Canadians give for different reasons and in different ways. For some it is a way to ensure that their favourite charity is able to continue its important work; for others it represents a way to ease the tax implications that come with the transfer of their estate to surviving relatives.
A bequest is a gift you make through your Will, to support a cause that’s important to you. A properly prepared Will provides you with the security of knowing that your possessions and estate will be distributed in line with your personal values and wishes.
Bequests can take many forms and often consist of cash, real property and/or securities like stocks, bonds and mutual funds.
A specific/legacy bequest designates an exact dollar amount, percentage or particular asset, such as the stock of a certain company, to be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters.
A residual bequest names Big Brothers Big Sisters as the beneficiary of all, or a percentage of your estate after all debts, taxes, administrative expenses and specific/legacy bequests have been paid. Because this type of gift leaves a percentage rather than a fixed amount to the charity, inflation will not reduce the value of your gift.
A contingent bequest takes effect when you name Big Brothers Big Sisters as an alternate beneficiary. Your gift is given to the charity only if other beneficiaries in your Will pass away before your passing.
Gift of retirement savings plans (RRSPs or RRIFs)
Gift of life insurance
Charitable gift annuities
Gifts of property
Gifts of charitable remainder trusts
When planning your Will, it’s important to decide your personal goals and the needs of your beneficiaries. With the help of a legal advisor, you can include language in your Will specifying what gifts are to be made to family members, friends or to charity as part of your estate plan.