The importance of a beneficiary designation - a true story.

Our time is pulled in every direction: kids, work, bills, gym, spouse, friends…and listing your beneficiaries.

Ok, maybe you don't feel the pull of making sure your beneficiaries are properly listed on all your investment accounts, but you should.

As much as we try to assist in setting up your beneficiaries, regulators require that the plan holder (you) complete this step. I know some of you are tired of me talking about beneficiaries, but let me tell you a true story…

A wonderful couple that we have dealt with for years failed to add their beneficiaries after many reminders to do so. They each had a TFSA as well as a joint account. Sadly, the wife passed away not long ago and her TFSA held most of the family money. Because she failed to list a beneficiary the account was frozen until probate was completed. Even though she listed her husband as the beneficiary to the estate in her will, the estate had to go through probate before the TFSA assets could be released to the husband.

You can imagine the stress this caused and more importantly an unnecessary delay in receiving the money. The average probate can take 10-12 months in BC and some take much longer depending on complexity. This process is not necessary – but you must take action to list your beneficiaries.

We are here to help walk you through the process and guide you with who should be listed as your beneficiaries from a tax perspective. Mixed families, different types of accounts, no spouse and many other situations will change who should be listed. Let us help you get your beneficiaries listed.

If you have a Wealthsimple account with us and are not sure if you have a beneficiary listed, you can check by logging into your account (on a computer) and clicking on your name in the top right corner. Then click on setting, and then on beneficiaries along the top middle area of the page.

Here are a few videos to assist in adding, removing or changing a beneficiary in Wealthsimple:

Adding a Beneficiary - https://soapbox.wistia.com/videos/XP3NyTCOqq

Adding a TFSA Beneficiary - https://soapbox.wistia.com/videos/JZE81d2sbs

Update or Delete a Beneficiary - https://soapbox.wistia.com/videos/PJtP3KwgLt

If your accounts are not with Wealthsimple and you are unsure if you have listed a beneficiary, please call Tammy at the office and she will confirm for you.

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