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Named beneficaries on RRSP and TFSA accounts
March 4, 2021
12:08 pm
Loonie
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If there is a TFSA, and it is in one of those Big Bank accounts that pay virtually no interest, it will not likely appear on Notice of Assessment. The interest accumulated after death will be negligible.

March 4, 2021
1:02 pm
Bill
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The NOA shows no information about any banks accounts, it just shows info about the filed tax return.

March 4, 2021
1:25 pm
Londonguy
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Norman1 said
I don't think the registered plans could be kept secret.

If there was a $200,000 RRIF that was collapsed on death, there would be a $50,000 to $100,000 income tax bill for the estate. Those will beneficiaries who are entitled to the estate's residue would have a right to some accounting for receiving $50,000 to $100,000 less.

I don't know how vague the executor could be in that accounting. Could he or she just reply "because of miscellaneous income taxes"?  

Maybe in Ontario it's a matter of practice rather than a legal requirement?

FWIW from my own personal experience, I was never provided with an accounting of the gross value or the amount of income taxes paid in connection with my mother's RRIF balance when she passed in late 2018. I was only provided with a figure that was net of taxes which appeared as part of the list of estate assets available for distribution to the beneficiaries.

Also FWIW I was similarly not apprised of the cost of my mother's funeral. Apparently she had an insurance policy that was supposed to be for that purpose, and the co-executors used it as such. Since neither the insurance proceeds nor the funeral expenditures were included in the final estate accounting provided by the lawyer, I still have no idea whether they over or underspent on the funeral arrangements.

Not that I'm likely to open up that can of worms now, but did I only get the Cole's Notes version of the estate? I kind of ballparked the RRIF gross/net in my head based upon the limited information I had from my sibs, and it seemed to be within the realm of reasonable, but I never got hard numbers

March 4, 2021
6:30 pm
Loonie
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My limited experience was that the accounting in the estate lacked details I would have thought necessary and some of it was highly questionable, although no registered plans involved - and that was with lawyers, not relatives, as executors!

One does have the right, at least in Ontario, to decline to sign off on the executors' work prior to the passing of accounts, which I did - not that it made any difference.

March 4, 2021
11:24 pm
Norman1
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Londonguy said

Not that I'm likely to open up that can of worms now, but did I only get the Cole's Notes version of the estate? I kind of ballparked the RRIF gross/net in my head based upon the limited information I had from my sibs, and it seemed to be within the realm of reasonable, but I never got hard numbers

Yes, it sounds like you only got the "abbreviated" version of the accounting. However, you may not have been legally entitled to more.

My understanding is that the estate is not an open book to the beneficiaries. What the beneficiaries have a right to is what the will gives them. If the will doesn't give beneficiaries the right to monthly reports on its affairs, then the executor is not obliged to provide monthly updates.

If the funeral funding details doesn't affect my bequests under the will, then I'm not going have any legal right to pry into those details.

March 5, 2021
3:16 am
Loonie
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The beneficiaries are entitled to verification that what they got is what they were entitled to. This can involve more than the will.

If Joe's will said that his daughter Josephine was to get 50% of his estate, then she will want to know that the amounts deducted for disbursements etc are justified because they affect the dollar amount of her share. If the estate is $120,000 and the costs are $20,000, then Josephine will get $50,000. But if she examines the bookkeeping and believes too much was deducted for purposes that are not valid, then the costs might drop to $14,000 and her share would then be $53,000.

The exception would be for beneficiaries who were awarded a specific dollar amount and received it.
If Joe left Josephine the sum of
$30,000, while her siblings Jody and Johnny each were awarded $40,000, for a total of $110,000 and they received it, they would have no claim to see the books.
But if the executor claimed there wasn't enough money left in the estate to pay out the promised $110,000, then they would be entitled to see the books.

Therefore the beneficiary has a right to examine the books in detail and to contest them. That's what happens if beneficiaries won't sign off to say they got what they were owed; then it goes to court because the executors can't close the file.

How else are beneficiaries and their lawyers supposed to know if they were treated right?

It is not unheard-of for there to be zero in the estate with which to pay the beneficiaries. They would certainly want to know why.

My opinion. I am not a lawyer.

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