All About Estates

Category: Philanthropy/Charitable Giving

Total 98 Posts

Loosening Standards for Charitable Property

A crisis may change long-held views.  In reaction to the devastating economic effect of COVID-19 a couple of regulators have loosened their rules related to two different types of charitable property.  Will these changes be temporary or will they lead to long-term change?  And what effect does it have on…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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. …

Continue Reading

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….

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

Transferring Wealth During Your Lifetime

I was reading recently that approximately $30-trillion in assets will be shifting from one generation to the next across North America in the next few decades, according to consulting firm Accenture. A couple of years ago, I wrote about gifting cash or assets during one’s lifetime as an alternative method…

Continue Reading