Death, taxes and RRSPs

Three steps you can take to ease your heirs' tax burden

Deanne Gage 11 March, 2014 | 6:00PM

Another RRSP season has come and gone. While finding ways to increase contributions is usually top of mind, estate-planning strategies are also paramount for these plans. Upon death, our RRSPs are fully taxable on their fair market value, notes Frank Di Pietro, director of tax and estate planning at Mackenzie Investments. So, without planning, we could be adding significantly to our heirs' income and tax burden. "It doesn't take much to get into those top tax brackets, so trying to tax-shelter those RRSPs is really important," says Di Pietro.

Here are three steps Di Pietro recommends.

1. Pick up an RRSP designated-beneficiary form.

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About Author

Deanne Gage

Deanne Gage  Deanne Gage is a Toronto-based writer who has specialized in personal-finance issues since 1999. A recipient of several journalism awards, including one from the Investment Funds Institute of Canada, she is also a former editor of Advisor's Edge and Advisor.ca. She can be reached at deannegage@gmail.com.

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