How To Give Giving options
There are a number of options available and each with have different types of tax benefits. The LEAVE A LEGACY™ program encourages you to talk to your professional advisor (i.e. your lawyer, accountant etc.) if you have one, because while everyone needs vary, your professional advisor can help you decide which option(s) will work best for you and your family. To search for an advisor in your area, click here.
Ways to leave your legacy:
- Cash or Securities
- Life Insurance
- RRSPS or RRIFs
- Charitable remainder of trusts
- Residual interest
- A gift in memory of a loved one
- Real estate
- A gift to honour someone
- Special occasion giving
A charitable bequest is simply a distribution from your estate to a charitable organization through your last will and testament. There are different kinds of bequests. For each, you must use very specific language to indicate the precise direction of your assets, and to successfully carry out your final wishes. In any charitable bequest, be sure to name the recipient accurately. A bequest to “The Cancer Society” might go to national headquarters, when you meant it to go to the affiliate in your community. There are a few types of charitable bequests, for example:
General Bequests are legacies left to certain people or causes that come from the general value of the estate, and are made by designating a specific dollar amount, a particular asset or a fixed percentage of your estate to the cause of your choice.
Specific Bequests are made when a particular item or property is bequeathed for a designated purpose. (i.e., instruments bequeathed to the local school district for use in music education; dollar funds to be used in the operation of a school or church.)
Residuary Bequests are made when you intend to leave the residue portion (any left over property) of your assets after other terms of the will have been satisfied.
A cash or security gift is an amount made out to a charitable organization of your choice. Gifts of cash are available for immediate use in the form of cash, cheque, credit card, or pre-authorized contributions paid monthly. They can also be given in the form of a general bequest in your will and testament.
A gift of life insurance is made when you name a charitable organization of your choice as the beneficiary. This means that you control the policy, and the organization would receive the insurance proceeds upon death.
Gifts of retirement plans are made when you name a charitable organization of your choice as the beneficiary. This means that upon your death the organization would receive the proceeds and you’re estate will receive a charitable receipt. This receipt will counterbalance your final tax return, transforming any final tax liabilities you have when you die into a charitable gift.
A gift of annuity is made when you make a contribution of cash or other property to a charitable organization of your choice in exchange for a guaranteed lifetime income (or for a stated interval of time). It is an agreement or contract between you and your organization of choice. Upon death, the charitable organization of your choice would receive the remainder of the original contribution. Depending on the time elapsed the organization of your choice may get more or less than the original contribution. If an annuity is started when you are between the ages of 75-90 you can receive tax free income. If an annuity is started when you are between the ages of 65-74 you can receive partially tax free income. Where the income is totally tax free, you will receive a donation receipt equalling the initial amount of your contribution minus your expected annuity income.
A gift of trust is made when you decide to make a charitable organization of your choice the secondary beneficiary to an irrevocable trust. The primary beneficiary (or the income beneficiary) includes you, and if applicable, your spouse. Throughout your lifetime or for a stated period of time you will receive a predetermined amount of the trust; upon death the charitable organization of your choice will receive the remainder of the trust.
A gift of residual interest is made when you decide to give the property in which you reside or any other property (art, valuables etc.) to a charitable organization of your choice. You can continue to use and enjoy the property throughout your lifetime. You will receive a charitable tax receipt for the present value of the property when the gift is made. Upon death, the charitable organization receives the deed of the property.
A gift in memory of a loved one is any type of gift given to remember a close friend or family member who has passed. Perhaps they lived with a certain disease and you would like to make sure other people in the future can receive further care. Maybe you know of a favourite place or community organization that your loved was exceptionally involved with and you would like to leave a gift in their memory. This type of gift ensures that their legacy is always remembered by a charitable organization that has touched their heart.
A gift of real estate is made when you leave property, buildings, land, or a place of residence that you own to a charitable organization of your choice. This type of gift can be given immediately or specified in your will. You will receive a charitable tax receipt to be used in your final income tax return.
A gift to honour someone is any type of gift given to honour a close friend, family member, or a person who you have great respect for. Perhaps you know of a charitable organization in particular that has helped your loved one along the path of life or that they felt strongly about. This type of gift ensures that their legacy will be always remembered by the charitable organization that has made a difference in their life, and that the organization continues to make a different in the lives that follow.
This type of gift is usually given to mark a special occasion such as a birthday, or anniversary. It could also mark other occasions like Christmas, Mothers/Fathers Day, Easter etc. Perhaps there is a particular day in which you would like to celebrate, or plan a gift. Planning a gift on a special day can add additional meaning to an already significant time.