Legacy Giving: You Can’t Take It With You

Your life, your legacy, and how you can help even after you’re gone.

There is a saying: “you’ll never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul.”  In other words, you can’t take it with you.  That is why people make plans to pass on their worldly goods in the event of death.  That is also why many are choosing the option of Planned or Legacy Giving.

Planning to leave a gift through your estate is one of the most thoughtful ways to help others and to leave a lasting impact on your community.  Not only does a Legacy Gift ensure that money from your estate goes to your favourite charitable organization, it could also provide your estate with various tax breaks.  Incentives are different depending on your country (and sometimes state or province) of residence, so consult a financial advisor to find out the best way to help after you are no longer here.

While many of us would like to be able to financially help those organizations near and dear to our hearts, for some it may not be feasible in life but might be possible in death. 

Your donation could come in many forms:  securities, real estate, bequests of a life insurance policy or a retirement savings plan, collectables or artwork deemed to be of value, and, of course, cash.  An estate planner can also offer advice as to what will best allow your loved ones to pay less tax on what you leave behind.

Charities and nonprofit groups are also tapping into Legacy Giving as a fundraising option.  It can provide a substantial advantage in helping them meet their goals.  The request can be uncomfortable, but you will find the suggestion on the websites of an increasing number of charitable organizations.

In the end, Legacy Giving is a way to do one last thing to help.  Whether it is motivated by altruistic or financial reasons, it may provide a win-win option for all of those involved.  It is, simultaneously a long-term outlook and part of your life’s story. It can also be part of your legacy.

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