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How much can my 18-year-old daughter contribute to her TFSA?

Dear Nancy,

I have two TFSA questions. The first is that my daughter turned 18 late last year and she has some money that she can put into a TFSA. How much can she contribute? The $31,000 since TFSAs started or only the amount for this year?

My second question is if I want to leave my TFSA to her instead of my husband when I pass away how do I do that and is it a good idea?

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Dear Sharon,

Once an individual with a valid Canadian social insurance number turns 18 they are eligible to open a TFSA. So in the case of your daughter, she could have opened one in 2013. She will only be able to contribute the $5500 for 2013 and $5500 for 2014. She cannot use the allowance room for any of the previous years.

As for your second question: I think it is important to point out that if you name your husband as a successor annuitant he can transfer your TFSA into his if you predecease him. Even if you both have contributed the maximum amounts, yours can be transferred into his and continue to be tax sheltered. If you name your daughter as the beneficiary she will receive the assets but she will not have the option to move the assets into her TFSA. Ultimately, it is your choice as to who receives your TFSA, but I thought it is important that you know the pros and cons of each choice.

With matters such as this it is a good idea to get estate and tax planning from a professional. I suggest you discuss your options with your financial adviser.

Nancy Woods is an associate portfolio manager and investment adviser with RBC Dominion Securities Inc. Visit her website or send an email request to You can send your questions to as well.

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About the Author

Nancy Woods, CIM, FCSI, is an associate portfolio manager and investment adviser with RBC Dominion Securities Inc. More


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