What difference have I made? What will my legacy be?

Do you sometimes wish you could do more?

Many of us feel that our capacity to make a significant gift today is restrained by the reality of living on a fixed income or the fact that our biggest assets are tied up in our homes and our retirement plans. 

A gift in your will is a way to have an impact on the future without affecting the quality of life you have today.  It’s also a way to ensure the sustainability of a cause that’s close to your heart.

If QWF has been important in your life, we’d like you to consider the impact you could make on the next generation of Quebec writers and the future of our organization.  The process can be surprisingly simple.

With the help of a lawyer or notary, and advice from your financial planner if necessary, adding a charitable gift to your will generally requires little time and effort. What’s more, depending on your situation, it may significantly lower the taxes your estate has to pay.

“Now that I have more years behind me than ahead of me, I have begun, reluctantly, to imagine the unimaginable: not being here. And I’ve decided that the best gesture, in lieu of sending flowers, would be for people to make a donation to the QWF, an organization that I have appreciated and benefitted from in my lifetime.”

Carolyn Marie Souaid
from “I can’t even imagine not being here”
in QWFWRITES February 3, 2014

Here are the answers to some questions you may have, but please feel free to contact us directly at any time.

By leaving a gift to charity in your Will you can have a much bigger impact than you ever imagined. 

5 Common Myths that Get in the Way of Your Will Power

Are there different ways to make a bequest?

There are several ways to arrange a gift in a will. A more detailed explanation and suggested wording for your notary or lawyer are given further below.  

In brief:

  • A specific bequest is a gift of specific property, securities, or cash.
  • A residual bequest is gift of all or a percentage of the residue of your estate after taxes, administrative expenses, and specific bequests have been accounted for.
  • A contingent bequest takes effect only if a specified event happens or doesn’t happen, for example if your spouse doesn’t survive you.

How will QWF use the money?

An unrestricted gift will allow us to apply the funds where we most need them or to invest them for future opportunities. But you can also specify a particular program or prize you’d like to support. If you do wish to designate your gift, or if you’d like to create an endowment in perpetuity, it’s worth checking with us to make sure that we’re able to fulfil your wishes.

Are there any tax benefits to having a charitable gift in my will?

The Canadian government has created some of the best tax incentives in the world to encourage more giving to charity, especially from your estate. Yet many Canadians are not aware of these incentives. To find out more please visit Will Power Canada.

Should I tell my kids?

We do recommend that you talk to your family about the gift and explain why it’s important to you. You can reassure them that because QWF is a registered charity, the money you leave us will help to offset some of the estate taxes. There’s a good chance they’ll prefer sending the money to a charity you have loved in your life rather than to Revenue Canada.

Leaving a gift in your Will is often discussed with a partner or loved ones to make sure that everyone is on the same page, and that your wishes are honoured. Having this important conversation can sound uncomfortable. But it doesn’t have to be! 

How to Start a Family Conversation About Will Writing

Do I need to tell you about the gift?

We’d like you to notify us so that we can thank you appropriately. If you’re willing, we’d also like to recognize your commitment, because your example would be a source of inspiration for others who may be considering leaving a legacy to QWF. However, we understand that you may prefer to keep this kind of information private and if that is your decision, we will respect it.

Finally, informing us of your gift also provides us with the opportunity to discuss your vision and what you’d like to accomplish, although this conversation can also take place through an intermediary, such as your lawyer or notary.

What if I change my mind?

If your circumstances change, or you just change your mind, you can always revoke your bequest.

Encouragement and contribution are essential for the enduring legacy of the Quebec Writers’ Federation. In that spirit, I have left a bequest in my Last Will and Testament that was meaningful to me and, I hope, an acknowledgment of the welcoming spirit and vigor of the QWF.

Sheila Kindellan-Sheehan, author

How do I go about it?

When you go about making or revising your will, have a conversation with your notary or lawyer about including a bequest to the QWF.  You can refer them to this page or ask them to call us directly for more information. Once you’ve spoken to your family, consulted your financial adviser and notary or lawyer, and are ready to put QWF in your will, you need to use our legal name and charitable registration number:

  • Our legal name is QWF-Fédération des écrivaines et écrivains du Québec/QWF-Quebec Writers’ Federation
  • Our charitable registration number is 140319518 RR0001

Guide to speaking to your advisor

An advisor can help you plan a charitable gift in your Will. You can view or download QWF’s free guide to speaking to your advisor here. To find an advisor and for more information please click here.

Sample wording for your will*

Here are some examples of wording, which you can print, send to your notary or lawyer, or keep for the right moment.

To give the residue of your Estate in whole or as a proportion using percentages.  (The residue is what remains after taxes, administrative expenses and gifts to your heirs.) An advantage is that as your circumstances change, your will does not have to be altered, as the proportion remains the same.

Example: “I give the residue of my Estate (or X % of the residue of my Estate) to QWF-Fédération des écrivaines et écrivains du Québec/QWF-Quebec Writers’ Federation, charitable number 140319518 RR0001.”

To give a specific amount.

Example: “I give the sum of $X to QWF-Fédération des écrivaines et écrivains du Québec/QWF-Quebec Writers’ Federation charitable number 140319518 RR0001.”

To give a specific piece of property, such as securities.

Example: “I give [insert number] shares of XYZ stock to QWF-Fédération des écrivaines et écrivains du Québec/QWF-Quebec Writers’ Federation, charitable number 140319518 RR0001.”

To make a contingent bequest. This takes effect only if a specified event happens or doesn’t happen.

Example: If my spouse does not survive me, I leave my estate to QWF-Fédération des écrivaines et écrivains du Québec/QWF-Quebec Writers’ Federation, charitable number 140319518 RR0001.”

If you intend to direct your gift to a specific project or for a specific use, a power to vary clause is strongly suggested

Example: “If at the time of the acceptance of the gift, the desired allocation of the funds is no longer practical or feasible, the Board of Directors, in consultation with the Executive Director, is hereby authorized to identify an alternative use that best reflects the spirit and intent of the gift.”

*  Disclaimer: When preparing a will you should consult a notary or lawyer to ensure your wishes are legally binding. The material on this site pertaining to legacies is offered as general information and should not be construed as legal or other professional advice. None of the language here should be used without first reviewing it with your own legal and financial advisers to determine whether it is appropriate for your particular tax and estate planning situation.

If you have any questions or would like to let us know of your intentions, please contact Lori Schubert, Executive Director of QWF at 514-933-0878.