All About Estates

Category: Estate Donations

Total 43 Posts

Cats, the T.S. Eliot Estate and the Gift that May Save the Brontes’ House

Earlier this year, my colleague Justin de Vries blogged about the post-mortem release of dueling love letters from T.S. Eliot and his friend/inamorata Emily Hale. However, there is now a happier news story regarding the impact of Mr. Eliot from beyond the grave. The Bronte Parsonage, in England, is a…

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The Charity Capacity Gap

Canada’s 85,896 registered charities have wide-ranging capacity, but these variations are often underappreciated.  Estate donors – and their professional advisors – often focus on cause and tax status, but ignore organizational health indicators like history, funding, staffing, and governance.  What should estate donors look for in a charity? Although all…

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Foundation v. Charitable Organization

The WE Charity scandal has been fascinating to charity watchers.  On July 22, it was revealed that the Canadian Government contracted with the WE Charity Foundation for the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) program, not the WE Charity as previously reported. Parallel public foundations often co-exist with operating charities (charitable…

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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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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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Leaving a Lasting Impression and Making a Difference

Today’s blog is being brought to you by guest blogger, Jennifer Campbell, a law clerk in the Private Client Services group of Fasken LLP. When a celebrity dies, outside of the cause of death, it seems the first thing that is reported is what their net worth was at the…

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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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