A new Scotiabank poll has found 25% of residents of Ontario plan to leave some of their estate to charity. That’s only slightly higher than the Canadian national average at 22%.
That’s great news for Canadian charities.
These trends can be attributed to two things: more childless couples today and more people living longer. In the case of the latter, their children are often older and already well-established, so they don’t feel as great a need to leave all of their estate to their children.
In the Scotiabank poll, the top three reasons Canadians cited for leaving some of their estate to charity were a desire to give back to society (60 per cent), not having dependents and wanting their money to go to a good cause (20 per cent), and for the tax benefits (12 per cent).
One of the more surprising results, the bank said, was only four in 10 (39 per cent) of Canadians said they were aware of the tax benefits associated with charitable giving.
While taxes are not the primary reason to give, tax savings greatly reduce the cost to other beneficiaries. A gift by will generates a non-refundable tax credit that can be claimed against tax owing, and new rules provide a five-year claim period against up to 100 per cent of net income.
Portions Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 24, 2014 A2