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Any family member, friend, relative or guardian can open an RESP for a beneficiary. Each beneficiary must be a Canadian resident and have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
In all cases where the beneficiary is under the age of majority, the primary caregiver (usually the parent or legal guardian of the child) must sign forms required by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). It administers the government assistance for RESPs. If the beneficiary is over age 18, the beneficiary must sign the ESDC forms.