Tag Archives: legacy giving

Power of Attorney. What Is It?

When people seek help with their estate planning, they usually understand the need for an up-to-date will. Some, however, are less clear on the need to have a Power of Attorney. Having such documents is important and wise. Here’s why.

A Power of Attorney is a legal, written document that allows you to appoint someone to act on your behalf. Essentially, it gives them the same powers you have to deal with your assets and your personal care. A Power of Attorney is only valid after it is signed and only for as long as you live.

There are two kinds of Power of Attorney:

  • Power of Attorney for Property covers your financial affairs and allows the person you name to act for you. A Continuing Power of Attorney for Property is a type of Power of Attorney for Property that allows the person you name to act even after you become mentally incapable.
  • Power of Attorney for Personal Care covers your personal care decisions, such as housing, nutrition, clothing, and health care, should you be unable to act on your own.

If you don’t have a Power of Attorney, a family member can make health care treatment decisions for you and can apply to the Court become your guardian of the person and of property. Alternatively, someone else, like a close friend, could apply to act for you. With a Power of Attorney, you get to choose whom you would like to act on your behalf.

Powers of Attorney are powerful documents and should be given to individuals only after carefully considering that they are trustworthy and able to do what is required. It is wise to ensure the people who need to know about these documents are aware of them and where they are located. They should also be kept in a secure place.

Powers of Attorney are practical documents that can make your life, and the lives of your family members, much easier. When you create or update your will, remember your Powers of Attorney, too.

Tax benefits for you and your estate

Every legacy gift through one’s will to The Ottawa Mission Foundation provides your estate with a tax receipt for the full amount of the gift. In the year of your death, you are deemed to have disposed of all of your assets. Because of this, your reportable income can be high. The charitable tax credit flowing from your gift can offset any tax owing from capital gains or the winding up of retirement funds. Your executor should consult an accountant about how to make use of the tax credit in the most beneficial way.

Susanne Greisbach is a Senior Advisor in Trust and Advisory Services with the National Bank and a specialist in Wills, Trusts, and Estate Law. Susanne is a member of The Ottawa Mission Foundation’s Allied Professionals Network. This group of volunteers from various professions – law, accounting, financial planning – bring their professional knowledge and technical expertise to The Foundation’s legacy giving program. To learn more about Susanne and our other allied professionals, please visit our Legacy Giving page

How You Can Help Shape Our Future

A charitable gift in your will is important. Each year, thousands of philanthropic Canadians leave a portion of their assets in their wills to support causes they care about. Such gifts help people fulfil their charitable dreams and wishes. They can also generate significant tax benefits for one’s estate. For The Ottawa Mission Foundation, charitable gifts from generous donors like you ensure that those experiencing homelessness will continue to have a warm place to sleep, nutritious meals, housing support, medical, dental and addiction treatment programs, and so much more. That’s why we are asking you to remember The Mission with your own legacy gift.

You may direct your future gift to any area of The Mission’s work that you like, including our many supportive programs, our endowment funds or for our day-to-day operations. Alternatively, you may allow us to direct your gift to where the need and impact are greatest at the time. Whatever you choose, a planned gift can ensure a strong future for The Mission. Opportunities abound and there is one that is just right for you.

A charitable gift of any amount in your will could be a truly powerful gift that may not be financially possible during your lifetime. After providing for your loved ones, a gift in your will would make a tangible, meaningful difference to what we strive to do daily at The Mission.

If you are considering leaving a legacy for The Mission, speak with your professional advisors. Then, please contact Christina Hunter Cadieux, Planned Giving Officer, by email at chuntercadieux@ottawamission.com or calling her at 613.277.4902. If you have already remembered The Mission in your estate plans, please let us know. We can partner with you to establish or confirm how you would like your future gift to be used, thank you personally, and offer you recognition if you wish.

Please help us build a lasting future. Thank you for remembering The Mission with a legacy gift.

Without A Will…

There are many reasons why we put off making a will. The process can be daunting. There is uncertainty about where to begin. Some think their estate is too small to bother. However, if we really understood the consequences of not having a will, especially for those we care about, we would be taking action—immediately.

Here are just some of the reasons why having a will is so important:

  • When you don’t have a will, the chances of having to apply to court for probate are much higher. When you have a will, combined with some good estate planning, you can often avoid this costly and time consuming process.
  • Without a will, the laws of the province in which you reside will determine how your assets are distributed on your passing. Your preferences may not be followed and could result in real hardship for your loved ones.
  • If you are parents of minor children, you lose your only opportunity to name a legal guardian of your choice—someone who could best meet the emotional and material needs of your children.
  • Finally, if minors are beneficiaries, they will inherit from your estate at the age of 18 with no strings attached. Some can handle such responsibility at this young age, while others cannot.

Having an up-to-date will is important. Think about the legacy that you would like to leave, and then seek professional advice and counsel. You—and your heirs— will be glad you did.

Without a Will is based on an article written by Peter Lillico, an estate planning lawyer with the Peterborough, Ontario firm of Lillico Bazuk Galloway Halka.

Lucian and Rita Blair: Seeing The Need

Lucian and Rita Blair have donated to The Ottawa Mission Foundation for 18 years — even though they both wish The Mission wasn’t needed. Unfortunately, it is.

It was Lucian’s work in local television that first brought The Mission and its work to his attention. He had no idea the difficulties the homeless faced, or their special needs, until he produced a news program on homelessness. Rita’s work as a social worker at the Ottawa Civic Hospital brought The Mission’s work to light as well. They discovered the impressive, comprehensive strategies it uses with the homeless and, as Lucian shares, “We were happy to offer our financial support.” They do so in memory of their son Paul, who died in 2011.

The Blairs were born in northeastern Italy in an area that is now part of Slovenia. Their parents met in an internment camp, decided that their future lay in Canada, and immigrated in 1951. Rita’s family moved to Montreal, while Lucian’s family relocated to Toronto. Lucian and Rita connected again during Expo 67, began a friendship, and have now been married for close to 50 years.

The couple is clearly aware of what a good life they have in comparison to others. As Lucian shares, “Our gifts support The Mission’s meal and rehabilitation programs and that pleases us.”

They became monthly donors and more recently each has chosen to remember The Mission with another kind of gift — a legacy in their will. It was something they just knew they wanted to do. “We have no grandchildren”, says Rita, “and we have absolute confidence The Mission will use our gifts creatively and well.” Their future gifts are a percentage of their estates and have been left undesignated to be used where the need is greatest at the time.

Today, the Blairs are happily retired. Lucian spends time with his piano, making playlists for his friends, reading, and home maintenance. Rita is an avid bird watcher and enjoys gardening. They keep abreast of The Mission’s activities and are happy to encourage their neighbours and friends to support the Mission as well. The Mission could not be more grateful for all their years of thoughtful help.

When asked what he would say to someone who is considering leaving a legacy gift to The Mission, Lucian is clear. “Just do it! The Mission does wonderful work that meets urgent needs. It is an organization most worthy of our help.”

You too can support The Mission with a gift of any amount in your estate plans. Staff would be pleased to assist you in any way they can. And if you have already remembered The Mission with a legacy, would you let us know? We would like to thank you personally and ensure we use your future gift exactly as you wish.

On behalf of those we serve thank you, Lucian and Rita, for your generous support of The Mission in so many ways for so many years.