With the legislative changes, the structure of charitable giving can be just as important as the amount that is given, both to the charity and to the client. The options to the client are much broader than simply signing a cheque or leaving a sum of money to a charity in a Will.

In many cases, a client needs professional advice to assist in assessing the options. Many clients are unaware of the giving alternatives. For professionals providing estate planning advice - whether it is tax planning, assessing insurance needs, or investment planning - it is becoming incumbent upon such professionals to include a discussion of charitable giving.

Planned gifts can take many forms including:

  • cash gifts and bequests
  • gifts of property
  • gifts of publicly traded securities
  • life insurance
  • charitable annuities
  • charitable remainder trusts
  • gifts of remainder interests in property


Read this article on charitable gifting.

Professional financial representatives will often need to work together with the charity to structure a gift that provides maximum tax savings to the individual while providing effective assistance to the charity. The 100% of net income donation limit in the year of death and in the preceding year may create a bias toward estate gifts. However, this will depend on the size of the gift and the client's net income for the relevant years.

The annual limit of 75% of net income provides opportunities to increase lifetime gifts. Each client's situation must be analyzed to determine which is more beneficial: giving now or deferring the gift to the estate or a combination of both. Whether it is the donation of shares, capital property, stock options, an insurance policy or the assignment of a policy, there are numerous tax advantages available to donors. Charitable donations should never be purely tax motivated but the tax savings that can be achieved both in life and at death go a long way to encouraging philanthropy and rewarding those who explore the numerous opportunities available to them.

At Macnaughton & Ward Financial Services we can tailor your Charitable Giving plans that will not only fulfill your unique wishes but also in the most tax efficient manner. Contact us today for further information.