A legacy gift is a gift with lasting meaning
More and more Canadians are discovering estate planning as another way to give to their charities of choice. A legacy gift is a gift with lasting meaning – a gift of time that awards future generations of Canadians with the blessing of community support when they need it.
Leaving a legacy gift is one of the most valuable ways to help SHARE Family and Community Services (known as SHARE forthwith) continue connect, engage and strengthen individuals and families in the Tri-Cities well into the future. Your legacy gift will build on SHARE’s history of community support and advocacy. It will be a lasting statement of your generosity and care for members of your community and their future. A gift you and your family will be proud of. Giving can also reduce your taxes, add to your income, and increase benefits to your estate and its beneficiaries.
Deciding what legacy gift is right for you is just as important as your decision to leave a legacy. Read on to learn more about the many different ways you can give.
How to Leave a Legacy
Choosing to leave a legacy from the heart brings meaning, dignity and purpose to a life well lived. Your legacy gift gives you a way to be part of the charitable and community work that is most meaningful to you. Your gift allows these important causes to be well supported now and long after you are gone. Leaving a gift in your Will is a way to make sure that your memory lives on.
Top 10 Things You Can Do To Create a Legacy That Lives On
- Make a Will.
- Leave a gift in your Will to your favourite charities such as SHARE.
- Decide whether to leave an exact dollar amount or a percentage of your estate to your favourite charities.
- Consider using investments that have increased in value, such as mutual funds or publicly traded stocks for your legacy gift.
- Name SHARE Family and Community Services as a beneficiary of your RRSP, RRIF or pension plan.
- Name SHARE as the beneficiary of an existing life insurance policy.
- Purchase a new life insurance policy and name SHARE as the beneficiary.
- Honour a loved one through your legacy gift.
- Encourage family and friends to leave gifts to charity in their Will planning.
- Ask your financial or estate planning advisor to include charitable giving as part of your financial plan and to include it in their advice to other clients, too.
Bequests - Create a Legacy That Lives On
A Will is a formal legal document in which you specify who you wish your possessions to be gifted to after your death. If you were to die without a properly written Will, your lifetime accumulation of wealth would be distributed according to provincial law, regardless of your family's wishes otherwise.
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. When planning your Will, it's important to decide your personal goals and the needs of your beneficiaries. Once decided, a bequest in your Will is one of the easiest ways to make a legacy gift. With the help of an advisor, you can include language in your Will specifying what gifts are to be made to family members, friends or SHARE as part of your estate plan.
Your Bequest Options:
Charitable Bequests can take many forms and often consist of cash, real property and/or securities like stocks, bonds and mutual funds.
Residual Bequests name SHARE as the beneficiary of all, or a percentage of your estate after all debts, taxes, administrative expenses and specific/legacies bequests have been paid. Because this type of gift leaves a percentage rather than a fixed amount to the society, inflation will not reduce the value of your gift.
Specific / Legacy Bequests designate an exact dollar amount, percentage or particular asset, such as the stock of a certain company, to be donated to SHARE.
Contingent Bequests take effect when you name SHARE as an alternate beneficiary. Your gift is given to SHARE only if other beneficiaries in your Will pass away before your passing.
Your legal advisor can help you prepare a Will that addresses your individual wishes and requirements.
Learn more about charitable bequests. See attachment A
Gifts of Securities - Make a Healthy Investment
When you make a gift of securities to SHARE, you put stock in knowing you are supporting vital community programs such as the Food Bank, services for new comers and refugees, programs for seniors, family counselling and community development. Your gift will help create better, healthier lives for thousands of people in the Tri-Cities communities.
Your gift of securities entitles you to a donation receipt for the full market value (resale) of your contribution.Your gift of securities will result in a generous, non-refundable tax credit that will have the effect of lowering your income taxes. You can use your tax credit in the year of your gift or carry it forward for up to five additional years.
