Smart Giving: Part 2

We are proud to share the second part of a three part series on Smart Giving.

Choosing a charity to support can be challenging as there are so many worthy organizations needing your help. Checking their charitable status, knowing people who are involved or volunteering with the organization are great ways to make these choices.

Charities like Second Harvest rely solely on generous donors to feed hungry people and reduce the negative impact on our environment. Smart giving strategies like, leaving a gift in your will, are gaining in popularity as people are opting to take advantage of the benefits charitable giving allows in your estate planning.

In a recent article written by Timothy N. Sullivan he notes that as many as 74% of Canadians don’t have an up-to-date will, and about half don’t have a will at all. This is important especially if you have minor children or dependents.

Here are a couple of other things to consider:

1. The law decides how the estate is distributed among your spouse, your parents, your children and your siblings. Your spouse inherits the entire estate if you have no children; even if you have children, your spouse may inherit everything, or the first $200,000 of your assets and the remainder is split equally among your family. If you don’t have a spouse or children, it is distributed to other relatives.

2. If you have no living next of kin, your entire estate goes to the Ontario government. When you hear of some lucky nephew who inherits an estate out of the blue, that’s the Ontario government after a search for some live relative of the intestate (without a will) deceased. Your favourite charities have missed a chance to benefit.

3. Possible tax savings may be lost. Smart estate planning can minimize the tax paid by your estate to increase what is available to heirs. Dying intestate means you can’t take advantage of these measures.

4. Your preferred charities may not benefit. Without a will, the charities you hoped to support with your estate won’t receive anything.

Deciding how your assets are distributed before the end of your life is important and a great way to leave your legacy to your favourite charity. Talk to your professional advisors, then contact Debbie Kesheshian, CFRE at or 416.522.8935 to see how you can make a difference.