When Tanya Lyn Werk’s daughter was admitted to Langley Memorial Hospital following a life-threatening accident, she experienced first-hand the team’s skill and dedication – not only in their treatment of her daughter, but in their care for the entire family.
With their care, her daughter is now thriving and Werk freely shares the impact that experience had, both on her commitment to the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation, and to her longterm legacy planning.
“What a well-oiled machine they are – it was such a life-changing experience to watch the staff, see what they deal with and witness how well they work with each other, their patients and families,” says Werk, an Investment Specialist and Financial Advisor with Scotia Securities and member of the Foundation’s Legacy Advisory Committee.
Putting your passions to work
Werk’s experience is at the core of her discussions about charitable giving, part of a well-rounded financial plan: Determine what you’re passionate about and make that part of your financial plan, in whatever way works best for you.
That could mean a small monthly donation to benefit the charity today, and provide you a credit come tax time; or donating a lump sum annually from your tax return – taking the credit for the following year’s taxes. With your estate planning, naming one or more charitable beneficiaries, in addition to family, also lets you leave a legacy.
“Charitable giving is such a great tax benefit, but if you’re not having those discussions with your advisor, you could be missing out. At the same time, it’s a chance to support what you’re passionate about. For me, I do everything I can for Langley Memorial because of that personal connection.”
The importance of planning
However, while women typically make household spending decisions, they’re often not involved in the family’s financial planning. In fact, while close to 80 per cent of men report speaking with a financial advisor, just 22 per cent of women do.
But that discussion can be especially important for women, who often take years away from work for children – meaning they’re contributing less to RRSPs and CPP. On average, they also live longer than men and live more of that time alone. “It’s an uneven playing field for quite a few different reasons,” Werk notes.
A regularly updated financial plan will help prepare for those years. A Will – “the guiding light for everything within the estate” – is also key, Werk notes as we mark Make a Will Week.
When leaving a legacy, Werk recommends speaking directly with the charity. Not only will they want to thank you, but can help provide guidance if you want to support a specific area of care.
“If you want to contribute to something specific, talk to a professional – wording is everything,” Werk says, pointing to challenges that come when a Will highlights a gift for a particular piece of equipment, for example.
“Ideally, keep your gift flexible so the charity can use in the way it can have the most impact at the time – they are the experts.”
Learn more about women and giving from Tanya at a free webinar virtual seminar on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. – register at email@example.com
For more information about legacy giving at Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation, contact the legacy advisory committee members at lmhfoundation.com/legacy