All About Estates

Malcolm Burrows

Total 64 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. malcolm.burrows@scotiawealth.com

Charity v. Benevolence

Last week I received two inquiries from caring colleagues hoping to help individuals in need.  One person had cancer and had lost his business, while the other was a sick child who perhaps could benefit from her own charitable foundation.  As heart-rending as these stories are, neither qualify as “charity”. …

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Terms of Endearment and Estrangement

This blog was written by Sue Noorloos LLB, an Estate and Trust Consultant with Scotiatrust in London. Estrangement is defined as “one or more relatives intentionally choosing to end contact because of an ongoing negative relationship”, according to a recent article published in the New York Times called Debunking Myths…

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Who Will Milk the Cows Tonight?

This post is by Carol Willes, LLB, of Scotiatrust. This week I want to share some challenges and practical tips for personal representatives administering tangible but unique estate assets. Art & Artifacts Paintings, sculptures, collectibles and cultural items, etc.  Establishing the value of art is an exercise in discerning authenticity…

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Tax-Free Canadian Gifts

This blog is written by Sally Lee, LLB, and Estate and Trust Consultant with Scotia Wealth Management. Publication 559 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service states: The gift tax applies to lifetime transfers of property from one person (the donor) to another person (the donee). A gift is made if…

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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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