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Gift & estate planning

What do you want your legacy to look like? Find out how you can amplify your future impact through planned giving.

You understand that the future may be uncertain, but an education will always be valuable. You have a strong desire to give students the opportunity to follow their passion, fulfill their dreams and reach their full potential. 

Research discoveries that solve our greatest issues, innovations that change our world, leaders who build healthy, sustainable communities - this is your legacy when you invest in the intellect of bright minds.

 

Planning your gift

Your estate plan decisions are unique to your interests and financial situation. Take a moment and look through our many giving options below.

Gift in will

A gift in your will is a deeply personal, forward-thinking way to give. Once family and friends are cared for, we hope you'll remember SFU. Your legacy will brighten the future of every student who is touched by your generosity. 

Additionally, a well-planned gift is ideal when you want to reduce or even eliminate your final income taxes. The most common types of bequests are: 

  • Residual bequest: SFU receives a portion of the remainder of your estate after other specific gifts have been made. 
  • Specific bequest: SFU receives a specific dollar amount or stated fraction of your estate or a specified gift of property (collections, art, books, real estate, etc.).
  • Contingent bequest: SFU would receive a stated share of your estate, but only in the event of the prior death of other named beneficiaries. 
  • Trust remainder bequest: Named beneficiaries receive income from a trust established in the will. Upon death of the surviving beneficiaries, or at the end of the specified term, all or part of the remaining principal will pass to SFU.  

Whether you're considering a major revision of your current will or you're about to have a will drafted for the first time, making a bequest to SFU is easy to do. We're here to answer your questions and provide expert guidance at every step.
 
Have you already included SFU in your estate plans? Your commitment is sincerely valued, and we want to make sure our information regarding your estate plans is up-to-date and your preferences for recognition are honoured.

Please download and fill in our Future Legacy Circle Form and return it at your earliest convenience. Your information will be kept private and confidential. 
 

RRSPs, RRIFs & TFSAs

Next to personal real estate, registered retirement funds are the most important investment for Canadians. Many people choose to eliminate deferred taxes by naming charitable organizations as final beneficiaries. 

If you choose to name SFU as a direct beneficiary, contact your RRSP/RRIF/TFSA sponsor (your bank, investment trust, or insurance company) to determine if a change of beneficiary form needs to be completed.  

Three options, three benefits:

  1. Withdraw extra funds from an RRIF or capital from an RRSP or TFSA and donate the same amount: You'll receive a tax receipt offsetting the income tax payable on the withdrawal.
  2. Donate RRIF income for a charitable annuity: You'll secure a future stream of tax favourable income and a tax receipt to offset some, but not all, of the taxes due on the withdrawal.
  3. Use the RRIF withdrawal o pay a premium on a charitable life insurance policy that will leverage your payments for a significant future gift to SFU: Name SFU as the owner and beneficiary of the life insurance policy, and you'll receive a tax receipt offsetting the taxes due on your RRIF withdrawals.

Securites

Donating appreciated securities is simple, cost-effective and the most tax-efficient way to make a charitable gift.

You can make a charitable gift of securities by using any one of the following types: prescribed bonds, units of mutual funds, exchange traded funds (ETFs), shares, warrants and futures that are listed on the stock exchanges prescribed by Canada Revenue Agency.

Click here to download a donation form. 

Benefits to you:

  • Capital gains income on securities that have been donated to charity are non-taxable - the entire donation amount results in a tax credit.
  • Straightforward and easy to transfer: your broker can usually execute a transfer in one or two days.
  • Your charitable tax receipt is equal to the mid-point trading value or closing value of your securities, whichever is higher, on the date the securities are received by SFU.
  • The proceeds from your securities are directed to the area of your interest.

You can deduct the entire gift in the current year or carry taxes credits forward for up to five years.

Illustration of tax savings


 
 
 

Stock options

Donations involving employee stock options in a public company can be one of the most tax efficient ways to make a donation.

Normally, when stock options are exercised for personal gain, the difference between the stock's fair market value and its exercise price is considered a taxable employment benefit. This benefit is then taxed as a capital gain, such that 50% of the profit is counted as income; employers must withhold the required taxes on that amount, including EI and CPP.

However, charitable gifts arranged by donating stock options can result in a high value gift at low cost. Click here to download a donation form. 

Benefits to you:

  • Reduced cost of giving
  • Simple transaction
  • Maximized tax benefits

Real estate & personal property

Many Canadians, especially those of us in B.C., have seen tremendous growth in real estate value in recent years. Investment in your primary residence can grow without the tax burden of capital gains, and your primary residence can be passed on to theirs without taxation. However, this is not the case for investment properties and vacation homes.

