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Do You Have A Will?

46% of British Columbians do not have a will, and only 4% have arranged a planned gift in their will!

I am working with Leave a Legacy - a national program to raise awareness about having a will and leaving a legacy, and they have designated the month of May as Leave a Legacy month. I have attached a press release with all the details.

There are also changes that just came into effect March 31st, thru , the Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA)

Some of the changes of WESA introduces include:

Provides the courts with the authority to recognize non-compliant documents as wills

and ensure a deceased person’s last wishes will be respected.

Lowers the minimum age at which a person can make a will, from 19 to 16 years old.

A persons will is still valid after getting married

Clarifies the process of inheritance when a person dies without leaving a will.

Hoping you might be keen to write an article about the importance of a will, how many people don’t have one – 46%! – and urge them to review the changes that have taken place.

Glad to arrange an interview with the chair of Leave a legacy, Calvin Fong.

Here are some further stats on Leaving a Legacy -

While there is little research available on planned giving, organizations such as Statistics Canada, Canada Revenue Agency, and the Imagine Canada provide some insights on charitable trends in Canada. However, more research, is needed to assess the effectiveness of different types of gifts to charities and not-for-profit organizations.

Giving Facts:

Almost 23 million Canadians or 84% of the population aged 15 and over, made a financial donation to a charitable or non-profit organization during 2007.

During the same period, 12.5 million Canadians, or 46% of the population, volunteered their time through a group or organization. These rates were largely unchanged from a 2004 survey.

Canadians donated a total of $10 billion in 2007, up from $8.9 billion in 2004.

In 2007, the average donation was $437, compared with $400 in 2004. These increases were not adjusted for inflation.

The total amount of time volunteered through groups and organizations amounted to about 2.1 billion hours, which was equivalent to almost 1.1 million full-time jobs. On average, volunteers contributed 166 hours each.

Information obtained from: — Statistics Canada

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) reports that within Canada there are 83,500 registered charitable organizations and 80,000 federal and provincial not-for profit organizations.

In sum, there are over 160,000 charities and not-for profit-organizations in Canada.

Corporations in Canada are the least likely to give. In 2003, 3% of corporations claimed charitable donations in Canada. These claims totaled $1 billion.

Statistics Canada reports that in 2006, 25% of Canadians who filed a tax return claimed a charitable donation. These claims totaled $8.5 billion.

In 2004, 22.4 million Canadians, approximately 84% of the population made a financial donation of some sort, however only 4% left a gift behind in their will.

Today, 7% of Canadians support charitable organizations by leaving a planned gift in their will.

In 2004 the top three types of organizations supported by Canadians were:

o Religious Organizations (45%)

o Health (14%)

o Social Services (10%)

In 2004 the bottom three types of organizations supported by Canadians were:

o Environmental (2%)

o Sports and Recreation (2%)

o Law, Advocacy and Politics (1%)

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