Planning a Charitable Gift in Your Will

A lady enjoying coffee while petting her dog.

A gift in a will, also known as a bequest or legacy, is simply a gift you leave to a charity in your will. It is a popular way to leave a meaningful legacy for future generations. It is an opportunity to make a donation to a charity if you have not been able to during your lifetime.

Your donation to PAWS:

  • Helps people in crisis or difficult circumstances provide care for beloved pets
  • Supports the mental health and wellbeing of disadvantaged and low-income pet lovers in Ontario
  • Provides preventive and emergency care that reduces euthanasia and surrender of pets
  • Reduces animal pain and suffering 

Steps to Planning a Charitable Gift in Your Will

Your will can be a powerful tool to create change in your community. Leaving a charitable gift in your will allows you to make an legacy contribution to a cause(s) you care about, while still taking care of loved ones.

Planning a gift in your will is easier than you think.

1. Think about what you want to achieve. Why do you want to leave a gift in your will? What kind of impact do you want to have? What types of charities would you like to support?

2.Keep it simple and don’t spread it around too broadly. If you can choose one (or a few) charities, you’ll make a real difference. Even 1% of your estate left to charity can make an impact while still leaving the majority for family and friends.

3.What would you like the approximate size of your donation to be? Estimate the value of your estate, how much you would like to leave to charity, and how much you would like to leave for loved ones.

4.Explore the different ways to leave a gift in your estate. Your estate is likely to receive a significant tax bill when you pass. Choosing to make a charitable gift in your will results in a donation receipt that can significantly reduce taxes owed, leaving more for the people and causes you love. Work with a financial advisor to discuss which of your estate’s assets might be most efficient to give.

5.Reach out to your chosen charity to discuss options to use your legacy in specific ways. Would you like your donation to be invested in an endowment fund or in a specific project? Maybe you’d like your gift to commemorate someone? Now is the time to set up a gift that achieves something personally meaningfully for you.

Your gift makes an Amazing difference

Ways to Give a Gift in your Will

If you already have a Will ask your legal advisor about the simple process of adding a codicil.

  • A gift of cash. You may choose to designate a specific dollar amount, or percentage of the residue of your estate to give to charity. This is called a ‘bequest’ and is the most common way to leave a gift in your estate.
  • A gift of securities. If you own publicly listed securities, donating them to charity can have significant tax advantages. Your estate will receive a  donation receipt to help reduce taxes owed, plus the elimination of taxes you would normally have to pay on capital gains.
  • Donate what’s left  from your RRSP, RRIF, or TFSA. Naming charities as the beneficiary of your registered funds is one of the easiest and most flexible ways to give. It’s as simple as filling out your fund provider’s beneficiary form, which you can update any time. 
  • A gift of life insurance. Name a charity as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy. 

Your Gift to PAWS will make a lasting difference for pets and  people.

We would love to know of your planned gift! – please fill out this confidential form or contact our Director of Planned Giving at  We will NOT pester you with email or phone calls! 

Financial advisors, lawyers and funeral home directors rely on the Canadian Book of Charities as a resource to find options for clients who want to leave a legacy to a cause they care about.