How to Outlive Your Life (Bequests)SALTS has benefited greatly over the years from estate gifts, as the plaque which hangs by the front door at our office indicates. Sixty percent of Canadians do not have a current will, and therefore, the courts will decide what happens to their estate. Without a will, there is no control over the decisions made and probate fees are more likely to reduce the value of the estate. You can create or update a will by visiting a lawyer or notary public. Whenever you go through a significant life change (e.g. marital status, childbirth, moving to a new province, etc.) it is a good idea to review your will.
In addition to providing for your heirs, you may wish to consider making a donation to one or more charities through your will by making a “bequest” for a percentage of your estate to go to the charities of your choice. Bequests to SALTS can be unrestricted (our preference) or can be designated to be endowed as a source of bursary funding, which means that the principle amount is never spent and the investment income gained pays for bursaries each year—forever. Bequests are easy to set up and can be changed whenever you alter your will. They bring tax benefits to your estate by providing a charitable tax receipt that can be applied against income earned in the year of death or the previous tax year.
Setting up a bequest can be as simple as adding a clause in your Will. To create or alter your will, see a lawyer or notary public. You can choose to give a set sum of money or a percentage of your estate. A percentage can work well if you do not know the exact value that your estate will be at the time of death. Sample Will clauses to include S.A.L.T.S. in your estate giving are:
- “I give to S.A.L.T.S. Sail and Life Training Society the sum of $____.”
- “I give to S.A.L.T.S. Sail and Life Training Society ___ percent of my estate.”
- “I give to S.A.L.T.S. Sail and Life Training Society my _____ shares of [company name] stock.
- Any of these clauses can be made contingent, such as: “If my spouse does not survive me for 30 days, I give...”
- “I hereby leave my cottage to be used and enjoyed by my daughter during her lifetime, after which the said cottage shall be transferred to __________.