Each year, local residents and organizations put their generous donations to work at Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation, helping provide the best medical care for their families, friends and neighbours.
But they may not realize how easy it is to also leave a legacy through their will, life insurance or registered investments.
“It’s an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy to an organization that is meaningful to you,” says Tyler MacLean, financial planner with G&F Financial Group and a member of the Foundation’s Legacy Giving Advisory Committee.
1. Bequest. Leave a bequest to the Foundation in your will, just like you would to any beneficiary. A bequest can be for any amount and doesn’t prohibit you from making additional bequests to other individuals or organizations.
2. Life insurance. Like a bequest in your will, you can name the Hospital Foundation or other charities as beneficiaries to your life insurance.
3. Registered funds. Similarly, you can identify a charity as the beneficiary of RRSPs and other registered investments, as you would an individual.
“These different options can really make a difference to what someone hopes to leave behind, and how they might distribute their legacy,” MacLean says.
Charitable donations can also help reduce tax bills, but it’s always best to speak with your financial advisor to come up with the best plan.
Did you know? Common questions about charitable giving
While we often give considerable thought to growing our investments through our earning years, how we might disperse those investments following our death can get missed.
Common misconceptions include the belief that estate bequests must go to a single recipient. In fact, you can have as many beneficiaries as you wish, MacLean explains.
“Sometimes people think they have to give everything to a charity OR to family, but you can do both.”
Concern about the amount of the gift can also arise, but MacLean emphasizes that all donations are both permitted and welcome. “A smaller gift from multiple donors can have a meaningful impact,” he notes.
A lasting legacy
While we often think of legacies in terms of the financial contribution, charitable gifts can also create an emotional legacy – a donor wall located right in the hospital provides an option for family to display and honour the name of a loved one, for example.
After a loss, a legacy gift can also help bring loved ones together in providing a common gift to a charity that meant a lot to mom or dad.
“If you’re not having the conversation with your advisor, bring it up,” MacLean suggests. “It helps the advisor to know it’s important to the you and the results can be really impactful.”