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


Leave a Reply