Tell Your Story with a Legacy Gift
In Part One, I shared the shocking statistic that a majority of Canadians do not have a current legal will. Sadly, many people avoid the task because they are afraid to think about the end of their life. However, taking a proactive approach to estate planning not only ensures your wishes can be followed but offers surprising peace of mind. One Abundance Canada client created a Generosity Plan™ that tells the story of her life and values.
Leaving It All to Charity
Throughout her teaching career, Darlene* remained deeply dedicated to her students. Although she had never married and didn’t have children of her own, she mentored hundreds of young people who went on to very bright futures. When Darlene retired, she started wondering what her legacy would be. What did she want people to remember her for? As she worked through these thoughts, Darlene realized it had been a long time since she had updated her will and estate plan.
Because Darlene did not have any relatives to whom she wanted to leave her estate, she decided to leave everything to charity as a gift in her will. She had long supported a variety of causes with regular donations, but because she was still relatively young and knew her favourite charities might change in the future, she was reticent to write those specifics into her will. She wanted to keep things simple for her executor and making changes to a legal document was likely to get expensive. There had to be an easier way to manage her charitable bequests. Darlene contacted Abundance Canada for help.
A Generosity Plan™ from the Heart
I met with Darlene and together we created her customized Generosity Plan. Fastidious and organized, she was very clear about which causes she wanted to include in her legacy. I was touched by how thoughtful she had been with her planning, considering each season of her life and recommending a Canadian charity that represented each of the key moments in her personal history.
As we mapped out these recommendations for distributing the bequest, Darlene shared happy memories and touching anecdotes, and spoke passionately about the various charities and her involvement with the work that they do. By using a donor-advised charity, Darlene was able to name Abundance Canada as the charitable beneficiary in her will, knowing that we will distribute donations to all of her recommended charities. Furthermore, she can always recommend more or different charities as time goes by.
Peace and Satisfaction
When we had finished, Darlene’s Generosity Plan told the story of a life lived generously and the values she holds dear.
Darlene’s Generosity Plan is currently focused on charitable bequests, but she has the flexibility to use Abundance Canada to simplify her current giving if she chooses. It is a tool that will help her give today, through her estate, and beyond.
Today, Darlene is not afraid of talking about the end of her life. She knows she has taken the time to put together a Generosity Plan that is deeply connected to who she is, and the impact she will make with her final gift will be a part of her wonderful legacy.
What story will your generosity tell?
*Pseudonyms used to protect the identity of the individuals
Contributed by Peter Dryden
Gift Planning Consultant