June 20, 2021

Planned Charitable Giving can be a key Estate Planning Tool


Planned or charitable giving is a unique opportunity to “have your cake and eat it too”. A gift to a charitable organization can help you take full advantage of incentives offered by governments as it relates to estate planning and estate taxes while allowing you to provide for charitable organizations that are close to your heart.

Your gift can take many forms and be made in a variety of ways:

  • Bequests under a Will – There are many options for creating a bequest in your Will. You should seek the advice of an estate planning expert for input on these options.
  • Life insurance – You can put a life insurance policy in place that will pay a specified sum to the chosen charity by naming it the beneficiary of the proceeds. Or you can name your estate as your beneficiary and include the charity in your Will. There are tax advantages and disadvantages for each of these approaches. Ask your estate planning expert for their input on what approach best suits your situation.
  • Gifts of RSP or RIF assets.
  • Charitable gift annuities – This allows you to give a lump sum to a charity and receive periodic income in return. There are tax implications and benefits to this approach. Once again the advice of your estate planning expert is suggested prior to setting this up.
  • Charitable remainder trusts – This is essentially a living trust with tax advantages while you are alive. Seek the insight from your estate planning expert as to how this could have a positive impact for you and the charitable organization.

You should be aware that planned giving while you’re alive can also provide you with significant tax advantages. Consequently whether as part of your estate plan, or as part of your financial and tax planning, it is strongly recommended that you seek guidance from independent experts to ensure that all your financial goals and your wishes for the charitable organization are met.


Feel free to contact us at any point for assistance or advice with respect to Estate Law, Estate Planning, Estate Administration or Estate Litigation. We may be reached at 705-435-4339 / 1-877-85LEGAL (1-877-855-3425) or contact us via email.