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Q: I’m 81, single, female, with around $265,000 in a RRIF (invested in two different financial institutions, both mutual funds).  My withdrawal is about $12,000 a year.
How can I minimize tax payable (by my beneficiaries) at death?
— Lydia
A: The tax savings and deferral from contributing to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) can be a good thing. But in retirement, and on death, the tax payable on withdrawals from a registered account is an important tax and estate consideration.
As you may know, Lydia, a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) can be left on your death to a surviving spouse or common-law partner on a tax-deferred basis. In certain instances, a RRIF can also be left to a financially dependent child or grandchild. They must live with you, be dependent upon you, and have an income below the basic personal exemption in the year of your death. If these conditions apply, some or all of the value of your RRIF can be taxed on their tax return instead of having all of it taxed on your tax return…

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