“We leave this world just as we entered it—with nothing. In spite of all our work there is nothing we can take with us” (Ecclesiastes 5:15 GNT).
Planning for the inevitable can sometimes make people feel uneasy or even squeamish. For myself, I tend to lean towards denial. I like to think that I will always be here for my children, have a healthy and active retirement, and carry on with my hobbies and activities like I was still in the glory days of my youth.
The reality is, I need to plan for a life for my family and the ones I care so deeply about, a life without me.
Often times, when asked the question “Would you consider leaving a gift in your will to a charity?”, the response from most is they would like their loved ones taken care of and understandably, that is our main priority.
At times, even the most detailed wills and established plans to protect our loved ones can have unexpected implications...we all know the old adage “In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes.” as Benjamin Franklin stated. The Taxman cometh.
The implications of estate taxes and capital gains that will need to be paid upon the deceased, can sometimes squander what we wish to preserve for our loved ones left behind.
But I have good news!
By leaving a legacy gift a charity in your will, not only will you continue to help maintain the missions and values you supported with your gift, but your loved ones will be protected from some of the tax implications in doing so.
It seems that most tax laws in Canada are quite complementary to charitable giving, and that includes what you leave behind.
When I was younger, hearing the word “estate” I immediately pictured wrought iron gates around a huge mansion, with an enormous fountain out front, and only the rich and famous had “estates” or needed wills.
So let’s debunk a couple of myths; You don’t need to be rich or famous to have a will or an estate plan, you don’t need to have a million dollars to decide where your assets go and to whom and how much and finally, a little goes a long way.
Presently, you can leave a charitable gift in so many different ways; Charitable Gift Annuities, RRSP/RRIF, Gifts of Insurance, Endowments, Gifts of Property, Securities, etc.
But besides death and taxes, there’s more...MUCH more….
Throughout my time on this twirling sphere I’ve come so fondly referred to as “Earth”, (that I will one day so dearly depart), I have had the pleasure of coming into some incredible people and places that have made a huge impact on how I have lived and survived. Thus, making my journey a little easier to handle during tough times.
For those people and places, I am extremely humbled and thankful for.
Places like hospitals that saved my son’s life when he was a toddler.
Mental Health, addiction and suicide prevention resources who have helped some of my very dear loved ones find hope, light and LIFE out of their dark places.
Disaster Recovery services who have provided the basic necessities, and help for those who needed them after devastating events.
Food Banks, and community places where young families can eat when times get a little too tough to pay the ever climbing mountain of bills.
These are the places and people I choose to support while I am living..but what happens after??
I pray my children, and grandchildren, never have to face a world where they will have nowhere to go, or nowhere to turn if funds are not available to keep these places going.
I want these organizations to be here if they ever need them.
Part of taking care of the next generation is to ensure that these services and organizations are still here, long after I am not.
Leaving a legacy donation to charities ensures their work will continue, and people will be taken care of for generations to come.
HOPE is where you leave it, so it can continue on.
Carol Rame, Senior Gift Planner