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Planned Giving - No longer just for Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates

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Planned Giving and Philanthropy

One of the more positive trends that has emerged in the world of finance is the movement into planned giving and philanthropy. This movement has entered the spotlight in the last few years as celebrity billionaires like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg and many others have pledged the majority of their wealth to various charities after they pass away. But planned giving of this nature is not just for the ultra wealthy and it's great to see that it has become one of the planning priorities that many of our clients have become interested in.

Enhancing the Opportunity of Giving

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending The Manitoba Longball Open in support of Kidsport. This is an annual event which my good friend Josh Zaporzan, CEO of Longball Inc., puts on as a way to give back to the community and in particular to provide opportunities for every child to experience the benefits of organized sports. This is a cause near and dear to his heart which I was happy to support. It also reminded me of just how many people are doing more to give back to the community. This has also been my experience in working with the United Way of Winnipeg with the fundraising cabinet where I get to witness firsthand the generosity of so many people in our community. With so many people giving back, imagine if there was a way that we could enhance that giving and create exponential dollars?

Planned Giving

This is exactly the objective behind many planned giving strategies. Every charitable organization would agree that traditional donations are great, but the enhanced giving ability offered through planned giving strategies would help them to do so much more for their cause. So what is planned giving? In it's simplest form, planned giving is simply a pledge of giving that will happen in the future, usually when someone dies.

However, the real power behind planned giving comes when we can multiply your donation dollars. There are two common strategies in particular which we have recommended to a number of our clients on this depending on their financial situation.

Strategies to Follow

One simple strategy which is often overlooked is the donation of securities to a charity. Many people aren't aware of the tax benefits of donating securities, such as company shares, especially if they are sitting in capital gain positions. When you donate securities, not only will get you a donation tax receipt based on the fair market value of the security at the time of donation, but the donation is not considered a deemed disposition according to CRA and therefore you will not incur capital gains tax.

Another strategy which has become more popular is the donation of a life insurance policy. For those of you who have planned to leave a lump sum to a charity in your will, you may want to consider taking out a life insurance policy and donating it instead. By taking the lump sum amount you would have donated and using that money to purchase a life insurance policy, in most cases you will be able to multiply your donation to the charity because the life insurance death benefit will be higher than the lump sum you would have donated. Additionally, you will be able to receive the benefits of the tax receipt while you are still alive which also makes the strategy attractive today.

There are many other strategies which can be implemented as well, and which one works best depends on your own individual situation. What is clear is that planned giving is becoming more and more popular, and if there is a cause that is important to you it is worth it to have a conversation about. After all, if you can find a way to do more good in the world, why wouldn't you?

- Grant White, CIM, CFP

Grant White is an award-winning Portfolio Manager/Investment Advisor at Endeavour Wealth Management with Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. Together with his partners he provides comprehensive wealth management planning for business owners, professionals and individual families.

This information has been prepared by Grant White who is a Portfolio Manager for Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (iA Securities) and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of iA Securities. The information contained in this newsletter comes from sources we believe reliable, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or reliability. The opinions expressed are based on an analysis and interpretation dating from the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Furthermore, they do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any of the securities mentioned. The information contained herein may not apply to all types of investors. The Portfolio Manager can open accounts only in the provinces in which they are registered.

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