Questions & Glossary...
We have listed the most often asked questions and their answers below. If your question is not featured please contact us.
- Why is there a need for LEAVE A LEGACY™?
- Who benefits from LEAVE A LEGACY™?
- How do I leave a gift for an organization that is important to me?
- I thought only people in a certain income level could leave a charitable bequest or gift through their estate?
- Who can help me arrange for a gift to an organization?
- How do I leave a gift in memory of a person or for a specific purpose?
- Do I have to include my wish to leave a gift to a specific organization in my will?
- Do I tell the charitable organization that I have left a gift?
- How does LEAVE A LEGACY™ help my community?
- Do I have to have an Estate to LEAVE A LEGACY™?
- What about my family and immediate heirs?
Why is there a need for LEAVE A LEGACY™?
Canadians are living in a time when an unprecedented amount of wealth is being transferred from one generation to the next. In the next two decades 3.5 million Canadians are expected to die, leaving an estimated $1.5 trillion to their families and community. The disturbing part is that only 30% of Canadians currently have an up-to-date legal will. If this trend continues, about 2 million Canadians will end life without a will to protect their assets, in the next two decades. Without a will, people lose the ability to control distribution of their estate to their chosen beneficiaries.
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Who benefits from LEAVE A LEGACY™?
The LEAVE E A LEGACY™ program message benefits all. Donors gain a sense of fulfillment knowing they are supporting organizations that make a difference within their communities. They may also receive significant tax benefits. Charities obtain more support and as a result may sustain and improve their efforts. Finally, the future generations of Canadians, including grandchildren and other family members can share in a legacy of charitable work that continue to enhance the quality of life for citizens today and in the future.
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How do I leave a gift for an organization that is important to me?
By leaving a gift to a charity or not-for-profit organization in your will or estate plan, you ensure your assets continue to help others into the future. Without a will, your property and finances are settled according to federal and provincial laws, which may not coincide with your wishes.
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I thought only people in a certain income level could leave a charitable bequest or gift through their estate?
You might think you have to be wealthy to donate to a charity. Not true. Anyone can arrange to leave a charitable gift from their estate, regardless of its size. It can mean a great deal to a cause that is important to you.
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Who can help me arrange for a gift to an organization?
Your financial planner, lawyer, accountant, or insurance agent can help you leave a gift. These professionals can tell you about tax benefits of planned gifts. You can also call the charity or the not-for-profit organization for help.
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How do I leave a gift in memory of a person or for a specific purpose?
A charitable gift is a meaningful way of recognizing someone who has made a difference in your life. You may also want to give a specific cause like research or a new building. These kinds of memorial gifts can easily be arranged in your will. You just need to specify that the gift be given in memory of a particular person or for a specific use.
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Do I have to include my wish to leave a gift to a specific organization in my will?
A charitable bequest will not take effect unless you state your intention in your will. Without a will, you lose control over your property after death. Your property and finances are settled according to provincial laws whether or not they coincide with your wishes or those of your family.
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Do I tell the charitable organization that I have left a gift?
That is up to you. Not-for-profits often like to know in advance so they can recognize your generosity. They can also tell you about opportunities for giving for a specific purpose.
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How does LEAVE A LEGACY™ help my community?
LEAVE A LEGACY™ encourages bequests and other planned gifts which help charities become more sustainable. LEAVE A LEGACY™ provides a public service that encourages people to plan their estates and to leave a gift to the organizations of their choice. By doing so, citizens will ultimately help not-for-profit and charitable organizations sector continue to give back to their community.
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Do I have to have an Estate to LEAVE A LEGACY™?
"Estate" can describe any property, money or personal belongings that you have accumulated throughout your lifetime. Anyone can arrange to leave a charitable gift from their estate, regardless of its size. There is no such thing as an insignificant gift.
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What about my family and immediate heirs?
There are many ways to achieve your charitable goals without taking away from your family and loved ones. There are numerous options and types of planned gifts. Different giving options allow you to give and still provide for family members while receiving tax benefits at the same time.
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Glossary of Terms
Accountant - A professional who specializes in the practice of accounting and is responsible for managing and reporting financial results for a company or an individual.
Assets - Anything owned by a person that has economic value. Assets can range from property, antiques, art and valuables.
Attorney - A professional who specializes in the practice of law, this person might be responsible for giving clients legal advice, and is qualified to prosecute and defend actions in a courtroom.
Beneficiary - A person or organization that receives a bequest under a will, death benefits from a life insurance policy, or payments from a trust. (1) The recipient of a bequest.
Bequest types. See How to Leave a Legacy.
Bequest/charitable bequest a gift of property through a will to a particular beneficiary. (1) Also see How to Leave a Legacy.
Charitable giving (1) - The act of voluntarily giving a part of your assets to a charitable organization.
