Many Canadians aspire to leave a lasting impact on the world, and one powerful way to achieve this is through planned giving.
Planned giving allows individuals to make charitable donations that leave a legacy beyond their lifetime, ensuring that the causes they care about continue to receive support even after they are gone. This type of philanthropy is often incorporated into estate planning, making it an integral part of an individual's financial and personal legacy.
What is Planned Giving?
Planned giving is a form of charitable giving where a donor makes a gift to a charitable organization during their lifetime, with the intention that the funds will be transferred to the chosen cause at a later date, usually after the donor's passing. This approach allows individuals to create a meaningful impact on the causes they support while also enjoying the benefits of charitable giving during their lifetime. One of the simplest and most common ways to engage in planned giving is through a charitable bequest in a will.
How Does it Work?
When incorporating planned giving into your estate planning, you can include a charitable bequest in your will. A bequest is a specific provision in your will that designates a certain dollar amount or a percentage of your estate to be donated to a charitable organization of your choice. By including a bequest in your will, you ensure that your charitable intentions are carried out according to your wishes.
The bequest can take different forms. It can be a specific bequest, which designates a particular amount of money or a particular asset to the charity. Alternatively, it can be a residual bequest, where the charity receives a portion or the remainder of your estate after other specific bequests and expenses are fulfilled. By thoughtfully considering the size and structure of your bequest, you can create a significant impact on the causes you care about deeply.
What are the Benefits of Making a Bequest?
Planned giving through a bequest offers several compelling benefits:
- Utilization of Assets: With a bequest, you retain full control and use of your assets during your lifetime. This means that you can continue to enjoy your wealth and provide for your needs and those of your loved ones while knowing that your generosity will leave a lasting impact.
- Lowering Estate Taxes: Charitable bequests can also have positive tax implications. In many cases, the charitable donation can be used to offset estate taxes, potentially reducing the overall tax burden on your estate.
- Flexibility and Revocability: A charitable bequest is revocable, meaning that if your financial situation or charitable intentions change over time, you can amend the bequest accordingly. This flexibility allows you to adapt your giving to evolving circumstances.
- Creating a Lasting Legacy: Planned giving allows you to create a legacy that reflects your values and passions, supporting causes that are meaningful to you and leaving a positive impact on future generations.
Planned giving offers a powerful opportunity for Canadians to make a meaningful and lasting impact on the causes they care about deeply. By incorporating charitable bequests into their estate planning, individuals can ensure that their philanthropic legacy lives on, supporting organizations and initiatives that align with their values. Not only does planned giving offer financial benefits, such as tax advantages and asset utilization, but it also provides an opportunity for individuals to create a legacy of positive change in the world. If you aspire to make a lasting impact on the causes you cherish, consider exploring the possibilities of planned giving and leaving a meaningful legacy for the future.
All examples are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to provide individual financial, investment, tax, legal or accounting advice. This material is for general information and is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to compile this material from a reliable source. However, we cannot guarantee that information will be accurate, complete and current at all times. Before acting on any of the above, please make sure to see a financial professional for advice based on your personal circumstances.