Saturday, June 16, 2018

What happens in year of death

11:20 AM


Question:

It would be helpful to understand in some detail what the Retireware processing and assumptions are for the year of death. This is particularly so in the case of death of one spouse years before the other in a joint plan. I haven't come across this documented anywhere, and am having some difficulty interpreting our plan results.

There seem to be a range of options in the real world, particularly for the registered funds, which can be transferred to the surviving spouse without taxation.

I guess one approach for the program, the most conservative case, is to handle the death of one individual as an independent event - the remaining balance of registered funds are liquidated and the full value taxed, and the non-registered investments are liquidated and the realized capital gains taxed. The total resulting after tax value can then be handled in a variety of ways.

Then if by will and/or legal requirement some or all of that remainder is left to the surviving spouse, then that amount can be explicitly added by the user (ie me) back into the estate of surviving spouse as special case income.

In any event once I better understand what the program is assuming then I can do whatever is necessary to handle the numbers as per the will and estate plan.

Answer:

It's as you describe, on the first death, registered and locked-in funds flow tax-free to the surviving spouse. For non-registered funds and property other than the personal residence, the after-tax value goes to the surviving spouse. So it's assuming that the spouse leaves everything to his/her surviving spouse. There is no option in the program to allocate a portion of the estate currently.

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