All About Estates

Charitable donations made through a will

In many cases, a deceased person will include charitable bequests in their will. The executor(s) of the estate may not, however, be in a position to honour the bequest in a timely fashion due to the lack of available estate funds on hand. In not all cases will this action (or inaction) frustrate the completion of the final personal tax return.

The executor(s) may deduct charitable donations made through the will on the terminal return by providing an official receipt or, if the gift will be received at a later time, a copy of the will, a letter on behalf of the estate to the charitable organization advising of the gift and its value, and a letter from the charitable organization (including its Canada Revenue Agency issued registration number) acknowledging the gift and stating that the gift will be accepted.

In thoses instances where the deceased’s final return will be filed electronically, the information set out in the last paragraph should be submitted by the executor(s) via mail to the Canada Revenue Agency.

Don’t let a lack of liquidity frustrate the deceased’s wishes and take credit in the terminal return for charitable gifts to be made at a later date.

About Derek de Gannes
Derek A. de Gannes: Senior Director, Private Client Services of RSM Canada. RSM Canada is committed to the highest level of integrity, quality and professionalism and provides clients with solutions in the area of Audit, Tax and Transaction Services. Email: