Unlocking the Power of Legacy Gifts: How You Can Leave a Lasting Impact
Hey there, fellow do-gooders! 🌟 We all have causes we're passionate about, and while donating during our lifetime is fantastic, legacy giving brings a whole new dimension to our philanthropic journey. Relax, it's simpler than it may seem. Picture this: everyday donations tackle the challenge of making a difference today, while legacy gifts address the importance of leaving a lasting mark for tomorrow and defining the legacy we want to leave behind.
What exactly is a legacy gift?
A legacy gift is like your ultimate charity encore, written into your Last Will and Testament (your Will). It can be a chunk of property, some cash, or a percentage of your estate. These gifts are the unsung heroes of charitable organizations, even though many folks aren't aware of them or the fantastic perks they offer, like tax benefits.
Why is it sometimes called a planned gift?
You might've heard people refer to legacy giving as planned giving, and that's A-OK. A planned gift is any charitable contribution that you've set in motion to be delivered after you've crossed over to the other side. Whether it's a cash gift or a piece of your estate, if it's earmarked in your will, it's a planned gift or, you guessed it, a legacy gift!
Do charities really want us to leave gifts in Wills?
Absolutely! Charities highly value gifts in wills. These legacy gifts provide stability and long-term support for their causes. They enable charities to plan for the future, expand their impact, and continue their vital work. Additionally, many charities have initiatives and programs in place to encourage and facilitate legacy giving, as they recognize the tremendous value these gifts hold for both the organization and the donors.
Isn’t it just rich people that do this?
Legacy giving is not exclusively for wealthy individuals. It's a misconception that you need to be rich to leave a legacy gift. In reality, legacy giving is accessible to people from all walks of life. You can leave as much or as little as you're comfortable with, and every contribution, regardless of its size, can make a meaningful impact. It's about your commitment to a cause and leaving a lasting mark, not your financial status. Legacy giving is a powerful tool that allows anyone to support the charitable organizations and causes they care about, ensuring their values and impact endure beyond their lifetime.
So, how do I get in on this legacy action?
Leaving a legacy gift is simpler than you might think. If you're in Canada and want to give it a go, there are a couple of ways to do it. First, you can dish out a lump sum of cash to your chosen charity. This gift is separate from the rest of your estate (everything left after debts and taxes are settled, and specific gifts are distributed).
You can also choose to leave a percentage of your estate's leftovers to a charity. The beauty of this approach is that as your residual estate grows over time, so does the potential gift to your chosen cause. Leaving a legacy gift with Epilogue is a piece of cake.
With Epilogue, leaving a gift to a charity is very simple. There are a few different questions in the questionnaire that ask about charitable giving. If you answer “Yes”, you’ll be asked which charity you want to give to. Just start typing the name of the charity in the answer bar and wait for the search function to take over. When you see the name of the chosen charity, go ahead and click it. This way your Will can include the name of the charity, the location of the head office, and the charitable registration number.
And hey, don't stress if you want to update your legacy gift later down the road. Whether you want to add more organizations, change the type of gift (dollar amount vs. percentage), or alter the gift value, you can always swing by your Epilogue account. We're all about making legacy giving a breeze!
Why should you consider leaving a legacy gift?
One common concern is that leaving a legacy gift might mean less for your loved ones, but here's the scoop: you can do both! The Canadian government is all about encouraging legacy giving and has sweetened the deal with some nifty tax incentives. When you leave a legacy gift, your estate gets a tax receipt for the full value of your gift, which adds a tax credit to your final income tax return. This can help your beneficiaries get the most out of your residual estate.
Aside from the tax perks, there are plenty of other reasons to dive into legacy giving. It's an incredible way to etch your legacy of generosity into the history books, making a cause you're passionate about a core part of your life story. Your gift can also inspire others to think about their own philanthropic goals and motivate them to pay it forward.
Let's make a lasting legacy together
Here's the thing: you don't need to be a billionaire to leave a legacy gift. Whether you want to contribute a lot or a little, every bit counts. In just a few minutes, you can leave a gift in your will to a charity, creating a legacy that will keep on shining. So, why not start today? Your legacy is waiting to be written! 📜💕