All About Estates

Malcolm Burrows

Total 60 Posts Website

Malcolm is a philanthropic advisor with 25+ years of experience. He is head, philanthropic advisory services at Scotia Wealth Management and founder of Aqueduct Foundation.

Journalism and Charities

The interconnectedness of registered charities and journalism is growing.  In this era of digital content explosion and “fake news”, traditional media outlets — especially newspapers — are seeking new ways to serve their communities and survive.  Increasingly, public benefit non-profit journalism is becoming a charitable activity.  There are estate donors…

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Spend-down Charitable Funds

Until 2010, the disbursement quota provisions in the Income Tax Act mandated that charities handle donations in one of two ways: for immediate use or held as long-term endowments through the “10-year gift” capital hold mechanism.  These binary rules drove donor and charity behaviour.  The 2010 reforms provided charities with…

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Robert and Signe McMichael’s Complicated Legacy

Robert and Signe McMichael, the namesake of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, were savvy art collectors who made some painful philanthropic and estate planning mistakes.  Visionary Collectors     Starting in 1955, when they were in their early 30s, they started buying landscape paintings by the Group of Seven and…

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Protecting Charitable Interests

Are charities in a will easier to challenge when there are more than five entities named?   This topic came up at a recent lunch with estate planning and litigation colleagues.  One told a cautionary tale of a large estate that was litigated away from a dozen named charities.  The charities…

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The Endowment Effect

People value objects more when they own or possess them – or at least when they presume ownership.   In cognitive psychology this phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”.    It’s a concept that was seemingly invented to describe a lot of behaviour related to estates, philanthropy and foundations.   It’s time to…

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Discretionary Estate Donations

The following post is by guest blogger Sally Lee, LLB, an Estate and Trust Consultant at Scotia Wealth Management in Toronto. What happens when a testator, under her will, grants her executor unfettered discretion to gift a share of the residue of her estate to a charity or charities? The…

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The Art Collector and the Tax Deal

Douglas Duncan was a pioneering Canadian art dealer and ambitiously hapless businessman.   Known as the dealer and artistic executor of artist David B. Milne, he was legendary for his unopened mail, uncashed cheques and, yes, of course, failure to write a will.  Prior to his death in 1968, he expressed…

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Amendments to the ODSP Act Regulations

This blog was contributed by Elizabeth Bozek, B.Sc. (Hons), LL.B., Estate and Trust Consultant at Scotia Wealth Management in Toronto. _______________________________________________________________________________ Estate planning for beneficiaries who receive Ontario Disability Support Program (“ODSP”) has been a careful balancing act to ensure entitlement to the benefits is preserved. Some relief has finally been announced…

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How to Donate Art

I get a lot of inquiries from clients with art or collectibles that they want to donate – sometimes during life and sometimes as part of an estate plan.  These long-term collectors often believe a public gallery, museum or educational institution is the best “one stop” destination for their collection. …

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The National Gallery of Canada’s Purpose

At the recent opening of the new Indigenous and Canadian Art Galleries at the National Gallery of Canada (NGC), Director Marc Mayer made a fascinating throwaway comment. Due to the inclusion of historical objects and artifacts made by Canadian indigenous people NGC had to redraft its legal purposes.  In other…

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