Gifts of RRSPs and RRIFs

What it is:

Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) and Registered Retired Income Funds (RRIFs) often include family members or other significant loved ones as beneficiaries. However, if you are confident that your family is provided for, you can include a charity in your plans for the disbursement of the proceeds from your RRSP or RRIF.


  • simplicity (no legal documents or complicated trust arrangements are required)
  • a tax receipt for the full amount that is transferred to the charity (this may significantly reduce taxes due on the disposition of the RRSP/RRIF on the final tax return of the deceased)

How it Works:

  1. Notify the charity of your intention to donate the proceeds of your RRSP or RRIF to them.
  2. Designate the charity of your choice as beneficiary of your RRSP or RRIF.
  3. Upon your death, the money goes directly to the charity and does not pass through your estate, hence, it is not subject to probate fees.

Further Info:

There are several possibilities surrounding gifting the proceeds of RRSPs or RRIFs, which result in varying tax and estate planning implications. We recommend that you obtain advice from a professional accountant or estate planner before making a gift of retirement savings.