Where there's a Will, there's a way
A packed room at the Estate Planning Workshop on March 14th caught us just a wee bit off-guard! We wanted to spread the message that having a will and an estate plan was the best way to ensure that your family members and the charities you love get the most benefits from your estate. It was a pleasant surprise to see such interest in a topic that some might find dull or even uncomfortable.
At the Community Foundation of Whistler, we don’t find it dull at all. We think the topic presents a great opportunity for community members. The Community Foundation of Whistler offers donors the opportunity to create a permanent personal legacy for their community. An endowment fund is invested and the amount generated annual is given out according to the donor’s wishes.
A gift to charity through one’s estate is a common way to give to charity. This is because you get to keep the benefit from your assets during your life time but can create a lasting and unique gift through your estate that will benefit the community for all the years to come. Donors can choose to give to one of our existing funds or create their own fund.
Local lawyers Kathleen van der Ree and Sholto Shaw highlighted that having a will is important if you have particular wishes for your assets. If you pass away without a will, your assets will be distributed according to government legislation. Many questions arose around beneficiaries, particularly when families are blended. Professional advice tailored to your unique situation is essential.
Theresa Walterhouse of BDO outlined many of the tax considerations around estate planning. Charitable donations through one’s estate are good ways to help offset taxes owed. However, we learned that good advice and careful planning will help donors make the most of tax credits.
For planned charitable giving, it all comes down to your values. What do you value about your community and what impact do you want to create?
Most of us don’t think of ourselves as wealthy but a gift through one’s estate can be more than you think and it will definitely mean a lot to the community, no matter what the size of the gift. So, where there’s a will, there’s a way to make a difference.