For information about making a legacy gift to the Alzheimer Society to help fund research and services to families, please contact our office:
- Phone: 519-941-1221
- Email: [email protected]
Leaving a legacy
A conversation with trust advisor Gordon MacDonald.
What is the top reason people give for leaving a legacy?
In my discussions with clients, their primary reason seems to be a feeling of satisfaction that the funds they will be leaving will carry on purposes that they felt strongly about in their lifetime. Their participation in the charitable cause, whether it’s medical research or the arts or any other cause, will then carry on after they have passed away.
What is the most popular form of legacy?
The most common type of bequest intention people think about first is a cash gift to a named active charity. Ironically, there are better ways of making provision for favourite charities, both for the donor and for the charity. Gifts of marketable securities, insurance policies and various other methods may provide better immediate benefit to the donor and longer-term benefit to the charity.
What are the advantages of making a gift from your Estate?
Capital gains taxes and the inclusion of any remaining funds in RRSP or RRIF accounts in the taxable income of the estate can lead to a pretty big tax bill when we die. Gifts to charity can soften the impact on the estate while doing lots of good for your favourite causes.
What is the impact of legacy gifts on the organization and the person?
My experience as a professional executor and trustee in dealing with charities such as the Alzheimer’s Society is that legacy gifts enable the charitable organization to make long term plans. If they are aware that there will be a certain gift at a certain time or a future income stream, funds can be earmarked and longer range objectives set. Charities can commit to longer-range research or perhaps plan other specific capital fundraisers around a particular goal.
I think for the donor, it’s the knowledge that your interests in a particular area will continue to receive support and focus even after you have gone.
Do people need to have a lot of money to make a legacy gift?
It isn’t necessary to have a lot of money to make a difference. Canada is fortunate to have a vast infrastructure of registered charities assisting charitable causes and the income tax rules continue to be improved to incent us to make gifts. There is a great need in so many areas. With the advice of the planned giving department in your favourite charity or with the assistance of your lawyer or estate planner, you can give in the time and the fashion that makes the best use of your legacy, for both you and your favourite charity.
Gordon MacDonald is the Branch Manager of The Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Company in Saint John, New Brunswick, a member of the Nova Scotia Barrister’s Society and a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.
For information about making a legacy gift to the Alzheimer Society to help fund research and services to families, please contact our office at 519-941-1221 or email [email protected].
Legacy gifts can be made through a bequest in a Will, life insurance policy, charitable gift annuity, RRSP or RRIF, or charitable trust.
Power of Wills
If you have assets, you need a Will. Why?
- It can save you money by reducing taxes and administration costs.
- It protects those you care about, whether your family or a charity you support.
- You can decide who will be the executor of your Will, who will look after your kids and who will benefit from your lifetime of work.
But are you like over half of Canadians who might not have planned for the final distribution of the assets that took you an entire lifetime to build?
Many people procrastinate writing a Will because they think their family or the government will look after everything for them, or they just “never get around to it.”
But consider the facts:
- More than 50% of Canadians do not have a Will.
- More than 70% of Canadians do not have Powers of Attorney for Personal Care and Property.
- One in 10 Ontarian over the age of 65 is living with dementia.
- Women represent 72% of all Canadians living with Alzheimer’s disease.
When dementia and procrastination team up, they wreak havoc. If mental capacity issues arise, you will not be able to sign legal documents. Court proceedings may be necessary to access a person’s finances or health records. This process can be time-consuming, expensive and stressful.
Options for planned giving
- Life insurance
- Registered plans (RRSPs and RRIFs)
- Charitable annuities
- Charitable trusts
- Securities and mutual funds
- Named funds (expendable and endowed)
Note: Information about these options is not intended as specific financial planning or legal advice. You should always consult your legal advisors, financial planners and family members when considering a planned gift.
Why leave a legacy
Learn more...a conversation with trust advisor Gordon MacDonald.
How to make a planned gift
Subscribe to Reflections, the Alzheimer Society's gift planning newsletter, sent twice a year to friends and supporters with an interest in legacy giving.
View or download our Leaving a Legacy brochure.
Leave a Legacy™
The Alzheimer Society is proud to be a participant in Leave a Legacy. A program of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP), Leave a Legacy is a collaborative effort designed to encourage people from all walks of life to make gifts from their estates to the charitable organization of their choice. The initiative is supported by charities, community foundations, estate planning professionals, corporate sponsors and the media.
A gift in kind is a donation of goods or service rather than money. Some examples of a gift in kind include:
- Prize donation for events
- Gift card
- Professional Services
Gifts in kind help the Alzheimer Society of Dufferin County by enhancing events, reducing necessary expenses and contributing to the Society’s assets.
Not all gifts in kind are eligible for a charitable tax receipt as directed by the Canadian Revenue Agency. When receiving a gift in kind, the Society’s policy is as follows:
Prize Donations: Tax receipts for prize donations will only be given at the specific request of the donor. Documentation indicating the fair market value of the item must be provided by the donor.
Donation of Gift cards/certificates: Tax receipts will not be given for the donation of gift cards and gift certificates; however, the Society will provide a letter of acknowledgment.
Donation of Services: Tax receipts will not be issued for donations of services; however, it is acceptable for a person who has been paid by the Society for services rendered to then make a donation for which a receipt shall be issued.
For gifts of property, the Society will follow the following procedure:
- The Society shall accept gifts of property only with the approval of the Executive Director.
- An official income tax receipt shall be issued for gifts of property only up to the fair market value of the goods donated. If the fair market value of an item can be reasonably determined and is less than $1,000, a staff member with sufficient knowledge of the item can determine its value. If the fair market value of an item cannot be reasonably determined, an official donation receipt cannot be issued.
- All gifts-in-kind with a fair market value in excess of $1,000 shall be accompanied by a credible valuation report prepared by a professional appraiser that states the fair market value. If the gift-in-kind is not accompanied by a credible valuation report, the donor shall be advised about this Gifts-in-Kind policy and that it is their responsibility to secure an appraisal from an independent professional appraiser.
- Official income tax receipts for gifts-in-kind shall be issued in accordance with CRA requirements for official donation receipts.