Here at Willful, we believe in highlighting the power of legacy giving. We are excited to announce that we have partnered with Will Power™ to show Canadians the opportunity they have to leave a tremendous impact on causes close to their hearts.
CAGP Foundation research shows that only 5% of Canadians leave a charitable gift in their will. The goal of the Will Power campaign is to work closely with Canadian donors to raise that figure to 8.5% by 2030, which could translate into as much as $40 billion to advance the causes that are important to Canadians.
What is a legacy gift?
A legacy gift (also known as a bequest) is a gift to charity or non-profit organization in your will. It can be a piece of property, cash or percentage of your estate. Legacy gifts play a key role in supporting charitable organizations but many people don’t know that they’re an option, how they are paid out, or the tax benefits of these gifts.
Read More: All About Legacy Gifts
Why should I leave a legacy gift?
People often worry that leaving a legacy gift means there will be less to give to their loved ones. The truth is, you can make a legacy gift without taking away from the gifts left to your family and friends. The Canadian government has created valuable tax incentives to encourage Canadians to leave legacy gifts. When you leave a bequest, your estate receives a tax credit for the full value of the bequest which adds a tax credit to your final income tax return. This can help to maximize the value of your residual estate for your beneficiaries.
To help Canadians understand how these incentives work and realize the power they have to create change, the Will Power™campaign has launched a website designed to make it easier for Canadians to plan their estate giving. Here you can learn about estate gifts, and browse charities you may choose to include in your Will.
Willful is thrilled to be Will Power’s exclusive online will-writing service provider and help educate Canadians on the different ways to prepare a will.
How can I leave a legacy gift?
When you make your will with Willful, leaving a legacy gift is as easy as a few clicks. After the Special Gifts section where you can assign property and lump sum cash gifts to your loved ones, you will see our charitable giving section that allows you to leave a lump sum to charities of your choice.
If you prefer to leave a percentage of your residual estate to a cause, you can add the organization as a beneficiary in the next section.
If you don’t see your charity in our dropdown list, please click the link to Canada Helps to find your organization and their CRA number.
You can come back at any time to make changes to your legacy gift, whether it’s adding additional organizations, changing the type of gift (dollar amount vs. percentage) or changing the gift value. Just log back in to your Willful account, make the changes and follow the attached instructions to sign and witness your will to make it legally-valid. It’s important to us that we not only educate Canadians on the power of legacy giving, but also make it as easy as possible to do.
While legacy giving makes it possible to leave much larger gifts than otherwise possible, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to be wealthy to leave a legacy gift. You can leave as much or as little as you want - there is no gift too small to make an impact. It only takes a few minutes to leave a gift to charity but it creates a legacy that lives on forever.
Interested in learning more about the impact of leaving a legacy gift? Learn about How Legacy Giving Helped Create SickKids Research Institute or what inspired Alana to leave a lasting legacy with the North York General Foundation.