Charities and Your Will Leave A Legacy Campaign Charitable Thoughts
The Temiskaming Foundation


What a difference we could make, what a legacy we could leave, what an improvement we could make to our community, if people would donate to charities in their wills like they do in their lifetimes. It has been said that if we all donated to charity in our wills like we do at the door, the cure for cancer would have been found 20 years ago.

How about this from the Temiskaming Foundation: "We help you carry out your charitable objectives and we help the community remember you forever".

Some suggestions:

Charitable gifts in your lifetime are deductible from income. For large gifts, up to 75% of your income can be deducted;

Give stocks or property that has increased in value, and the capital gains tax is reduced by 100%! And you still get the deduction for the whole amount;

Gifts in your will are deductible from 100% of your income in your last year of life and the preceding year;

RRSP's and RRIF's are 100% taxable in your estate - make a charitable gift of them and there won't be any tax.

On the death of both spouses, provide in your will for $5000 -$10,000 to go from the joint estates to charity. Much of it will be saved in tax, and the balance won't amount to much by the time it is divided up amongst your children.

Make a gift to charity now - use the tax refund to buy life insurance so that your children will still inherit the same amount.

Donate a life insurance policy to a charity - then either deduct the premiums, or the paid up value, or your estate can deduct the proceeds of the policy. This is particularly applicable to old policies with a small amount of insurance, and a significant paid up value.

A wise man said: "I want my will to be a testament to the life I lived" and completed his charitable giving and contributed to his community in his will.




71% of people make charitable gifts while they are alive; 14% make a charitable gift in their will. If people gave as generously in their wills as they do in their lifetimes, cancer might have been cured 20 years ago!

These are Canadian statistics. As a lawyer who has practiced in Temiskaming for 33 years, I would say that far more than 71% of local people give in their lifetime and far less than 14% make a gift in their will.

What should we do? For the usual family, the husband will die first, and everything will be given to the surviving spouse, who may need everything to live on - we can't foresee the future. When both spouses die, the estate is divided up amongst the children. THAT is when the opportunity arises to make a charitable gift or bequest. Before the estate is divided up amongst the children, make a bequest to charity. The amount not received by each child will be small, and who knows, your gift may help to find the cure that will save the life of one of your children or grandchildren! For those people without children, make it more for charity. AND, the cost is not 100%, it is as tax deductable as it would have been in your lifetime, and if it is more than can be deducted in the year you died, it can be used in prior years to obtain a refund

What charities? Cancer Society, Heart and Stroke, Lung Association,World Vision, your church, the list is endless. Be careful that your charity is named properly in the will to avoid confusion or problems. Lawyers keep books listing the various charities and their proper names.

How about a gift that lasts forever? Tri Town Foundation gives an opportunity to make a donation which will bear your name forever. The money is invested, and the investment income given to local charities. Or add to an existing fund in Tri Town Foundation .

There are many other planned giving options outside of wills. Life insurance is a great way to fund a gift. Or how about giving money to your charity now, and then using the tax refund to buy an insurance policy to replace the amount of the gift in your estate?



The Life Stages of Giving

 Adapted from Jasmine Sweatman, Miller Thomson LLP. and Linda Pearson, Chair of LALtm-GTA.

Charitable giving is not only for the wealthy individual. Regardless of the age or life stage, different options can help make balancing charitable donations, family obligations, and your tax situation and cash flow requirements a little easier. People who have a favourite charity can open their hearts and their pockets to those in need at all stages of life.

The Early years:

With limited means while still in school or starting a career/family, individuals at the beginning of their independent adult years typically make cash donations, or contribute by participating in special events.

An easier, more convenient way to give is a monthly giving program. These can be set up through automatic debits to the donor's bank accounts, processed through their credit card, and some companies will help through payroll deductions.


In mid-life the available tax-smart giving options expand. Where cash flow is tight, use of life insurance policies may be an option. The small premiums can result in sizeable life insurance policies that may be gifted to the charity of your choice.

For those individuals who are fortunate enough to benefit from stock market gains, gifting securities or stock options can provide significant tax benefits to the donor and a nice gift for the charity.


Those looking for a steady, tax-free income stream, reduced taxes, and a way to support their favourite charity, often find a charitable annuity or charitable remainder trust a great way to meet their needs. With a charitable gift annuity, the charity receives a portion of the gift for its immediate use and the remainder portion is used to purchase a life insurance product that guarantees the donor a fixed payment for life.

With retirement income resource and needs much clearer, many individuals arrange a bequest, or gift in their will, to benefit their favourite charity and offset tax in the year of death. Alternatively, designating a charity as beneficiary of your RRSP or RRIF is also an option that will allow you to leave a legacy, and save probate fees.

Make sure that your life and goodwill is not forgotten after your death. Contact your financial advisor or estate planner today.


The Temiskaming Foundation

THE TEMISKAMING FOUNDATION provides an opportunity for people and organizations to invest in the future of the Tri Town and area community; it provides an opportunity to help the community help itself to be a better place to live.

GIFTS made to The Temiskaming Foundation are invested in perpetuity, and the interest earned on the money is made available to promote the betterment of the community, by way of donations to charitable organizations in the community.

THETEMISKAMING FOUNDATION is an incorporated charitable public foundation, registered with Revenue Canada to give charitable receipts.

Please visit our website for more information on who we are and how you could contribute to our community; 

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