Though Canada doesn’t have any “death taxes,” taxes on your estate, including your Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) and Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs), can really add up. With a good estate plan you can keep those taxes at a minimum.

Follow these helpful tips and you’ll keep the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) from being your biggest and happiest beneficiary!

  • Leave capital property that has gone up a lot in value to your spouse.

  • Name your spouse as beneficiary of your RRSPs and RRIFs.

  • Leave your children or grandchildren cash or property that has not gone up a lot in value.

  • Use the principal residence exemption to leave your vacation property to your children without triggering a capital gain.

  • Give away capital property while you’re still alive if you have a capital loss to offset any capital gain

  • Donate money to charity in your will.

  • Make sure your will gives your executor power to use your unused RRSP contributions to make a contribution to your spouse’s RRSP.

  • Give your executor enough information to make use of any unused capital losses when you die.