All About Estates

Category: Estate Donations

Total 15 Posts

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 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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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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Estate Planning – Can You Just Give Some of it Away?

A recent article in the press reminded me of a trend in estate planning which appears to be taking more favor in recent times. It is not very complicated, can lead to considerable tax savings and other benefits while you are with the living. I am referring to the gifting…

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Gift returned receipt required

The Canada Revenue Agency was asked to speak to the implications of a gift return and their response included some commentary on the impact on the donor. The situation the CRA was asked to consider involved an individual taxpayer who, in 1981, gave a whole life insurance policy to a…

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A Statue in the Wrong Square

Regular readers of the All About Estates blog may recall that each spring I write on legacy and how we honour the dead.  This usually involves a trip to a cemetery.  My cemetery visit this year was thwarted by a seagull attack – see my Hitchcockian video – so instead…

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Donation Tax Credit Mismatch

It is a truism that Canadians who donate enough to charity at death can eliminate tax. This outcome is due to the 100% contribution limit for gifts by will and direct designation gift of registered funds and life insurance.  Since 2015, however, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Yukon have increased…

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CHARITABLE GIFTS AND GRADUATED RATE ESTATE DESIGNATIONS: CAN YOU GIFT BEFORE YOU DESIGNATE

Assume Mr. X died in early 2016. Mr. X’s estate appears to meet all of the requirements to be a graduated rate estate (“GRE”), except the 1st return has not been filed as yet to formally designate it a GRE. The estate made a charitable donation in early 2017; at…

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Does Donor Recognition Create Obligations?

Is a donor obliged to provide ongoing support to a charity after a building or facility is named in their honour?  The legal answer is “no”.  Naming, however, may stir up complex feelings of ownership and hope, which often lead to misunderstandings — even after the donor is dead. Ownership…

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Estate Donations = Faster Distributions

Matt Johnston, my tax colleague at Scotiatrust, says the 12-month tax filing deadline is upon us. The initial round of major distributions to charities will occur in January 2017 under the “estate donation” rules introduced in 2016. As mentioned in my previous blog, executors and their advisors are discovering that…

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