The option to make a gift of real property is a chance to make a significant impact at SFU, as well as avoid paying taxes on gains when selling vacation homes and investment properties.

You can transfer ownership of your property (real estate, works of art, personal collections etc.) as a donation to SFU, and receive a fair market value receipt for tax purposes now or to be used in your estate planning.  Additionally, gifts of residual interest may be considered in which you may retain the use of the property during your lifetime.

Benefits to you:

  • Immediate tax savings
  • Continued use of your property for your lifetime
  • Satisfaction of knowing SFU will benefit from your gift in the future
  • Your gift passes to the university outside of the estate process, thus reducing your estate probate taxes
     

Charitable annuities

There’s a way to have the best of both worlds when considering a planned gift: earn an income now and be confident that your legacy at SFU will thrive. There are two options available to consider here:

Charitable gift annuities

Charitable gift annuities allow you to give a substantial donation to SFU while receiving tax-favourable income. These annuities guarantee you a fixed monthly income for life or a term of years - while designating a portion to SFU as a gift - and provide immediate tax benefits.

Benefits to you:

  • Allows you to make a significant contribution to the future of SFU, yet still enjoy income from your gift.
  • Alleviates investment and management worries.
  • Provides regular payments that can be made yearly, bi-yearly, or monthly.
  • Gives you a charitable receipt for a portion of your initial gift.
  • Permits you to name your spouse or other family members as joint beneficiaries, continuing payments for as long as they live.
  • Allows future gifts to the capital, depending on your trustee.
  • Lets you convert capital assets to income.

Charitable insured annuities

Charitable insured annuities are flexible and tax-efficient gifts that are partnered with life insurance.

Benefits to you:

  • Guaranteed monthly income.
  • Opportunity to make a legacy gift that goes beyond your current giving capacity.

Here’s how it works:

  • You purchase a charitable insured annuity, guaranteeing fixed monthly income payments for life and designating SFU as the owner of the insurance policy.
  • An annuity with a life insurance contract provides an annual tax receipt for the insurance premiums that were paid from the annuity.
  • Only the income portion is taxable.
  • SFU receives the face value of the life insurance policy from your estate and would use your gift according to your wishes.
     

Charitable remainder trusts

A common concern for many people, especially seniors, is that a large gift now or in their will may leave them or their loved ones short of future income. A charitable remainder trust (CRT) is one option for making a significant contribution while maintaining future financial security.
 
A CRT is any trust where all of a portion of the remaining trust assets are distributed to a charity at the trust's termination. For example, you may benefit greatly by transferring property to a trust that will eventually be a charitable gift to SFU.
 
If you’re considering a trust arrangement gift, we strongly recommend that you carefully review the implications with your financial advisor.  

Benefits to you:

  • Gift is made during your lifetime or created through your will.  
  • A charitable gift receipt provides tax savings.
  • May permit gifting over time.
  • Your gift is protected from challenges by other potential beneficiaries.
  • Could result in favourable tax treatment of certain capital gains properties.
     

For professional advisors

Helping clients realize their charitable goals is an important part of your practice. As you are aware, there are many opportunities to reduce taxes, increase current income and create a meaningful family legacy.  We’re here to support by providing customized clause language for wills or tax-effective charitable gift options.
 
You can consult directly with us to have a custom clause prepared for you or have your client’s legal advisor call to discuss their plans in confidence.

Consider how your client would like their gift utilized at SFU:

  • Unrestricted gifts support an area of greatest promise or need.
  • Restricted gifts go to a specific area or purpose.
  • Expendable gifts are spent and used in their entirety over a designated period of time.
  • Endowed gifts last in perpetuity.

Here are a few examples of the types of clauses to discuss with your client:

  • Specific gift clauses are used when your client would like SFU to receive a certain asset or dollar amount, or perhaps a set percentage of their estate.
  • Residual gift clauses are used when your client would like SFU to receive a portion of their estate after all specific gifts have been made.
  • Trust remainder clauses direct your client’s estate trustee to set up an income fund for your client’s spouse and/or children but when they no longer need the income, whatever is left over will be given to SFU.
  • Contingency clauses describe a gift for SFU that will only happen if someone who is named in your client’s will dies before they do.
Get in touch to take the next steps

Your estate plans are unique to your interests and financial situation. We're here to answer questions and provide expert guidance at every step.

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