How to 'talk turkey' about including charities as part of your estate planning

In the spirit of giving thanks and giving back this Thanksgiving, TD is 'talking turkey' about including charities as part of your estate planning.

A recent TD survey found almost half (47 per cent) of Canadians make financial contributions to charitable organizations throughout the year, with more than half (58 per cent) choosing to support charities they have a personal connection to.

Interestingly, the survey found that the majority of Canadians are interested in leaving a lasting legacy, with more than half (55 per cent) saying they plan to include, or would consider including, a charity as a beneficiary for part, or all, of their estate.

"Charitable giving is all about creating opportunities for both the people and causes that are important to you," says Jo-Anne Ryan, Vice President of Philanthropic Advisory Services at TD Wealth. "We've seen the lasting impact that including a charitable organization within our clients' estate plans has had on the donor, their families and the broader community as part of a meaningful legacy." 

If you are considering including a charitable organization as a beneficiary of your estate, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Determine how big a slice of your estate ‘pie’ will be your legacy  

It’s important to have a plan when determining how much you will leave to a charitable organization in your estate. Meeting with an advisor can help you to determine the right amount, ensuring you are optimizing the donation and minimizing the tax impact on your estate.

Understand the legacy you can bring to the table
It's not just about cash when it comes to philanthropic giving. Options such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, segregated funds or life insurance could eliminate capital gains tax and would likely produce significant tax savings for your estate, as well as the charitable organization you are donating to. 

Consider establishing a donor-advised fund as the centerpiece of your estate plan
Donor-advised funds provide a simple, tax-effective way to establish a lasting legacy of giving to support the causes that you care about.  For as little as $10,000, you may establish a donor-advised fund, an innovative, simple, and effective way to support causes that matter to you.

About the TD Survey

A total of 1,000 adults 18yrs+ across Canada were interviewed using an online methodology during the period: September 18 - 20, 2017. Some of the questions were only asked to the 470 respondents who mentioned that they have made financial donations to charitable organizations.