Generosity Lives On (Part One)

Mike and Carol

Warren Buffet once said, “If you’re in the luckiest 1% of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99%.” Hearing this from a billionaire philanthropist may prompt comparisons that make it difficult to think of ourselves as the ‘luckiest’, but an annual net income of $41,800 CAD is enough to qualify as the world’s top 1% of income earners[1].  However, I think Mr. Buffet’s 1% applies much more broadly than dollars and cents – it’s inviting all those who can to choose generosity.

You Can’t Take It with You

Whether you have the riches of Warren Buffet or are just making ends meet, you can’t take any of it with you when you die. Your will is one of the last opportunities you have to express your love to those you care about and communicate your values. Leaving a gift to charity makes a powerful statement.

Give A Gift to Charity in Your Will

Setting up a gift to charity in your will (or bequest) is simple. Your bequest can be a specific amount, a percentage, a specific asset, or the residual amount of your estate. Not only does making a charitable gift in your will ensure the causes and organizations you care about will be supported, it can also significantly reduce any outstanding taxes payable on your estate.

For example, in Alberta, charitable donation receipts provide an approximately 50%-54% tax credit (depending on income). The tax credit is effective up to 100% of income in the year of death and the year preceding death. It is important to note that the applicable tax credit varies depending on the rules in your province. An Abundance Canada gift planning consultant can provide you with direction on your local provincial legislation.

Start a Legacy of Generosity

I had the privilege of helping Abundance Canada clients Mike & Carol Dempsey* develop a Generosity Plan that included a unique legacy gift. Throughout their lives, the Dempseys were thoughtful in their planning and intentional with their giving. They supported their favourite charities while raising a family, living within their means, and navigating retirement.

When they passed away, their wills told the story of a couple who deeply valued generosity and compassionately considered the 99%.

In Part Two, I’ll share how Mike and Carol’s charitable legacy is connecting generations of loved ones and promoting generosity that will last for decades.

*Pseudonyms used to preserve the privacy of the individuals sharing their story

Contributed by Kevin Davidson
Gift Planning Consultant

[1] According to Global Rich List (, a website by ad agency Poke London that compares one’s wealth with that of the rest of the world

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