The West End Seniors Network (WESN) imagines a future where all seniors are thriving, achieving their full potential and having their needs met every single day. You can help to make our vision a reality by making a legacy gift to WESN. Through thoughtful planning today, you can take care of your loved ones and bring a brighter future to seniors who need it most. What will your legacy be?
Wills and bequests
A bequest through a Will is simple and straightforward. By including the West End Seniors’ Network (WESN) in your Will, you can create a lasting legacy to perpetuate your tradition of annual gifts to support your community. Gifts of a specific cash amount or asset or a percentage of the remaining estate are popular bequest choices. Your estate receives a donation receipt for the value of your gift, providing a tax credit to reduce tax otherwise payable on your final tax return.
Please see sample Will clauses below that can be used for discussion purposes with your lawyer or notary in preparation of your will. Unless otherwise directed specifically by the donor, WESN places all gifts received by bequests where they are needed the most.
Gifts of real estate and personal property
You can donate properties such as personal residences, vacation homes, jewelry or shares in privately held corporations to WESN. These could be an outright gift or a gift of residual interest. Both types of gift have unique tax advantages. As an example, you may decide to transfer your residence to WESN now but continue to use it during your lifetime.
Gifts of RRSPs, RRIFs, TFSAs and retirement plans
You can transform tax liabilities into a charitable gift by simply naming WESN as the beneficiary of your RRSP, RRIF, TFSA or pension plan. This arrangement also means that no probate fees are payable on these assets.
Charitable remainder trust
You can make a significant future gift by transferring assets into an irrevocable trust. Under the terms of the trust, you can continue to enjoy the income for your lifetime or a specific duration. WESN would receive the remaining assets upon your passing. You will also receive an immediate tax credit as a result of a donation receipt issued on set-up of the trust. The donation receipt represents the present value of the remainder trust to be received by WESN at a future time.
Donor advised funds
Donor advised funds are individual “named” funds established to facilitate gifts to be held for a longer term to ensure increased, permanent funding is available for WESN programs and services.
Through an agreement with WESN, you make a substantial, irrevocable gift – usually cash or securities – to establish a capital base that is then invested with WESN’S investment manager. You receive a donation receipt for this initial gift.
Distributions from the fund are then made on an annual basis based on WESN’s established policies and our agreement with you. The WESN programs that these distributions fund can be set out in the original agreement, through annual consultations or can be unspecified and used for general WESN purposes.
A donor advised fund can allow continued donor input into the distribution of their gift, including distribution of all or a portion of the capital base at a future date.
FAQ – Legacy Giving
How will my gift be recognized by WESN?
You might wish to remain anonymous and we respect that. However, we would ask you to consider one of our many recognition options. Your gift signals your personal commitment to the community and demonstrates leadership.
How do I leave a gift to WESN?
It is easy and flexible with several giving options. The most common type of planned giving is a charitable gift through a bequest in a Will. Gifts of a specific cash amount or asset or a percentage of the remaining estate are popular bequest choices.
You can leave a paid-up life insurance policy, securities, a retirement account or other financial investments. Some donors also give through property including real estate, jewelry or art.
What name should you include in your Will to make a bequest to WESN?
The legal name you should include in your Will to make a bequest is West End Seniors’ Network (WESN).
What is WESN’s Charitable Business Number?
Must I have an estate in order to leave a planned gift?
Everyone can leave a gift in an amount that they deem appropriate. “Estate” is simply a word used to describe everything that you own at the time of your passing. Every gift to WESN helps strengthen our community of seniors.
Do I have to include my wish to leave a gift to WESN in my Will?
A charitable bequest will not take effect unless you state your intention in your Will. A well-prepared, up to date Will is one of the best ways you can make your wishes known so that your legacy is exactly what you want it to be.
Is making a Will expensive and time consuming?
Making a Will doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. It usually takes less time than most people think and can usually be completed in one or two short meetings. While sometimes there are reasons to make a more complicated Will, contact a notary or lawyer and ask for their opinion.
Do I tell WESN that I’ve left a gift and the specifics?
No, you don’t have to disclose any details about your bequest. However, it would help us greatly in planning for the future programs and in recognizing your generosity. If you choose to inform us of your plans, it is not binding in any way.
Can I leave a legacy to fund a specific program?
Needs of the WESN community change from time to time. For WESN to have the flexibility to focus on the greatest need of West End seniors, we encourage you to leave an undesignated gift. However, you can always direct your caring gift to a specific area or project or to WESN’s highest priority needs. We would be delighted to provide you with appropriate bequest wording to help ensure your gift is used as you wished and directed to the fund or area you have chosen to support.
Can WESN help me arrange for a gift?
While we will do everything we can assist you in creating a legacy gift for WESN, we cannot offer legal advice or financial planning. A professional advisor, like a financial or estate planner, lawyer, accountant, trust officer or insurance agent, will be able to assist you in leaving a gift.
Is my gift tax deductible?
Yes, gifts are eligible for tax credits or tax deductions. However, the tax benefits will depend on several factors: the type of gift, the timing, outright or deferred, or has any income payments. We encourage you to talk to a professional advisor. They can advise you and help to ensure you realize the philanthropic goal while enjoying the maximum tax and legal benefits.
If I create a bequest, will WESN to ask me for annual contributions?
We will because the commitments address two different needs. Through your annual gift, WESN is able to help seniors stay active, happy and healthy. Last year, we invested in 15 programs to strengthen the community and positively impact seniors.
However, to allow WESN the ability to meet future challenges and opportunities, your legacy gift is significant. It will allow us to help the most vulnerable members of our community for the generations to come.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss a gifting option, please contact:
Martin Addison, Executive Director
Sample Will clauses
Bequest for Unrestricted Purposes
This is the most flexible type of bequest and is extremely important as WESN is granted full discretion in using the gift. For example:
- A specific bequest – gives a specific cash amount or item of property.
“I give to WESN the sum of $___________(or named property) to be used for the general purposes of WESN, as the Board of Directors shall determine.”
- A residual bequest – gives all or a portion of whatever remains after payment of debts, taxes, and other bequests.
“I give to WESN _______ percent of the residue of my estate to be used for the general purposes of WESN, as the Board of Directors shall determine.”
- A contingent bequest – take effect only if the primary purposes cannot be achieved, for example, if the primary beneficiary does not survive you.
“If (name of primary beneficiary) does not survive me for 30 days, then I give to WESN (a cash amount, named property, percentage of the residue) to be used for the general purposes of WESN, as the Board of Directors shall determine.
Bequest for Restricted Purposes
Any of the above forms of bequest can also be used in making a restricted use bequest, simply describe the particular purpose. For example:
“I give to WESN the sum of $__________ (or named property) to be used for (e.g., WESN program supporting seniors transportation).”
“I give to WESN ___________ percent of the residue of my estate to be used for (e.g., WESN program supporting seniors mental health).”
It is a good idea to include language that allows WESN to use the gift for a different purpose if circumstances change. For example:
“In the event that, in the opinion of the Board of Directors of WESN it should become impossible, inadvisable or impractical to apply this bequest for its stated purposes, the bequest may be used for other purposes which conform as much as possible with the spirit and intent of the bequest.”
Please obtain advice from your legal advisor in preparing your Will and making a gift through your Will. The above information can be used for discussion purposes by you and your legal advisor; however, it is not intended to be legal advice.
Last Updated: 24-Nov-2021