All About Estates

Malcolm Burrows

Total 136 Posts Website
Malcolm is a philanthropic advisor with over 30 years of experience. He is head, philanthropic advisory services at Scotia Wealth Management and founder of Aqueduct Foundation. Views are his own.

When Philanthropy Offends

Rueben Wells Leonard was an early Canadian tycoon straight out of central casting. He was a pioneering philanthropist whose views created controversy in life and after death.  His story is a key part of Canadian philanthropic history, and it contains some relevant lessons for today. The Man Born in 1861…

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Donating Internationally

Canadian donors who wish to support foreign charities and international charitable initiatives have historically had limited options.  While there are about 3,000 registered charities with international activities and another 700 foreign universities with qualified donee status, there are coverage gaps.  It’s a big world with lots of needs. Starting in…

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Charity Governance and Estate Donations

The headline is not intended to scare you off.  Admittedly, governance is a notoriously dull topic, made worse by the enthusiasm of governance wonks.  Charity governance is rarely a matter considered, at least overtly, by an estate donor when planning a gift by will. But strong governance is essential to good charities….

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Nuns and Money with Purpose

It’s the holidays.  A time for giving, family, and tradition.  The holiday mood inspired me to think about “money with purpose” that passes from one generation to the next – a bit like holiday traditions. Seeing my mother last weekend triggered these thoughts.  She reminded me of a story of how she led…

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Scholarships and Other Educational Awards

Student awards are one of the most popular charitable purposes, especially in estates.  Donors often strongly identify with the life changing benefit of direct educational funding to students.  Named scholarship funds are often named and constitute part of the donor’s legacy. Educational awards are such a popular purpose that there…

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Testamentary Charitable Trusts

From the 19th century to about 1990, the testamentary charitable trust was an important estate planning structure.  These trusts are part of the will and are funded after death from estate assets.  At one time, testamentary trusts were the primary way for an individual to support one or more charities…

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Family Foundations & the Promise of Harmony

One of the most common philanthropic clichés is that family foundations produce family harmony.  I was recently at a forum of advisors to ultra high net worth clients.  In a moment of candour, someone asked “has anyone used family foundations to promote family harmony, and has it ever worked?”  The…

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AMT and Donations

Changes to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) rates and rules are scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2024.  For the first time AMT will apply to charitable donations from high-income individuals, which is worrying for charities and donors. Simply, targeting donations is poor tax policy that will produce unintended…

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Gifts of Real Estate, with restrictions

Early in my charitable planning career my employer was offered a donation of islands on Georgian Bay.  Surrounding the 100-year-old family cottage were sheds, cabins and boat houses.  The donors had a vision: it would be a children’s camp. It was a stunning property.  Valuable, despite the sagging, mouse-infested buildings. …

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