One of the most challenging aspects of future planning is finding people to shepherd the plan far into the future. Therefore, it is not surprising that setting up an RDSP presents the same issue – who can help manage the financial aspects of the plan if help is needed? If you haven’t opened an RDSP yet, read on.
For those who need assistance in managing their finances, someone with the following qualities is required:
– The must know and care for you or your loved one
– They must know about RDSP’s
– They must be trustworthy
– They must be willing
– They must be a long term prospect
Finding the right person may be as easy as asking a sibling or as difficult as approaching an acquaintance or going to court. However, taking the time and care to do so provides both practical assistance in managing an RDSP asset and peace of mind in knowing that asset is in good hands.
Step 1: Get the facts!
The person who oversees an RDSP is called a holder. They are the RDSP’s shepherd. They oversee contributions, investments and payments.
The person who the RDSP is set up to assist is called the beneficiary.
There are three possibilities for a holder:
- The beneficiary is a child (17 years or younger) – Parents or legal guardians MUST be the holder until they are 18 and then parents MAY continue as the holder. If they are able, the beneficiary can become sole or co-holders when they are 18 (or older).
- The beneficiary is 18 or older and able to manage independently – The beneficiary MUST be the holder unless another person is given legal authority to manage the RDSP.
- The beneficiary is 18 or older and needs assistance in managing the RDSP – This is where you need to find someone who fits the ‘job description’ checklist above.
- In BC, a Representative can be appointed under the Representation Agreement Act. Check out www.plan.ca or www.nidus.ca for more information and support.
- You may apply for an “adult guardianship” order. The legislation is different in each province and the “adult guardian” has different names from province to province (Committee – BC; Trustee – AB; Adult Guardian – ON; Curator – PQ). We don’t recommend guardianship – see our book Safe & Secure (link to information about Safe & Secure) for more information – but you may not have another option.
Step 2. Act!
Get more information about your options:
– Talk to your bank – Are there any obstacles around holdership and what does the bank recommend?
– Talk to PLAN – You are seldom the first person to face a challenge. Find out what others have done by reading the rdsp.com blog and signing up for our ezine for regular updates (links)
– Talk to family and friends. No matter the solution, you don’t want to be the lone shepherd on the journey.
Step 3. Get Involved! – Advocacy
Our advocacy motto is: “When it’s broken, fix it!”
PLAN lobbied the Minister of Finance to create a federal Representation Agreement for the RDSP. He determined that the issue was provincial but brought measures to carry forward the Grant and Bond so people wouldn’t be penalized. This gives the provinces time to address the issue of representation and support around managing an RDSP.
The next advocacy step is to work directly with each of the provinces. At PLAN, we are committed to seeing changes in legislation that support people to make their life decisions and manage their affairs without losing their rights.
PLAN is also working closely with RBC to explore bank-generated solutions to making the RDSP more accessible to adults who do not have legal capacity. They are a committed partner and dedicated to making the RDSP available and accessible to as many people as possible.
If you are interested in working on this issue with PLAN, email Jack Styan at firstname.lastname@example.org