Category Archives: Legacy Giving

Legacy Giving – Anyone Can Make a Gift in Their Will.

There’s a misconception that legacy giving is only for the wealthy and that the words “Estate Gift” are associated with palatial like homes and considerable personal riches.  But the truth is that Legacy Giving is for everyone- anyone can make a gift in their will.

Legacy gifts can range anywhere from $150 to over $1 million – but it’s the thought that counts beyond measure of monetary amount. Legacy gifts are very meaningful because they reflect the hopes and vision of the donors who make such arrangements, and every gift is appreciated.

You spend your lifetime building your personal wealth and if you are considering a legacy gift, you are choosing an organization that (to you) represents the future of what you value for those you care about and your community.

Below are some of the most common questions that come up for those thinking about a legacy gift:

  • Can I ensure my loved ones are provided for and still support the Heart Institute?
  • What if my circumstances change?
  • Do I have the means to make a legacy gift?
  • What impact will my gift make?
  • Do I feel good when I think about my legacy gift?


Can I ensure my loved ones are provided for and still support the Heart Institute?  Providing for your loved ones and making a legacy gift are not mutually exclusive.  There are many options that can help you provide for your loved ones and support the Heart Institute.  In fact, legacy gifts can provide your estate with a tax credit that will enable you to leave more to the people and causes you love and give less to the taxman.  Options such as:

  • Residual Gifts or Bequests
  • Gifts of Life Insurance
  • Gifts of Listed Securities
  • Gifts of Retirement Funds
  • Trusts

What if my circumstances change?  Our lives are forever changing, which is what makes it so important to have a will and to revisit your will regularly.  As you move through life, you may find that you have a little more to share.  Or you may find that, after working hard over the years, you deserve to spoil yourself a little, travel, treat the grand-children, indulge, and find yourself with a little less to leave behind.  That’s the thing about legacy gifts, they’re flexible and  can change right along with you.

Your will included a gift of cash for the Heart Institute, but you now find yourself needing to make a change.  Maybe a residual gift to the Heart Institute is a better fit for you at this time; take care of what needs to be taken care of first and, if you wish, you bequeath what’s left, the residue, to the Heart Institute.

The important message here is that you always have a choice and the option to make changes or to change your mind altogether.

 Do I have the means to make a legacy gift?  A legacy gift is simply a gift provision made within an individual’s will.  However, there are different ways a person can provide a legacy gift.

Life Insurance policies are a great example. You may have an existing policy on which you pay premiums, and you have reached a level of financial stability that the policy no longer holds the same value for you.  If you name the Heart Institute as beneficiary, the policy will not form part of your estate and therefore, won’t be subject to probate fees.  In addition, your estate will receive a charitable tax receipt for the value of the contribution (the policy) – which means more of your estate will go where you intended and less will go to the tax man.

Or maybe you would prefer to transfer ownership of the policy to the Heart Institute and continue to pay the premiums, in which case you will benefit from a charitable tax receipt for premiums paid during your life time.

Talk to your bank, financial advisor, or lawyer to see which of the many available options is best for you. More information about the different legacy giving options is also available on our website.

What impact will my gift make? All legacy gifts have a remarkable impact on the work we do, the growth and future of the Heart Institute, and the cardiac health of your community.  Legacy gifts allow us to plan for the future, to ensure that the Heart Institute is here for generations to come – continuing to provide excellent patient care and still making groundbreaking discoveries.  It’s not about just one gift!

In 2017 the Heart Institute received 45 gifts ranging in value from $325 to $450,000 for a grand total of $2.6M.  These gifts funded education, research, patient care, equipment purchases, women’s heart health, and so much more.    And you can’t imagine all of the incredible accomplishments of these programs made possible thanks to legacy gifts.  Read more about legacy giving impact in Marion’s story.

At the very heart of it, a legacy gift is very personal. If you are considering a gift in your will to the Heart Institute, it’s because our work and vision for the future of cardiac care resonates with you.

Your decision to leave a legacy gift is extremely important and will have an impact and help shape the way cardiovascular medicine is practiced and revolutionize cardiac treatment and understanding to serve the local community right here in Ottawa as well as in the  national and international communities.

So to recap:

  • Make sure you have a will
  • Talk to your financial advisors and lawyers, about ways to support your family and the causes you love – and about how one can help you to leave more for the other
  • Talk to your loved ones
  • Revisit your will
  • Then revisit your will again
  • Treat yourself, travel, treat your loved ones
  • Aaaaand revisit your will again
  • Most important – create peace of mind by designing a legacy you are proud of


Giving with Heart

Marion Martell is passionate about health, or more specifically, women’s heart health. There is no doubt that it has been a driving force in her leadership and volunteer work with the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

It is her passion for women’s heart health and for the work being done at the Heart Institute through the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre that inspired her to leave a legacy gift in her will.

