A gift made through a will can be in the form of a “bequest,” meaning a specific gift of cash, securities such as stocks or bonds, real property or other items of value. It might also involve a gift of the whole or some portion of the “residue” of an estate. The term “residue” means what is left for distribution to the beneficiary or beneficiaries once all taxes and other debts of the estate have been paid and all of the specific gifts of property provided for in the Will have been satisfied. In either case, the Foundation will issue an income tax receipt to the estate for the fair market value of the gift and this receipt can be used to reduce income taxes payable by the estate.
There are several ways to make a gift of life insurance proceeds to the Foundation. One way is to simply name the Foundation as a beneficiary of a policy issued on the life of the donor. The Foundation would receive the insurance proceeds on the donor’s death and would issue a receipt to the estate in that amount. A second option is to make the Foundation both the owner and beneficiary of a life insurance policy in respect of which premiums will continue to be paid. When this is done, the donor receives a tax receipt at the end of each year for the premiums paid by him or her in that year to the Foundation on account of the policy. A third option is to donate a paid-up policy by transferring ownership of it to the Foundation. In that case, the donor receives a tax receipt for the full cash surrender value of the policy, less the amount of any policy related loan.
A gift of life insurance is private, in the sense that it does not involve the donor’s estate or will. Depending upon how it is structured, it can also provide income tax savings to the donor now and a substantial gift to the Foundation in the future.
Gifts In Kind
Company shares, mutual funds, bonds, real property and other assets can be gifted to the Foundation by an individual during his or her lifetime. When the Foundation receives such a gift, it issues an income tax receipt to the donor in an amount equal to the fair market value of the gift at the time of transfer. An appraisal of the gifted property may be required in support of the receipt.
RRSPs and RRIFs
The Foundation can also be named as the beneficiary of a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF). The RRSP or RRIF would still be taxable in the estate on the death of the donor, but the income tax receipt issued by the Foundation would reduce and might even eliminate any income tax owing.
A charitable gift annuity should be considered by those who wish to invest in an annuity so as to provide themselves with income for life, but who also wish to make a meaningful contribution to the West Vancouver Memorial Library Foundation on their death.
Depending upon the donor’s age, the income to the donor from the charitable gift annuity would be wholly or partially free of tax. As a result, the income payable to the donor from the gift annuity might be higher than the net income that could be generated from other types of guaranteed investments.
Charitable Remainder Trust
A charitable remainder trust is another option to consider when a donor wishes to give significant assets to the Foundation, but also wishes to continue to receive the income from those assets until his or her death. In order to establish a charitable remainder trust, the property to be gifted would be transferred to a trust company or some other trustee. A trust document would be prepared setting out the terms of the trust. The trust would direct that all of the income from the gifted property be paid to the donor for life and, on the death of the donor, the gifted property be transferred to the Foundation as beneficiary.
The donor would receive an income tax receipt at the time of the creation and funding of the trust which could provide significant and immediate income tax savings.
Gift of Residual Interest in Property
A gift of a residual interest in property allows a donor to give an asset, such as real estate or art, to the Foundation, yet retain the use of that asset for the life of the donor or for a term of years. The donor would receive an income tax receipt at the time of the gift based upon the value of the Foundation’s remainder interest in the gifted property, which could provide immediate and significant income tax savings.