Can you transfer mutual funds to your spouse on your death?
There are different ways to name a beneficiary for mutual funds and you should speak to the financial institution or registered investment firm where your account is held, and also speak to an estate lawyer so that you fully understand the best options for your estate.
If your mutual funds are held in a registered account, such as a Registered Retirement Savings Account (RRSP) or Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF), one option is to name your spouse as the “successor annuitant” on your RRSP or RRIF. If this is done the successor annuitant will take over the accounts and won’t have to make any changes to investments or incur any fees. If they are not named as “successor annuitant”, the accounts will be collapsed and investments sold. There may be some disadvantages to your spouse. Read more about RRSP annuitants from CRA.
If your mutual funds are in a non-registered account your options may be different and you should speak to the financial institution or registered financial advisor where your account is held for instructions on how to name a beneficiary. As mentioned above, you may wish to speak to an estate lawyer about these options so that you fully understand them.
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