In the Comfort Life Spotlight
Did you know that 62% of Canadians don’t have a legal will and if you don’t have one, the provincial government does it for you?
The Alzheimer Society has tools to help you take control of it yourself, so your wishes are known. Get started today by downloading the Estate Planner and Guide package from the Alzheimer Society. The guide takes you through all the things you need to know about making a will. It’s part of their “Be a Super Hero” campaign.
The word super hero is used a lot today, with too much focus on extraordinary powers. A real hero, though, is one who protects and saves lives; super means they go “above and beyond.” At the Alzheimer Society of Ontario, you are the super hero, going above and beyond to protect your family and your hard-earned assets, and helping those less fortunate than you by leaving a planned gift in your will.
What is planned giving?
Planned giving means you set aside a gift now that goes to a charitable organization when you die. Do this through your will, as explained in the Guide. Planned giving is smart giving as a charitable gift can alleviate some or even all the taxes your estate would owe.
How can you avoid paying taxes on your estate?
Colleen Bradley of the Alzheimer Society explains that when people have assets, such RRSPs, RRIFs or a stock portfolio, “income tax owed is the first beneficiary upon death.” She says that if you’re altruistic-minded, “you can give to charities in your will, and the tax receipts can actually eliminate the taxes due upon death, as long as you give enough to offset the taxes owed. It is a very effective way to minimize taxes at death.”
What can you tell your family?
Of course, you should talk it through with your family, Colleen advises. Explain that your charitable donation will offset taxes owed, there is a tax example in the Guide. Your family may be happy to see the funds go to charities rather than the tax collector.
How does it benefit the charity I care about?
That charity probably struggles to support its current programs, launch new ones, or invest in critical research. When a charity receives a gift through someone’s will, they can use it or invest the gift, so the annual interest supports programs you’ve been giving to year by year. Talk to your favourite charities about how you would like your will bequest used. The amount doesn’t matter, supporting a cause you cherish does. Consider that your will reflects your legacy of values, and by leaving a charitable gift, your estate and family can gain the financial benefits.
Help build the world you’d like to see! For more information on planned giving, or to obtain your own Estate Planner and Guide to get you started visit www.alzsuperhero.ca.