Where There’s A Will (Part Three)


In parts one and two of this series I looked at the startling fact that over half of all Canadian adults do not have a current legal will despite the significant consequences of dying intestate. Darlene is an exception to these statistics.

Time to Reflect

After retiring from a demanding and rewarding career in education, Darlene set aside some time to thoughtfully consider what her legacy might be. She had helped to mould many young minds that went on to very bright futures, but what did she want to be remembered for? This naturally led to making updates to her will and estate plan.

Darlene had never married and didn’t have any children, nor did she have any relatives to whom she wanted to leave her estate. After careful consideration, she decided to leave everything to charity as a gift in her will, also known as a bequest. She already supported several causes with regular donations, but she was still relatively young and knew her favourite charities might change in the future. She wanted to simplify the work for her executor and make managing her charitable donations as easy as possible, so 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 or qualified donee that represented each of the key moments in her personal history. Among these were a charity that helps Canadian grain farmers share their bounty with those in need around the world, a charity that provides micro-loans for women entrepreneurs in developing countries, organizations that provide education and emergency relief, and charities that are improving the lives of people in need in the country of her heritage. Although Darlene’s Generosity Plan is currently focussed on her charitable gift in her will, she can use it to simplify all her giving today, through her estate and beyond.

As we mapped out recommendations for distributing the bequest, she shared happy memories and touching anecdotes, and spoke passionately about the various charities and her involvement with the work that they do. She told me she hopes her legacy gift will testify to the significant role each of the organizations played in her life and how they helped shape her journey of generosity.

Peace and Satisfaction

It is a deep privilege for me as a gift planning consultant to assist people like Darlene. When we had finished, her Generosity Plan told the story of a life lived generously and the values she holds dear. Today, she is one of the most satisfied people I’ve ever met. 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 just as significant for these charities as they were in her life.

What story will your generosity tell?

Contributed by Peter Dryden
Gift Planning Consultant

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