The majority of charitable gifts in Wills are left by Canadians of average means. We estimate that if only 3.5% more ordinary Canadians included a gift in their Will in the coming decade, this would result in $40 billion dollars being directed to charitable causes. No matter the size of your estate, you can be a part of this impressive movement for change. You may be surprised to find that when all of your assets are realized, you too will have a tidy sum for support of both loved ones and your favourite causes. Also, the reality is that your estate will be taxed, perhaps more than you realize. Choosing to support charities that you care about can reduce, and in some cases, even eliminate the taxes to be paid. A financial advisor can help make sense of this for your particular situation. If you don’t already have a financial advisor, you can find one here.
Leaving a gift to charity in your estate can be as easy as adding a clause to your Will. Notify your lawyer, or notary and they can take care of adding it in.
The truth is you can amend your Will at any time. On average, people change their wills two or three times during their lifetime as their personal/family situation changes. Adding a gift is as simple as letting your intentions be known to those who drafted your documents in the first place.
You and many other Canadians will never be able to make as big a gift while you are alive as you can through your Will (when the value of your estate is realized). There are ways you can see the impact your future gift will have — before you are gone. Many charities have established legacy societies to help donors get a sense of the impact their future gift will have. You can get a feel for what the impact of your future gift will be.
Finally, a gift in a Will can help your family feel part of the impact you are making, as many charities involve the family in the implementation of the gift. Knowing your loved ones will remain connected with you through your contribution after you’re gone can be a very comforting experience.