As a former nurse, Marion understands the impact that health can have on someone’s life. “I always knew I would be doing something related to health in my retirement,” Marion shared.

Marion is committed to helping women better understand their own heart health and to championing the opportunity to provide education, awareness, and support for women in our community.

Heart health has touched Marion’s life in more ways than one. Her father had valve surgery at the Heart Institute in the 1990s and then in 2008, she herself became a patient at the Heart Institute. Marion had developed sudden onset complete heart block. She required surgery and received a permanent pacemaker. Her firsthand experience as a patient gave her a deeper understanding of the importance of heart health.

As the years passed, Marion became more and more involved in programs connected to women’s heart health. She became a member of the Women’s Heart Champion Advisory Committee, and contributed to the creation of the Women @ Heart Peer Support Program (a program launched for women with  heart disease, run by women with heart disease to provide information, education, and support) and became one of its leaders and continues as both leader and Program Ambassador.

Marion is also involved in fundraising for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. From 2009-2016 she co-chaired the Jeanne Fuller Red Dress Golf Classic which supports the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre and raises awareness about heart disease in women.

Marion’s desire to help women through her volunteer and advocacy work led to her decision to not only volunteer but to also give what she could financially. Heart disease used to be considered a “man’s disease,” but no longer. Heart disease is a leading cause of death among Canadian women. Although more research is being conducted than ever before around women’s heart health, there is still work to be done in order to better understand how heart disease presents in women.

“There is a gap in education and awareness around women’s heart health,” said Marion. “When I decided to give a legacy gift in my will, I did so in order to help sustain the many valuable  and essential programs at the Heart Institute,  including those provided by Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre.”

Marion’s legacy gift gives her the opportunity to make a lasting impact on an area that is important to her. “I am simply glad to be playing a small part,” she said. “And doing what I can to remind women that I sincerely take their health to heart.”

A legacy gift through your will can affect the development of new programs to further the research that will become tomorrow’s treatments.

To learn more about the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre, please visit

To learn more about leaving a legacy, please  contact the Legacy Gifts team at 613-696-7251 or


When revising their wills in 2014, Ottawa residents Paul and Marilyn Koch decided to leave a legacy gift to the Heart Institute. “The Heart Institute, without question, saved my life,” said Paul.


An active volunteer fundraiser, Paul Koch and his wife Marilyn have donated time and funds to many organizations and causes. In 2009, at the corner of Bronson and Carling, life took a turn for the Kochs, and this event played a large part in their decision to include the Heart Institute in their legacy giving plans.


Paul and Marilyn had been out to dinner to celebrate their wedding anniversary that night in 2009. Upon returning home, Paul did not feel well, but, at first, chalked it up to an indulgent meal. The next morning as his symptoms persisted, Paul logged on to the internet to investigate. He had an existing hiatus hernia, which can have symptoms that resemble a heart attack, so his second thought was that the hernia was causing his discomfort. Just then, his arm began to tingle and it became clear to both that a heart attack might be imminent.


Rather than calling 911 which would have been the better thing to do, they jumped into the car and with Marilyn driving traveled from their home in Hunt Club toward the Civic Hospital. At the corner of Bronson and Carling, Paul experienced severe heart pain! As they reached the hospital, Paul jumped out of the car and ran into the hospital emergency room exclaiming, “I think I’m having a heart attack!”.


Within minutes he was wheeled over to the Heart Institute, and within an hour he was on the operating table. Paul had a 100% blockage of his LAD artery. In surgery he had a stent put in, and then spent four days recovering at the Heart Institute. “Two weeks later I walked 18 holes of golf,” said Paul, in praise of the care he received.


In many ways, Paul and Marilyn Koch have spent their lives giving back to their communities. Both lifelong volunteers and fundraisers, the Kochs are now both retired and continue to annually support over 20 organizations, both locally and globally.


Inspired by his father, who served as Chair of the Guelph City Planning Board in the 1940s, Paul has been volunteering since he was a child growing up in Guelph, Ontario. “My father was very active in the community and he always encouraged me to be involved and give back to my community — to give time and be as generous as I could be from a philanthropic point of view.”


Over the years, Paul’s volunteerism traveled with him from the University of Waterloo where he received his engineering degree to many organizations in Burlington, Sarnia, North York and finally in Ottawa where the Kochs permanently laid down their roots after IBM transferred them here in 1980.


During his time working for IBM, Paul would reach out to colleagues to help raise funds for a variety of charitable causes.“Often when I would call business associates, they would ask, ‘Who are you raising money for now ?’”, Paul laughed.