You pay no capital gains tax on the appreciated value (increased price) of your securities.Capital gains tax on appreciated securities donated to a charity was completely eliminated by the federal government in 2006. Donating securities directly to SHARE avoids the tax on capital gains, maximizes the return on your investment and protects the tax credits for use against other taxable income.
A minimum value of $1,000 or more will be accepted. This minimum reflects the high cost of processing gifts of securities due to costs such as the brokerage commission and market changes.
Other Legacy Gifts
Canadians give for many different reasons and different ways: for some it is a way to ensure their memory lives on, for many it’s a way to ensure that their favorite charity is able to continue its important work, while for others it represents a way to ease the tax implications that come with the transfer of one’s estate to surviving relatives.
Gift of Retirement Plan Savings (RRSPs/RRIFs)
Making a gift of your retirement plan savings – RRSPs (Registered Retirement Savings Plans) or RRIFs (Registered Retirement Income Funds) – can help to reduce the taxes on your estate and protect its value for your heirs. It also enables you to make a significant impact on the work that SHARE does in your community each and every day.
If you are not survived by a spouse and you have no dependent children or have already made arrangements for your dependent children, leftover retirement funds can make an excellent charitable gift because the resulting tax credit will help to make up for the taxes otherwise payable on the transfer or distribution.
Learn more about gifts of RRSPs and RRIFs See attachment D
Gift of Life Insurance
A gift of life insurance allows you to make a significant donation to SHARE at a relatively low cost while protecting the value of your estate for your heirs and possibly saving on taxes.
Option 1: Name SHARE as Policy Owner and Beneficiary
When you name SHARE as the owner and beneficiary of a new or existing policy, you'll receive a donation receipt for the current value, if any, of the policy today (known as the “fair market value”). Also, you will receive donation receipts for the premiums you continue to pay.
Option 2: Name the Foundation as a Beneficiary Only.
When you name SHARE as a beneficiary only, you continue to retain the ownership rights of the policy and at your death, your estate will receive a donation receipt for the full value of the insurance benefits paid to the Foundation.
Learn more about gifts of life insurance. See attachment E
Charitable Gift Annuities
A Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) offers you a way to increase your income, reduce your taxes and make a substantial gift to the Heart and Stroke Foundation in support of innovative, ground-breaking research. CGAs deliver both a gift to SHARE and a guaranteed income for life to you as a donor.
The annuity rate (your guaranteed income) will be based on the age of each beneficiary, but will often be higher than the investment return you would have otherwise received on the donated assets. In addition, a significant portion of your annuity income payments - in some cases 100 percent - will be payable to you—tax-free.
Learn more about charitable gift annuities. See attachment F
Gifts of Property
A gift of property, also called a "gift-in-kind," refers to donations of such tangible assets as real estate, special collections, cultural property and works of art.
A gift of property may be kept and used by SHARE or it may be sold. The donation receipt is issued for the fair market value of the donated property as determined by appraisal. Please note that these gifts require SHARE approval in advance of acceptance.
Learn more about gifts of property. See attachment G
Gifts of Charitable Remainder Trusts
A Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) is a deferred giving arrangement under which you would transfer property (cash, appreciated securities, or real estate) to a trustee. You (and/or other beneficiaries) would retain the right to the income from the trust either for life or a specified term of years. SHARE will receive whatever remains in the trust after that specified term or after the death of the last beneficiary, whichever has been agreed to in the trust document.
Donors who establish a CRT will receive a generous donation receipt today for the present value of their gift (the “charitable remainder”) which the society will receive when the trust terminates.
Learn more about charitable remainder trusts. See attachment H
Other Helpful Resources
Estate Planning Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – See attachment I
Bequest Language - See attachment J
Estate Planning Glossary of Terms - See attachment K
Please consult your legal and financial advisors before finalizing your decision to proceed.
Thank you for considering how you can leave a legacy through SHARE Family and Community Services.
For more information please call SHARE’s administration office at 604.540.9161 or contact our Director of Fund Development, Valerie Hutton - valerie.hutton/at/sharesociety.ca.