What happens to an RESP when you die?


ABCI have a number of clients who have young children; often, they own Registered Education Savings Plans to help with their children’s education when the time comes.

RESPs are different from other registered investments. Rather than being able to name a designated beneficiary, with an RESP, the money is solely owned by the parent or grandparent and falls into that person’s estate on their death. Without specific wording in your will, the RESP will essentially be collapsed, and you will lose all of the government grants that were put into it.

If you own an RESP for a child or grandchild, you should make sure that you have the right wording in your will to let the RESP be transferred to the child’s guardian to preserve the extra funding given to you. You saved and earned it; don’t let it go to waste.