TFSA contribution room calculator + MORE Mar 4th

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6 times when a GIC is a smart investment choice + MORE Mar 13th

A guaranteed investment certificate (GIC) may seem like your grandfather’s kind of savings product. After all, his generation was fond of similar investment tools, like government savings bonds and treasury bills, and benefited from periods where interest rates were high enough to make these low-r.... More »

What Does Silicon Valley Bank’s Collapse Mean for Canadians? Mar 25th

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, or SVB, earlier this month has been sending shockwaves throughout North America’s tech and banking industries. The lender, based in Santa Clara, Calif., had clients that included start-ups like HR and payment firm Rippling and major tech companies like Roku. It.... More »

Are your deposits at Canadian financial institutions safe? Mar 21st

Ask MoneySense We live in Ontario, and in light of the current banking problems in the U.S., we are a bit concerned about our investments. They are held at three different banks at the moment and are largely in GICs and high-interest savings accounts. We are aware that up to $100,000 is insure.... More »
Ask MoneySense
I carry a lot of credit card debt and haven’t made a dent in my mortgage. I’m in my 60s, and I’m starting to think about next steps for my family. After I die, will my family inherit my debt?—Terry

Thanks for your question, Terry. You’re definitely not alone in worrying about how your loved ones will be affected if you die with outstanding loans or while carrying a balance on your credit card.

We’ll walk through exactly what happens to your debts when you die, including credit card debt, mortgages and co-borrowed debt. Then we’ll explore ways to mitigate the burden these debts might have on you and your family.

Who’s responsible for debt after death?

Is debt passed on to family members like real estate or heirlooms? The answer depends on a few factors, like the amount of debt you have, who’s listed on the accounts, and your insurance coverage.

After death, debts generally fall to the estate. If you have a will, your executor will create an inventory of your assets (cash, investments, real estate, etc…

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Find out your current tax-free savings account (TFSA) contribution limit by using this calculator.

Tax-free savings account is a bit of a misnomer. While you can use it for straightforward savings, think of it more accurately as an investment holding account to store things like exchange-traded funds (ETFs), guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), bonds, stocks and, yes, plain old cash. While you do have to abide by the set amount of contribution room each year, any growth you earn on those investments will not affect your contribution room for the current year or years to come. Plus, the income earned is tax-free (more on that below). Any resident of Canada who is 18 or older and has a valid social insurance number can open a TFSA.

Is a TFSA really tax-free?

TFSA contributions won’t reduce your taxable income and generate a tax refund, unlike registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) contributions. (If you haven’t maxed out your RRSP, get on that before the deadline)…

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