All About Estates

Category: Philanthropy/Charitable Giving

Total 90 Posts

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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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…

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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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The Space Between First and Second Families

Neil Armstrong’s first and second family have competing visions for his legacy and administration of his estate.

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Donor Recognition: Servants, Saints and Super Heroes

In 15th and 16th century Europe donor recognition was negotiable. The biggest donors gave to the church, but the best way to be recognized in a durable way was to underwrite religious art. Albrecht Dürer’s circa 1500 triptych, the Paumgartner Altarpiece, is one of the most arresting examples of the…

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The Senate Speaks Charity

It’s hard to underestimate the importance of the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector report to that was released on June 20th.  After almost 18 months of hearings and consideration, this once-in-a-generation study came up with 42 recommendation on topics ranging from volunteerism, social enterprise, regulatory system, and judicial…

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4x $100 million+

  In 11 weeks between March 25 and June 3, 2019 three $100 million dollar charitable donations were announced in Ontario. On February 13th, McGill University in Montreal announced a $200 million donation. These are enormous sums, and this unprecedented donation cluster is just the beginning of bigger things to…

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Canada’s Greatest Impact Donation

The FitzGerald Building at the University of Toronto housed the School of Hygiene (Public Health). It was funded by The Rockefeller Foundation with a $650,000 grant in 1927. What’s the greatest impact donation in Canadian history? I’d argue it is a forgotten gift of $75,000 made by Colonel Albert E….

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Budget 2019: Erosion of Charitable Incentives

The 2019 Federal Budget was uneventful in terms of charitable incentives (journalism aside), but there are two proposals that will directly affect giving. The first relates to donations of cultural property – especially art with foreign origins – and the second to employee stock options. The former represents the reinstatement…

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Annulled Charities

Annulment is one of those antiquated words the whispers “convenience” and “pragmatism”.  Failed or incomplete marriage?  Divorce not an option? A Church-granted annulment will set both partners free.  Annulment is also a term in the Income Tax Act that applies to registered charities and registered amateur athletic associations. It’s rarely used, and…

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