Don’t need a will? Wait! Answer this question…

Raman Johal
Articles

If you have decided that you don’t need a will either because:

  • You have named beneficiaries on your life insurance, your registered products, such as RRSPs or RRIFs, your TFSA and your designated funds;
  • You have registered assets jointly with a spouse or a child; and/or
  • There will be nothing left in your estate for an executor to manage;

Consider this:

Question:

Which of the following transactions will be possible to complete without a will, after you have gone?

  1. Provide for a final gift to your favourite charity
  2. Save taxes on your final income tax return by donating to your favourite charity using a tax-saving multiplier strategy, such as a gift of securities
  3. Continue your pledge payments to your favourite charity
  4. All of the above
  5. None of the above

Answer:

  1. Incorrect
  2. Incorrect
  3. Incorrect
  4. Incorrect
  5. Correct! 

Explanation:

  1. Unless you have designated your favourite charity as a beneficiary on your life insurance policy, TFSA, RRSP/RRIF or designated funds, a gift cannot be made to charity without a will.
  2. On your final tax return, all of the assets of your estate are considered to be sold, so that any capital gains may be taxed. By gifting securities to a charity, any capital gain is considered exempt, so the final tax bill is reduced by both the exclusion of the capital gain and the full amount of the charitable gift. This type of planning can only be executed with a will.
  3. You had full intention of completing your pledge payments to your favourite charity; however, without an express instruction in your will, the pledge is not enforceable and passes away with you.
  4. Incorrect on all counts.
  5. This is the correct answer. Without a will to wrap up all the wonderful estate planning you created for your favourite charity, many valuable transactions will fall through the cracks.

 

BC’s Make-a-Will Week is April 9-15, 2017. MAWW is a Ministry of Justice campaign that brings awareness to the importance of creating and maintaining an up-to-date will, which ensures that the people, charities and organizations you care about most receive the benefit of your estate.

In conjunction with the Leave a Legacy Vancouver program of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners, we are sharing tips and info throughout the week to help our readers learn more about wills and their pertinence in ensuring that final wishes are understood and executed. Visit our blog all week for key posts related to MAWW and will preparation.