Tips to Start the Planned Giving Conversation with Loved Ones

Tips to Start the Planned Giving Conversation with Loved Ones

Writing a Will and planning your estate can be challenging topics, especially when discussing them with loved ones. Contemplating mortality is often uncomfortable, but taking a proactive and loving approach ensures that your family is aligned with your wishes and that your intentions are honoured after you pass.

Here are some of our tips to have thoughtful conversations with your loved ones about charitable Will gifts:

1. Choose the Right Time and Setting

group of children smilingFind a comfortable place and time where you can talk without interruptions. Avoid bringing up the topic during stressful times or family gatherings. Instead, choose a moment when everyone is relaxed and open to conversation.

2. Be Clear and Honest

Explain why you want to leave a charitable gift in your Will. Share your passion for the cause and how it aligns with your values. Discussing the specific charities or causes you wish to support and the type of gifts you are considering (e.g., a percentage of your estate, or specific assets) helps clarify your intentions.

3. Address Concerns and Questions

Understand that your loved ones may have questions or concerns. Be ready to listen and address them patiently. If they are worried about the impact on their inheritance, reassure them by explaining how you’ve planned to balance your charitable intentions with their needs. Allocating just one to five percent of your total estate towards a charitable legacy gift can make a bigger donation than most individuals can manage in their lifetimes while still ensuring your loved ones are cared for.

4. Involve Them in the Process

group of women farmers Ask your loved ones for their thoughts and feelings about your decision. This can help them feel included and respected. Revisit the topic periodically, especially if there are changes in your wishes or circumstances. Keeping the lines of communication open helps maintain trust and transparency.

5. Explain the Practicalities of a Charitable Planned Gift

A bequest gift made through your Will allows you to leave a lasting impact by continuing to support children, families, and communities even after your time. It's a way to extend your values and passions for philanthropy well beyond your lifetime. As well, the Canadian government has made it easier (and more enticing) than ever to leave a legacy gift. Given that estates are subject to heavy taxation upon the owner's passing, leaving a bequest in your Will can substantially reduce or even eliminate these taxes.

6. Provide Resources

mother and her son smiling togetherProvide your loved ones with resources or literature about the charities you wish to support. This can help them understand and possibly even share your enthusiasm for the cause.

Canadian Feed The Children has an easy-to-use Leaving a Legacy Planning Kit that is a great first-step resource to review for detailed information on how to leave a legacy gift. 

Also, consider visiting a financial advisor, estate planner, or planned giving expert as a family to learn more about the process.

By approaching the conversation with sensitivity and openness, you can help ensure that your loved ones understand and support your decision to leave a charitable gift in your Will, making a difficult conversation easier. 

Connect with our Planned Giving Expert
Connect with Fawad Iqbal, our Planned Giving Expert, for more information and guidance on how to get started on this meaningful journey.