A Financial Advisor’s Perspective: Strategies for Maximizing Charitable Gifts in Wills
By Ross Young
One of the most frequent questions people have about including a charity in their Will, is how to get the most out their donation from a financial point of view. Will Power was lucky enough to sit down with Ross Young, a Chartered Accountant and Certified Financial Planner, and owner of Calgary-based ICP Planning, to hear about some common financial strategies. As a specialist in tax, estate and philanthropic planning, Ross had plenty of insights to share when it comes to maximizing charitable gifts in Wills while still taking care of loved ones.
Will Power: I would like to give more to the causes I care about. What are some of the most recommended ways to give through my estate?
Ross: There are so many options for giving to charities through your estate. People most commonly leave what’s called a bequest, which is simply an instruction in your Will to leave a donation to charity. This can be a specific amount of money, a percentage of your estate, or a residual (meaning whatever is left after other beneficiaries’ shares). I always look for ways my clients can make their donation and save money on taxes. One of the best ways to do this is to leave a gift of stocks, since donating stocks eliminates tax on any capital gains and provides the estate a charitable tax receipt. Another creative way to really magnify the size of your donation is to leave a gift of life insurance, which provides a charitable tax receipt for what could be a significant payout. The easiest way to do this is by simply naming the charity as a beneficiary on a new or existing life insurance policy.