In Ottawa, he has contributed his time and energy to organizations such as The Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, The Riverside Hospital Foundation (now the OutCare Foundation), EnviroCentre, The City of Ottawa Environmental Advisory Committee, the Ottawa Sustainability Fund at the Community Foundation and most recently the LPGA’s Canadian Pacific Women’s Open as the Ecology Committee Co-Chair.


In their retirement, Paul and Marilyn enjoy golfing and traveling. However, they still spend time giving back to their community. “Volunteering is one way we keep ourselves busy and feel that we are making a contribution.” He added with a smile, “We don’t know how we had time to work!” While they had previously donated to the Heart Institute, since Paul’s heart attack in 2009, the Kochs have made annual gifts to the Institute which are supported by IBM’s 50% Matching Grant Program for retirees. In 2014 when redoing their wills it therefore only seemed natural to leave a legacy gift to support long term priorities.  “We will continue to support the Heart Institute annually as well as leaving the legacy gift because of the great work that is done there.”


“I owe a lot to the Heart Institute,” Paul expressed. “We’ve been so blessed. ” The Kochs’ legacy will undoubtedly be one of service, and the Heart Institute is certainly grateful to be a part of their giving plans.


When you leave a legacy gift to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation, you become a member of the Wilbert J. Keon Legacy Society and will become part of providing ongoing support that funds patient care, research, the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre, the most urgent needs of the Heart Institute, among other initiatives and innovations. Your gift will not only help save and improve the lives of others, but it will help you to leave a lasting legacy you can be proud of. To learn more about including the Heart Institute in your Will, please contact the Legacy Gifts team at 613-696-7251 or

Kaufmans Legacy Gift Honours Humanitarian Couple’s Commitment to Education and Philanthropy

Legacy Gift Honours Humanitarian Couple’s Commitment to Education and Philanthropy

Dr. Hyman (Hy) Kaufman and his wife, Dr. Sylvia Van Straten Kaufman spent their lives committed to making a powerful impact on future generations. A shared passion for philanthropy, research, and education, together with a strong belief in the potential of rapid developments in cardiology, inspired the Kaufmans to leave a legacy with a generous gift to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

Often, the choice to leave a legacy gift in your Will stems from each donor’s personal experience – the Kaufmans were no different. In 1980, following Hy’s retirement from McGill University where he was a Professor of Mathematics (and where he and Sylvia met and married in 1959), the Kaufmans moved to Ottawa. In 1988, Hy became a patient of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute as a result of a heart attack. In 1995, he underwent double bypass surgery and an aortic valve replacement – the Kaufman’s Endowment Fund and the beginning of their legacy would begin just 5 years later.

The Drs. Kaufman started the Dr. Hyman and Dr. Sylvia Van Straten Kaufman Endowment Fund at the Heart Institute in 2000 and for over 15 years, the fund supported the Institute’s annual Kaufman Grand Round Lecture, enabling medical professionals to learn, grow, and exchange knowledge and ideas. Many esteemed lecturers have participated in this annual event, including specialists from world-class hospitals such as The Cleveland Clinic, and from as far away as Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates.

In addition, the Kaufmans’ legacy gift supported the creation of the Dr. Hyman and Dr. Sylvia Van Straten Kaufman and Dr. Kwan-Leung Chan Fellowship in Echocardiography. This fellowship honours the Kaufmans’ wishes to transform their legacy gift so that it would have greater impact on research and education in the field of cardiac medicine.

The Kaufmans’ gift also had significant impact on the Heart Institute’s new building, slated for completion in March of 2018. Their gift contributed to the purchase of highly specialized medical equipment, and to development and outfitting of patient-focused care facilities such as the unique and innovative Hybrid Operating Room.

The Kaufmans were academics – Hy held Ph.D.s in Mathematics and Physics while Sylvia’s Ph.D. was in Chemistry – who also shared a deep love and appreciation for art in all forms: music, poetry, painting and more. Four paintings created by the couple, two each by Hy and Sylvia, now adorn the walls of the Kaufman Training Centre at Hillel Lodge, yet another example of the Kaufman’s commitment to leaving a legacy in and for their community.

Both Hy and Sylvia displayed their humanity by impacting others through education and charitable giving throughout their lives. Hy continued to grow the fund at the Heart Institute in her honour after Sylvia’s passing in 2006 and, following Hy’s passing in 2014, the full extent of their gift was conferred upon the Heart Institute and it is our esteemed honour to continue their legacy.


When you leave a legacy gift to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation, you become a member of the Wilbert J. Keon Legacy Society and will become part of providing ongoing support that funds patient care, research, The Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre, the most urgent needs of the Heart Institute, among other initiatives and innovations. Your gift will not only help save and improve the lives of others, but it will help you to leave a lasting legacy you can be proud of. To learn more about including the Heart Institute in your Will, please contact the Legacy Gifts team at 613-696-7251 or