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TFSA Beneficiary designation
July 4, 2013
11:54 pm
gomi
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I'd like to designate a beneficiary for my TFSA, but I can't seem to find any forms to fill out for Peoples Trust.

I emailed to ask for a form, but was told to just send the information to them by mail or email. Seeing as how it is a formal designation, it seems like a bad idea for me to just write, "Hi, I'd like my beneficiary to be ".

Has anyone made the designation for a Peoples Trust account?

July 5, 2013
9:20 am
kanaka
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Hi, I cannot help you with People's as I do not deal with them. But I do deal with Accelerate and Outlook Financial and they both offer beneficiary forms. It is part of the process to open TFSA accounts with them. It is like mandatory. The thing I liked about Accelerate I was able to make my wife beneficiary and then my daughters.

July 5, 2013
9:52 am
gomi
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I'm quite surprised that Peoples does not have an official form. I asked again, and I have been told to simply email the information to them--no signature required. I don't see how those instructions would stand in legally with no signature, and no form to fill out with the correct declaration statements and information on them.

I was also not given any direction as to what to send them. Typically the information is a name, address, date of birth, relationship, SIN number, etc. If I missed one of these in my email would that invalidate the whole designation (if it was even valid to begin with?). For TFSAs, I believe that you cab also provide a successor holder for the account in addition to beneficiaries.

Has anyone with Peoples actually designated beneficiaries/successor holders for TFSA accounts?

July 5, 2013
10:17 am
GS1
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gomi said

I'm quite surprised that Peoples does not have an official form. I asked again, and I have been told to simply email the information to them--no signature required.

[snip]

This may well be their process. But, if I were to follow it I would be ensuring I would be getting a confirming letter or notation on my statement before I actually did the designation.

Greg

July 5, 2013
4:43 pm
BSGJ
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July 7, 2013
8:18 am
kanaka
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BSGJ said

Please follow the link below:

https://www.peoplestrust.com/purchaseadeposit/switchme.php

All of my beneficiary forms were signed by me and witnessed. This seems to be loose.

October 21, 2013
8:15 am
Loonie
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I opened a TFSA at Peoples last July. At that time, there was a place online which was part of the sign-up where you could make the designation - which I did.
However, I have no confirmation of this from them. The form was not the kind that you could print out and keep a copy. Their "welcome" package was extremely skimpy and did not include any reference to this designation.
It does seem a bit sloppy at best, to not offer any confirmation. I figure they'll be lowering their daily rate sometime in the next year or two, and then I'll probably want to move the account anyway, or perhaps I'll figure out a better investment sooner than that.
Then I can start all over again and insist on confirmation before I send the money.

October 21, 2013
12:04 pm
Deb
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Loonie,
I had the same concern and recently contacted them requesting some official documentation regarding my TFSA beneficiaries. This would be required for estate planning purposes. They are sending this along. I agree that this kind of documentation should be provided automatically.
Deb

October 21, 2013
6:58 pm
Loonie
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Thanks, Deb,
PT must be listening in! - I emailed today asking for confirmation and received a signed note by attachment already, to be followed by hard copy snail mail.
Very efficient, and meets my needs.sf-smile
I still think, and I'm sure others would agree, that this should be automatic in future - and probably will be.

Loonie

October 22, 2013
7:38 am
GS1
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It is the kind of information I would like to see on my monthly statement.

GS

October 22, 2013
8:20 pm
Loonie
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In your dreams! (inclusion in monthly statement).
This reminds me of a problem with an RRSP that I have at TD. It's not an investment account with Waterhouse, just a simple bank RRSP. I opened it many years ago, and designated my husband as the beneficiary. TD now tells me that I didn't designate anyone. There is no question but that I did this; I am 100% positive. It was so long ago though that it may take me some time to find the original. Let this be a warning to others - banks can "lose" your beneficiary forms and info. I think this happens sometimes when they change computer systems. It's a sobering thought in a week where ScotiaBank made the news for failing to transfer the RRSP funds from a deceased spouse to the surviving husband, even though nobody questioned the designation and the bank assured him it was being done. They missed the rather lengthy deadline and the man got dinged big time for tax. Under pressure from journalists, Scotiabank has now recanted and refunded, but other people are popping up with the same complaint. I guess the moral of the story is that this is an area that will require ongoing vigilance, which can be especially difficult when a spouse dies and the widow(er) is old.

