7 important steps to estate planning
We've made it easy for you to include charitable giving in your legacy
By our Donor Relations Manager, Tiffany Oliveira
As the end of May approaches, we are wrapping up “Leave a Legacy Month” which encourages people to write their Will and consider a charitable gift.
If you are considering leaving a gift in your Will to World Animal Protection, we want to ensure that you have everything covered if and when you begin your Will process.
Here are 7 important steps to get you started:
1. Understand your assets and liabilities
If it’s helpful, put pen to paper and write a list. Include your assets such as real estate, personal items, bank accounts, and so on. Then do the same things for liabilities which include mortgage(s), loan(s), and credit cards.
This is important in helping to give you an idea of what you would be leaving to your beneficiaries.
2. Determine who you want to represent you and your wishes
This is an important step as the person you select will be responsible for the administration of your estate. You should consider if this is something they would be willing to take on. Some people name two executors in case one is incapable at the time of fulfilling their duties.
If you have a complex estate, or if you are unable to think of someone within your circle, there is always the option of bringing in a professional such as a solicitor.
3. Have the tough conversations
Once you think of an executor, let them know. Before you draft a Will it’s a good idea to find out if the person you want to name is in agreeance.
It can also be a good idea to share your Will and how you want to divide your estate with beneficiaries, particularly if your Will includes a charitable gift. Contesting a Will from named beneficiaries can be costly and lengthy so it’s always nice when everyone understands a person’s wishes ahead of time.
4. Identify the charity or charities you want to include
This is important, should you decide to donate part of your estate.
A charitable beneficiary should represent who you are and the mark you want to leave on the world. You should also feel confident in leaving them a gift, knowing that it will have the greatest impact on furthering the charitable mission.
5. Select the type of charitable gift you want to leave
Once again, should you decide to donate part of your estate, there are several options you can consider for your gift in your Will. They are:
- Specific dollar amount
- A residual bequest ‒ a share of the remainder of your estate after all other needs have been met
- A contingent bequest ‒ a share of your estate after your other beneficiaries have passed on
6. Write your Will
Now it’s time to create your Will. Of course, at this stage, you can meet with an Estate Lawyer or Notary in your area.
As a member of the World Animal Protection community, you can take advantage of our partnership with Willfora. This will allow you to create your legal Will online for FREE in less than 20 minutes.
- Step 1: Create your FREE account and follow the guided prompts and questions.
- Step 2: Download, read, print, and review your document and then make copies.
- Step 3: Sign and store your documents somewhere safe. Be sure to inform your executor as to where the documents are located.
7. Let the charity or charities know
Reach out to your charity of choice and let them know you’ve left a gift. This not only helps them to plan accordingly when they have an idea of planned future gifts, but it also allows them to recognize your gift and show the impact that it will have in the future.
We honour this commitment by designating those who leave a legacy gift as a “World Animal Guardian” as we know you are a “guardian” for our cause.
Over 55% of Canadians do not have a Will.
That number is significant, so I hope this information at least gets you thinking about this important step.
Should you have any questions I invite you to book some time in my calendar, so I can call you, or reach out to me by phone at 416 369 0044 x122 or via email at email@example.com.