Establishing a Generous Legacy
By any measure, Louis* had done very well in life. In addition to raising a happy family, he had established a number of successful private business ventures and invested well in real estate and the stock markets. He kept his feet on the ground by focussing on the gratitude he felt for his good fortune, and knowing you can’t take it with you, planned to leave his businesses and investments to charity.
Simple Goals for a Complex Estate
Louis knew his estate would be complex and that the donation in his will, estimated at more than ten million dollars, would have significant tax implications. He contacted Abundance Canada to help.
Louis wanted his charitable bequest to benefit people within his community and across the country, and for his children to be able to participate in this legacy. His gift would also need to accommodate the existing shareholder agreements for his various private business ventures. Familiar with the ups and downs that can happen in life, Louis was looking for flexibility to easily adjust his charitable plans should his circumstances change. He also wanted everything to be as simple and as tax-efficient as possible.
A Generosity Plan for Now and Later
Working with Louis’ advisors, we designed a detailed Generosity Plan™ to achieve his philanthropic goals via his estate. In designing this plan, Louis and I discussed when it would be most beneficial for him to receive charitable donation receipts – during his lifetime, in his estate, or both? He realized he had been so focussed on building his businesses up to that point that he had not really considered using them to support a charity during his lifetime.
Louis started to fund his Generosity Plan with annual donations of cash and in-kind publicly traded securities, and the charitable donation receipts help to offset some of his taxes.
A Living Legacy of Generosity
Hoping to help his children grow in their philanthropy, Louis set up some of his charitable bequest for his children to run. However, he was pleased to discover that having his children share in his philanthropy need not be confined to a bequest.
As soon as his children are old enough, Louis will include them in determining which charities receive support from his Generosity Plan. In time, he will encourage them to design and implement their own Generosity Plans with Abundance Canada. Louis looks forward to seeing his children practice the joy of giving during his lifetime.
Louis came to us focused on giving in his will, but his Generosity Plan has allowed him to not only achieve peace of mind around his charitable bequest but also to enjoy his legacy of giving today, tomorrow, and for the rest of his life.
*Pseudonyms used to protect the privacy of the individuals sharing their story.
Contributed by David Barker
Gift Planning Consultant