Anyone—parents, grandparents, other family members and friends—can open an RESP for a child. RESPs can be opened by one person, or opened jointly by spouses or common-law partners. They can also be opened by child-care agencies. While you can open a plan for a child, you can also name yourself or another adult as the beneficiary.
It is very important to choose the right type of RESP. We can help guide you.
A family plan is ideal if you have more than one child.
You can name one or more children to receive the savings when it is time to pay for their studies after high school. The children must be related to you, either by blood or adoption. They may be your children, stepchildren, grandchildren (including adopted grandchildren), brothers or sisters.
This type of plan is ideal if you are not related to the child you are saving for. In this type of plan, only one beneficiary is named in the RESP, and the beneficiary does not have to be related to you.
A group plan is for one child only, and the child does not have to be related to you.
A group plan is ideal if you can make regular payments throughout the term of the RESP. In this type of plan, your savings are combined with those of other people. How much each child gets depends on how much money is in the group account, and on the number of students of the same age who are in school that year.
These plans are provided by group plan dealers who usually invest the money in low-risk investments.