What will your legacy be?
Since our founding in 1878, Western has become a vibrant centre of learning. From accessibility to heath care to the environment, Western’s students, faculty and researchers are finding solutions to some of the biggest challenges of our age.
Legacy donors are a community of supporters who believe in the power of education and help us build a better future.
Choosing to leave a legacy gift is a deeply personal act of generosity and The Legacy Gift Planning Team is here to provide information and simple tools for you to create a lasting legacy at Western through planned giving.
Ways to give
Planned giving is a simple, flexible way to make a contribution at any time in your life. Gifts can be directed to an area at Western that is most important to you, or you can trust Western to put it toward the highest priority needs on campus.
Here are the four most common ways donors have made a legacy gift to Western.
A gift in your Will is the most direct way to create a meaningful legacy at Western.
Here are the most common ways donors include Western in their Will:
- Residual bequest: a percentage of the remainder of your estate after other specific legacies have been fulfilled.
- Specific bequest: a specific dollar amount or stated fraction of your estate or a specified gift in kind.
- Contingent bequest: a gift that is originally intended for other beneficiaries but in the event of their prior passing, is redirected as a charitable donation.
Please contact our team to share your intentions to ensure your plans can be carried out as you wish.
A gift of publicly traded securities is an attractive option for many donors. When you transfer a gift of shares, bonds, bills, warrants, futures or units of mutual funds listed on a prescribed public stock exchange to Western University, you may not pay tax on any capital gain.
Your broker can electronically transfer these types of gifts into Western’s account by using one of our securities forms located on our website.
- Forward the completed transfer form to your broker/investment advisor to initiate your electronic transfer of securities. Western cannot initiate this transfer on your behalf.
- Forward a copy of the completed transfer form to Western for our records.
- Please be advised that in normal circumstances, the value of the donation receipt will be based on the closing price of the security on the day the securities are received into Western’s brokerage account, in accordance with our Board Policy and Canada Revenue Agency Regulations.
- Unexpected and/or unidentified transfers make it difficult to issue appropriate donation receipts
A gift of life insurance is a simple and easy way to support Western University. A life insurance policy enables you to make a significant gift for the future for a relatively small financial outlay today.
There are a number of easy ways to make a gift of life insurance.
- You can take an existing policy that has finished serving its original purpose and simply have the ownership and beneficiary designation transferred to Western University. A charitable tax receipt will be issued for the accumulated value of the policy at the time of transfer. Any continued premium payments also qualify for charitable tax receipts. Western University strongly recommends that you discuss this matter with your insurance specialist before any transfer takes place.
- You can purchase a new life insurance policy in which Western University is named as the owner and beneficiary. You continue to pay the premiums and receive a charitable tax receipt for those payments.
Making Western University the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, RRSP, RRIF or TFSA allows you to create a legacy at Western once your needs and those of your loved ones have been met.
To name Western University as a beneficiary contact the firm that holds your assets to ask for a beneficiary form to complete.
For all types of planned gifts, we strongly encourage you to consult your attorney or financial advisor to learn if a charitable bequest is appropriate for your situation.
If you decide to include Western in your estate plans
We would like to welcome you to our community of legacy donors. Please complete a Statement of Intent and return it to the Legacy Gift Planning Team.
Tips from financial advisor and legacy donor Gary Gorham, BA’80
- What do you want your legacy to be? Consider the causes that matter most to you. Some Western donors are passionate about specific areas of impact, while others ask the university to determine the best use for their funds.
- Have a conversation with your family. Your legacy can provide for your family and the causes that are important to you. Gary encourages clients to have an open conversation with family members about their estate. Providing a letter to the family ensures that everyone is clear of the donor’s wishes. Family members might have opinions of what they’d like to inherit versus what goes to a charity. Sharing this information reduces potential conflicts.
- Plan ahead. Based on age and income, Gary advises clients to invest a certain percentage of their gross income. This ensures that people have enough set aside for retirement, but also maps out future financial scenarios. Other considerations include whether you have any mutual funds, insurance policies, or a pension plan.
- Talk to a financial advisor and seek legal advice when needed. Many people don’t realize how high taxes on their estate can be, nor the true value of their assets, so it’s key to meet with a financial advisor. It is also important to draft your Will(s) in consultation with a lawyer. Whether you are just beginning to draft your Will or already have one, a lawyer can help you include a gift to Western.
- It's easy. Making a legacy gift is straightforward. It can be done by including a provision in a new Will or making an amendment to your existing Will. Wills can be modified at any time, should your wishes change.
- It's tax friendly. Your estate receives a donation receipt for the value of your legacy gift, which can substantially reduce or eliminate taxes owing on your final tax return.
- Don't worry about the amount. Every dollar helps. Your gift — whatever the amount, acknowledges the charity’s life-changing impact on others.
- Think percentages. Net worth can change over time. You might leave 90 per cent of your estate to your family and 10 per cent to Western.
- Avoid multiple conditions. Giving the charity some flexibility will ensure your donation can be put to best use.
- Inform the charity. This helps the charity plan for its future. It also enables them to thank you for your support.
Our team is here to work with you, your family and advisors and can help you plan your legacy to be impactful, enduring, and a true expression of your values.
Legacy Gift Planning Office
Westminster Hall, Ste. 110
London, ON, Canada, N6A 3K7
Charitable Business Number 10816 2587 RR0001
Westminster Hall, Ste 160
361 Windermere Rd
London, ON, Canada, N6G 2K3
Donor Support in Action