October 22, 2013
8:52 pm
Deb
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Very good point, Loonie!
I couldn't tell you right now where the original documents for my RRSP are either.
It's a good reminder to confirm beneficiary information with our financial institutions and make sure we have written documentation of same for our own records.

Also, one has to remember to update beneficiaries if life circumstances change.
I realized last year that I had never changed the beneficiary of an old insurance policy from my ex-husband to my children, which should have been done years ago.

October 23, 2013
6:58 am
GS1
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Most people's financial record keeping is less than optimal. Mine is better than many but still is not 100%.

I have Excel spreadsheets for:

Credit and Other Cards - details account numbers, expiry dates, contact numbers, location of card, and purpose of account. It includes ANY card with a number on it, provincial hospitalization, drivers license, store loyalty cards, etc. This was originally used to "locate" cards that were not where I expected them to be and to record the movement of cards from wallet to vault and reverse when I was traveling out of country.

Financial Records for "spouse" - details account numbers, contact numbers, type of account, purpose of account, payment dates, payment types (cheque to be mailed, paid on Internet, autopay at due date by creditor, etc). Primarily used so my wife could find our money when I was unable to help her. (We've had many knowledge transfer sessions but she is less than interested and things change more often than either of use would like.)

Emergency contact numbers - primarily used when traveling and includes every number I can imagine might be needed, including lawyer, funeral director, close relatives (helpful at times of stress to not have to remember anything), Foreign Affairs Canada, home, car and travel insurance policy numbers and contacts, passport numbers, etc.

and Word documents for:

In the event of the death or incapacity of "either of us" - details all the steps to be taken to get from day 1 of death or incapacity, and includes critical things like financial services notifications and mundane things like arranging for snow removal or grass cutting. Basically it tries to be a knowledge dump of me when I am not able to do it in person.

Medical History - details all medications taken with dosages and frequency, as well as major surgeries, contact lenses solutions and eye glass prescription details. (Basically, answers any question a critical care staff member might ask.)

None of these documents are ever 100% up to date but they are a work in progress and are better than nothing.

Our passports, drivers licenses, car registrations and Powers of Attorney are all stored as PDF documents in the cloud. One could also mail them to ones self if one were concerned about cloud storage. Just be able to get at them.

I hope this spurs at least one other person to start their own record keeping.

GS

October 25, 2013
1:19 pm
Loonie
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Yikes, I don't know whether to be more IMpressed (with GS's organizational skills) or DEpressed (at what lies ahead of me!)
Trying to get organized with finances is one of the reasons I joined this site.
Just to complete my original story, the hard copy of my successor info arrived in the mail today. It's minimalist but should do the job.

October 26, 2013
8:43 am
GS1
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Loonie:

My spreadsheets didn't happen all at once.

The first one (credit and other cards) was started as my wife and I were continually debating which of her cards she had and which had she given to me for storage in our fireproof safe. Two columns - card name and location. Then I added card number. Then I added card expiry date. Then I added the three digit security code off the back so I could use the card without having to go get it out of the vault.

The next sheet was probably "emergency numbers" for when we were travelling. Again, the first iteration was just contact name and number. Next I added columns for toll free and direct numbers. Then addresses for hotels where we were staying. Then credit card numbers for the "lost card" numbers. Every trip I discover some additional piece of info I need and add it to the next trip's sheet. Last year I added a column for "recurring data" (same hotels, credit card companies, etc.) and "one time data" (different condo owner from previous year, different hotel, etc). I keep a "master" list and sort it by that column and delete "stale" data before I print it. That way, if I stay at a condo this time that I had previously stayed at, the data is still in the sheet.

It is a daunting task to try to replicate what I have done. It needs to be started for your needs. My way works for me, but isn't the "only" way.

Ask yourself, "what is the most important data I need to capture?" and then build a tiny sheet to answer that. Once you are started you will discover it is easy to add to an existing body of work.

GS

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