Charity/Charitable organization - An organization, trust, or corporation that was established in Canada, resides in Canada and is registered under the Income Tax Act as a charitable organization, public foundation, or private foundation. A registered charity operates for charitable purposes and must devote its resources to charitable activities. (2)
Charitable receipt - Also called official donation receipt or tax receipt. A receipt given by a registered charity that is subject to particular requirements under the Income Tax Act. (3) This receipt can be used for income tax purposes and benefits. (2)
Estate - Everything that a person owns or has a financial interest in. (1) All of the real (fixed – land, buildings) and personal (movable – art, stocks) property in which a person has a right or interest.
Estate Plan - Process of accumulating and disposing of an estate to maximize the goals of the estate owner. Usually, the main goal of estate planning is to ensure the greatest amount of the estate passes to the estate owner’s intended beneficiaries. This often includes paying the least amount of taxes. Other goals may include providing for and designating guardians for minor children. (4)
Estate Planner - A professional who specializes in creating an estate plan. The professional works with the estate owner to maximize their goals, minimize the person or family’s estate taxes, and have adequate assets after death to continue their business, take care of their family, and pay major expenses such as their mortgage. (4)
Financial Planner - A professional who specializes in helping people deal with personal finances through planning in the following areas: cash flow management, education planning, retirement planning, investment planning, risk management and insurance planning, tax planning, estate planning and business planning. (4)
Gift - A voluntary transfer of property. For any gift made to a Canadian charity after December 2002, the eligible amount of the gift is used to calculate the donor’s donation tax credit or deduction. (3) Please visit http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/donors/ for more information.
Gift Planner – Someone who works with donors and their professional advisors and/or their favourite charity to achieve maximum benefit for both the donor and the charity from a planned charitable gift.
Grassroots - Organizing at the local level, or organizing from the bottom-up.
Insurance Broker - A representative of an insurance company. This professional might advise on financial concerns related to any type of insurance.
Irrevocable trust - A trust that cannot be terminated or changed by the person creating it. (1)
LEAVE A LEGACY™ Chair - Oversees the program and the LEAVE A LEGACY™ Committee at the local level.
Legislation - In Canada the Income Tax Act provides guidelines on the proper way to give so that individuals may claim donations on their final income tax return. Please visit http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/donors/ for more information.
Not-for-profit organization - This is an association, club, or society operating exclusively for social welfare, civic improvement, pleasure, recreation, or any other purpose except profit. A not-for-profit is not a registered charity and can not issue an official tax receipt even though not-for-profit organizations are exempt from paying tax on its income. (2)
Philanthropy - The act of donating money, goods, time or effort to support a charitable cause, usually over an extended period of time and in regard to a defined objective. Philanthropy may entail activity that promotes a concern for human welfare and advancement. (4)
Philanthropy Consultant - A professional specializing in strategic planning and useful tactics regarding charitable efforts.
Planned gift / planned giving / gift planning - A way of giving to charity and arranging donations which both serve the interests of the charitable organization and also suits the personal, financial, and tax situation of the individual donor. (3) Also see How to Leave a Legacy for some examples of planned gifts.
Policy - Guidelines that govern an individual’s insurance or trust payments and finances.
Professional advisor - Best defines CAGP members who work in charitable gift planning as an advisor to a donor or a charitable organization. These members commonly work in the fields of accounting, law, insurance, financial planning, etc.
Registered charity - An organization, trust, or corporation that was established in Canada, resides in Canada and is registered under the Income Tax Act as a charitable organization, public foundation, or private foundation. A registered charity is operated for charitable purposes and must devote its resources to charitable activities. (2)
Roundtable refers to local committees of the CAGP-ACPDP™. These RoundTables accept, observe and promote the CAGP-ACPDP™ Code of Ethics. RoundTables assist the CAGP-ACPDP™ in developing its programs and materials, and serve as the primary vehicle for delivery of those programs and materials.
Stock Broker – This is a licensed professional or firm who buys and sells shares, stocks, or investments.
Sustainability - To maintain productivity at the same pace or at an accelerated pace for a cause or a goal without causing harm to the greater society.
Tax benefits- Registered charities in Canada are regulated by the Canada Revenue Agency under the Income Tax Act. Under the act, donations to registered charities may help reduce your individual income tax. Tax credits are calculated as a percentage of the eligible amount of donation you make. (2) For more information please visit http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/donors/
Tax implications - See tax benefits
Will / Testament – The last legally binding document of an individual directing the disposition of his or her estate and assets effective at death.
(1) Planned Giving Glossary, Planned Giving for Canadians
(2) Giving to Charity Information for Donors, Canada Revenue Agency, http://www.cra.gc.ca/donors/
(3) Charities and Giving – Glossary, Canada Revenue Agency, http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/chrts/glssry-eng.html
(4) Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org
(5) Giving to Charity: Information for Donors Brochure, Canada Revenue Agency, http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/xi/rc4407/