All About Estates

Malcolm Burrows

Total 125 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

Estate donations that don’t get made

John Quinn was a corporate lawyer and Wall Street titan.  A bachelor known for his many lovers, Quinn was also America’s first great modern art collector and tireless public champion.  He was a friend of literary and art legends like Picasso, WB Yeats, and Joseph Conrad. Quinn died in 1924 of cancer…

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An Estate Donation of a Company  

On Giving Tuesday last month, The Winnipeg Foundation announced a $500 million estate donation from a local donor, Miriam Bergen.  The donation is of two companies.  Appleton Holdings Ltd., which owns Edison Properties, which in turn holds 27 rental apartment and commercial buildings in Winnipeg. The donor’s wished that her…

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Direct Designation Estate Donations

A direct designation gift of RRIF or life insurance proceeds is an estate donation, but lawyers and executors have little or no role to play. Normal procedural and disclosure rules don’t apply. How do charities ensure they receive their intended gift? How does the estate receive its tax receipt? Direct…

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Charities Lawyers Don’t Recommend

I recently spoke to an estate lawyer who told me she would never recommend certain charities to clients. Why?  Because of the way these charities treated estate trustees. Some charities are unduly litigious, grind on fees, and are obstreperous about releases. It’s not the first time I’ve heard this comment…

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Illiquid Assets and Estate Donations

Tax relief for an estate donation cannot be claimed until the property is transferred to a charity.  No tax receipt; no tax credits.  If the distribution is after 60 months after death of the donor there is no tax receipt at all.  But what if the estate has illiquid assets…

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Estate Donations: Six Years Later

The 2016 introduction of the Graduated Rate Estate (GRE) regime was accompanied by the “estate donations” rules. These Income Tax Act provisions altered the administrative and tax treatment of gifts by will, as well as direct designation gifts of life insurance, RRSP/RRIFs, and TFSAs.   How are charities and executors managing…

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Charitable Prizes

When Lindbergh flew from New York to Paris in 1927, it was inspired by the $25,000 Orteig Prize. Also in the 1920s, when the International Math Union wanted to honour under 40-year-old rising mathematicians, Toronto math superstar J.C. Fields (under)funded a medal that has been awarded ever since. Since the…

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Seven Faces of Philanthropy

  The Seven Faces of Philanthropy: A New Approach to Cultivating Major Donors is an iconic American fundraising book published in 1994.  In it authors Russ Allen Prince and Karen Maru File neatly categorize charitable profiles.  While written for a fundraising audience, the book is a helpful reminder that charitable…

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Transparency v Anonymity

The calls for greater transparency by charities in Canada is growing. Budget 2022 had a few promises of more reporting requirements for registered charities related to donor advised funds and disbursement quota, although the exact measures are still unclear. What does this mean for the charitable tradition of anonymous giving?…

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Canadian Donation Incentives

I published a version of this blog three years ago to address the many questions on Canadian tax incentives for donations that I receive.  Since the questions keep coming here is a revised and updated version. Generous but Complex and Opaque Canada has the most generous tax incentives for charitable…

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