All About Estates

Category: Philanthropy/Charitable Giving

Total 94 Posts

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….

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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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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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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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