All About Estates

Tag: Malcolm Burrows

Total 38 Posts

Ontario Donation Tax Credits – Proposed Rationalization

Proposed Change The Canadian donation tax credit regime is generous, but opaque and needlessly complex. The March 28, 2018 Ontario Budget proposed a welcome reform for an intricate system. Too bad the idea is from a government that polls predict will likely to be voted out of office in eight…

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Estate Donations for Charities Not Yet Registered

The 2018 Federal Budget hinted that Canadian newspapers may be able to receive charitable status in the future.  As I’ve previously written, making non-profit and local journalism an eligible charitable purpose is a timely idea — and it has implications for donor planning their estates.  The Federal Budget got me…

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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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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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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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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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