would like to ensure that when we die, most of our assets go to loved ones, not to taxes.

That’s why naming a beneficiary to your account is critical. If you were to pass away without naming a beneficiary, all of your assets would become part of your estate and would be subject to applicable estate taxes. Find out more about the importance of naming a beneficiary here.

In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about designating beneficiaries on your eligible registered WealthBar accounts. 

How do I name a beneficiary or successor to my WealthBar account?

You can assign beneficiaries to your account fully online. Simply login to your WealthBar account through a web browser (on desktop or mobile), and click on your name at the top right corner. 

You’ll find the Beneficiaries feature under My Profile, which will guide you through the process of naming beneficiaries to all of your eligible accounts.

Once you’ve named beneficiaries to your account, we’ll keep those details on record indefinitely, or until you decide to update them.

What accounts are eligible for beneficiary designations?

The following accounts are eligible:

  • RRSP, Spousal RRSP (including group plans)
  • TFSA
  • RRIF, Spousal RRIF
  • LIRA
  • LIF

Other account types should be considered through your estate planning and will. 

Definitions

What is a successor?

If you have a TFSA or RRIF, you can name your spouse or common-law partner as your successor. When you pass, a successor can take control of the account directly as the annuitant, allowing the money to remain within the registered plan.

What is a beneficiary?

A beneficiary can be anyone you choose to name (including your own estate) to receive the proceeds of the account upon your passing. Money is paid out of the registered plan. In the case of retirement accounts, withholding taxes may apply.

What is a contingent beneficiary?

In the case where a beneficiary or successor is not living at the time of your passing, the proceeds will be divided equally to the Contingent Beneficiaries listed when you designate beneficiaries through your WealthBar account.

If you do not want the proceeds to be divided equally among your contingent beneficiaries, and instead wish to assign specific percentages of the proceeds to various recipients, then you’ll need to fill out a Beneficiary and Contingent Beneficiary Designation form and mail it to WealthBar:

#490 - 1122 Mainland Street
Vancouver, BC, V6B 5L1

Do I need to provide the SIN of my successors and designated beneficiaries?

This is not required, but is recommended as it does help with identifying the beneficiary after you have passed.

I’ve made a typo. What should I do?

No worries! Simply go back to the Beneficiaries feature under My Profile. You can click Change to imitate a new form, and we’ll keep the most recent copy on record.

How can I get a copy of my beneficiary form once I’ve completed the details?

You’ll be able to view and download a copy of your Beneficiary form in the Documents section under the Other tab. Look for the form called Beneficiary Designation.

Do I need to include this in my will?

Beneficiary forms will take priority over the instructions in your Last Will and Testament. However, you should ensure that your will has the same instructions to avoid that aspect of your estate goals being contested.

Does the beneficiary form need to be notarized?

No.

Do I need a witness for this document?

No.

I live in Quebec, can I complete this form?

If you live in Quebec, you are not eligible to complete the Beneficiary form. Consult provincial rules for estates.

I live in another country, what happens to my assets?

That depends on a number of factors, such as your tax residency and estate laws in the country where you pass away. We recommend that you still have a Canadian Last Will and Testament. We also recommend speaking with an Estate Planner in your country of Residence.

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