The tax implications of RRSP and RRIF withdrawals can be costly. RRSPs and RRIFs are among the most heavily taxed assets in an estate settlement scenario.
Depending on what your financial situation is, it may be beneficial to consider donating your RRSPs or RRIFs, in whole or in part, upon your death or during your lifetime.
Gifting at death (RRSPs/RRIFs)
It is important to note that, in Quebec, a charitable organization can be designated as an RRSP or RRIF beneficiary only through the donor’s will or life insurance policy, as opposed to other Canadian provinces, where this can be done directly in the RRSP/RRIF forms.
If you wish to leave your RRSPs or RRIFs or the balance thereof to a charity, it is essential that this be indicated explicitly in your will.
Gifting before death (RRIFs)
Any RRSPs you hold must be converted into a RRIF by December 31 of the year in which you turn 71. Mandatory RRIF withdrawals must then be made every year, and these amounts are subject to the same taxes as RRSP withdrawals.
Most people use RRIFs to meet their living expenses in their retirement years. But for others, this source of revenue is not only unnecessary, it actually adds to their taxable income and can even keep them from enjoying other tax benefits. If this situation applies to you, you may wish to consider making arrangements to donate your RRIF withdrawals.
Tax receipts for these donations will allow you to realize significant tax savings.
Suggested procedure for donating a RRIF or RRSP to the HEC Montréal Foundation
Gift upon death: :
If your RRSP or RRIF is not tied to a life insurance product
Make sure your will includes a clause naming the HEC Montréal Foundation as a full or partial beneficiary of your RRSPs or RRIFs.
Designate the HEC Montréal Foundation as a contingent beneficiary of your RRSP or RRIF, so that the specified assets revert to the Foundation only after the death of your spouse.
If your RRSP or RRIF is tied to a life insurance product
Designate the HEC Montréal Foundation as the beneficiary (or contingent beneficiary) of your RRSPs or RRIFs in the required forms and documents.
The HEC Montréal Foundation does not provide financial or legal advice. The examples used here are for illustrative purposes only. Please consult your financial or legal advisor to ensure that the selected donation option takes into account your specific circumstances as well as all applicable legal and tax implications.
Questions about planned giving?
Mireille Lafond HEC 1979 Major and Planned Gifts Director