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Collapsing an RRSP after Death

If the surviving spouse or common-law partner is:

  • the sole beneficiary of the RRSP, as specified in the RRSP contract, the RRSP continues and the spouse or common-law partner becomes the successor annuitant. All annuity payments made after the date the annuitant died become payable to the spouse or common-law partner;
  • the beneficiary of the estate, the spouse or common-law partner and legal representative can jointly elect in writing to treat amounts the RRSP paid to the estate as being paid to the spouse or common-law partner.

    The surviving spouse or common-law partner must attach a copy of the written election to his or her return. The election has to specify that the surviving spouse or common-law partner is electing to become the annuitant of the RRSP. If such an election is made, no T4RSP slip will be issued in the name of the estate even if the estate received the amounts.

The T4RSP slip is issued in the name of, and is to be reported by the surviving spouse or common-law partner. The amount will be shown in box 16 of the T4RSP.

For all other beneficiaries

The fair market value of the property the RRSP held at the time of the annuitant's death is included in the deceased annuitant's income for the year of death.

The amount reported on the deceased annuitant's final return may be reduced if, at the time of death, you were a financially dependent child or grandchild of the annuitant, and an amount is paid from the RRSP to you or to the estate of which you are a beneficiary. For deaths that occurred before 1999, this only applies if there was no surviving spouse (according to the definition of this term in 1999 or earlier) at the time of death.

The T4RSP slip is issued in the name of the deceased annuitant and the income has to be reported on the deceased annuitant's return. The amount will be shown in box 34 of the T4RSP.

For more information, see Information Sheet RC4177, Death of an RRSP Annuitant, and Form T2019, Death of an RRSP Annuitant - Refund of Premiums.

When the beneficiary receives income earned in the RRSP after the annuitant dies, a T4RSP slip is issued in the name of, and is to be reported by the beneficiary. The amount will be shown in box 28 of the T4RSP.

When the estate receives income earned in the RRSP after the annuitant dies, a T4RSP slip is issued in the name of, and is to be reported by the estate. The amount will be shown in box 28 of the T4RSP.

Transfer to the surviving spouse or common-law partner (named as beneficiary in the RRSP contract)

All of the property from the RRSP does not have to be included in the deceased annuitant's income for the year of death, if he or she had a spouse or common-law partner at the time of death and both the following conditions are met:

  • the spouse or common-law partner is named in the RRSP contract as the sole beneficiary of the RRSP; and
  • the spouse or common-law partner instructs the RRSP issuer to transfer before December 31 of the year following the year of death all the RRSP property directly to his or her own RRSP.

The T4RSP slip is issued in the name of, and is to be reported by the surviving spouse or common-law partner. The amount will be shown in box 18 of the T4RSP. The spouse or common-law partner will be eligible to claim a deduction on line 208 of his or her return.

If the amount is transferred to a RRIF or to an issuer to buy an eligible annuity, the deduction will be claimed on line 232 of the return.

For additional information, see Amounts paid from an RRSP or RRIF upon the death of an annuitant.

For all other situations

The fair market value of the property the RRSP held at the time of death is included in the deceased annuitant's income for the year of death.

The T4RSP slip is issued in the name of the deceased annuitant and the income has to be reported on his or her final return. The amount will be shown in box 34 of the T4RSP.

The amount reported on the deceased annuitant's final return may be reduced if:

  • at the time of death, the annuitant had a spouse or common-law partner to whom an amount is paid from the unmatured RRSP, or to the estate of which he or she is the beneficiary (the T4RSP slip is issued in the name of, and is to be reported by the surviving spouse or common-law partner, or estate. The amount will be shown in box 18 of the T4RSP); or
  • at the time of death, the annuitant had a financially dependent child or grandchild to whom an amount is paid from the unmatured RRSP, or to the estate of which he or she is a beneficiary. For deaths that occurred before 1999, this only applies if there was no surviving spouse (according to the definition of this term in 1999 or earlier) at the time of death. The T4RSP slip is issued in the name of, and is to be reported by the child, grandchild or estate. The amount will be shown in box 28 of the T4RSP.

    For more information, see Information Sheet RC4177, Death of an RRSP Annuitant, and Form T2019, Death of an RRSP Annuitant - Refund of Premiums.

When the beneficiary receives income earned in the RRSP after the annuitant dies, a T4RSP slip is issued in the name of, and is to be reported by the beneficiary. The amount will be shown in box 28 of the T4RSP.

When the estate receives income earned in the RRSP after the annuitant dies, a T4RSP slip is issued in the name of, and is to be reported by the estate. The amount will be shown in box 28 of the T4RSP.

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