All About Estates

Malcolm Burrows

Total 95 Posts Website
Malcolm is a philanthropic advisor with 30 years of experience. He is head, philanthropic advisory services at Scotia Wealth Management and founder of Aqueduct Foundation. Views are his own. malcolm.burrows@scotiawealth.com

Unrestricted Giving – In Life and Estates

An “ah ha” of COVID-19 is the importance of unrestricted giving to charity.  Donors, foundations and charities are realizing that excess conditions may hinders responses to urgent social needs.  Will this insight last beyond the pandemic? And does it apply to estate donations? Trust-Based Philanthropy First a bit of context. …

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Should Foundations Give More?

Charitable foundations are grappling with their response to COVID-19.  A Canadian initiative, Give5.ca, is advocating for increased granting through a time limited pledge in 2020.  Simply, the ask is for foundations to pledge to grant at least of five percent of their assets to registered charities in 2020.  That’s it….

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The Plague and Charitable Bequests

In 1348 the plague hit Florence – and Europe – hard. Half the population died in this densely populated city of 80,000. One result of this mass die-off was 350,000 florins of bequests to one organization, Orsanmichele, a grain market with a miracle producing Madonna shrine.  How much is 350,000…

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Are wills an essential service?

Every COVID-19 day we seem to learn a new phrase.  Not so long ago we discovered “social distancing”, and this week it is “essential services”.  The list of services and businesses that we can’t do without varies by province, but most include financial and professional services, including lawyers.  Wills are…

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Tax Shelters and Charitable Intent

In early February, the Tax Court of Canada put another nail in the coffin of “one of the biggest tax scams in Canadian history.” The case involved the Global Learning Gift Initiative, a charitable tax shelter that attracted 40,000 investors who – through a complex structure with no clear public…

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Charitable Remainder Trusts in Canada

The Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) is a gift planning structure that rarely works in Canada.  An import from the U.S. – where it is an integral part of the gift and estate tax regime – the CRT in Canada has fewer tax and planning benefits.  It’s a foreign plant that…

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Estate Donations to Government

The title of this blog may provoke laughter, or perhaps, just head-shaking disbelief.  But estate donations to various levels of government do happen. The trick is to ensure that the donor’s intentions are carried out. The Crown – i.e. federal and provincial governments – and Canadian municipalities are qualified donees…

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Donations from Spousal and Other Trusts

To paraphrase the common law, a gift must be “freely given without consideration”. “Consideration” means without expectation of benefit, which eliminates contractual or other binding rights. This concept was addressed by my colleague Darren Lund in a recent All About Estates blog on charitable donations from alter ego and spousal…

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Best Laid Plans: The Sculpture Fund

  Frances Loring (1887–1968) and Florence Wyle (1881–1968) were Canadian sculptors and life partners. In 1963 they prepared mirror wills to “assist and encourage Canadian Sculpture” through a testamentary trust, The Sculpture Fund.  Their beloved home, a Victorian church in mid-town Toronto, was to become a meeting place for sculptors…

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Wine and Estate Planning

I recently went looking for information to assist wine and spirit collectors with their estate planning. To my surprise there is little material online.  It’s easy to uncovered truth by drinking wine – “in vivo veritas” – but much harder to find a comprehensive Canadian resource about estate planning for…

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