Did you know that you can name more than one charity to be the recipient of a legacy gift?

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Legacy Giving goes by many names: planned giving, estate giving or legacy giving. It refers to the forethought and action of a donor to make a gift to charity that will either be realized at a future date or through the donor’s estate.

While donors make gifts to charity all the time, the significance of a Legacy Gift is the planning involved in making it happen. A donor making a Legacy Gift will generally need to involve professionals such as lawyers, accountants or financial planners, to structure the gift. As well, as a donor, you may choose to involve the charity ahead of time to make the gift.

While leaving a Legacy Gift can result in a larger gift than you may be able to make in your lifetime, a Legacy Gift can be of any size or amount. A Legacy Gift can also be designated to a specific program or endowment fund.

There are many giving options and the one best suited to your needs can be determined with help from your professional advisors.

Some of the most common gift options include:


A charitable bequest is the distribution of assets from your estate to a charity through your Will. There are different kinds of bequests and each has specific language to be used. You will need to specify the specific charity as the recipient of your gift. You can designate a specific dollar amount, a specific item or a residual portion (what is left over) of your estate after the other terms of your Will have been completed.


You can enter into a contract with the charitable organization.  A large contribution can be given immediately (and invested) in exchange for a guaranteed lifetime income. Upon your death the charity would receive the remainder of the original contribution and the estate would receive a charitable receipt for that amount.


You may choose to transfer securities or have the securities cashed out and the cash value donated to the charity of your choice.

Life Insurance

You may identify a charitable organization as the beneficiary of an existing, or new, life insurance policy.


You may choose to include the charity of your choice as the beneficiary of your retirement plans.

Real Estate

Or you may choose to leave your primary or secondary residence, property, land or buildings to the charity of your choice.


Talk with your family and friends about your will. It is highly recommended that every donor speaks to one or more professional advisors before making a Legacy Gift. Contact your favorite charity to let them know of your gift so that they can demonstrate their appreciation in your lifetime.

If you are considering making a gift of life insurance or a bequest and would like to discuss how to best create and structure it, please contact one of the Legacy Thunder Bay partners.