CRA is unwilling to treat a specific bequest of a RRSP proceeds to a surviving spouse as the equivalent of a direct transfer out of the RRSP to that spouse

Where an unmatured RRSP is the subject of a specific bequest made to the deceased annuitant's spouse under a Quebec will and the RRSP proceeds are distributed by the RRSP issuer directly to the surviving spouse, CRA considers that the RRSP proceeds passed through the estate rather than coming directly out of the RRSP, as required under the “refund of premium” definition. Accordingly, in order for the surviving spouse to be able to transfer the RRSP proceeds fee of tax to that survivor’s RRSP, CRA requires that an election under s. 146(8.1) be made (on Form T2019).

Neal Armstrong. Summary of 7 October 2020 APFF Roundtable Q. 4, 2020-0851621C6 F under s. 146(8.1).