It doesn’t pay to be a saver!

A letter on estate planning from a longtime Sierra Club BC donor

August 31, 2021

It seems strange to pay taxes to die, but that’s exactly what estate taxes are! There is something amoral about it especially given that this money has already been taxed. If you agree, here’s my solution: registered charities can help us reduce our tax burden while supporting a future we believe in by leaving a gift in our estate plans.

But why wait?

You can create an ongoing legacy now! After accepting a $3 million estate gift to another charity, a financial advisor remarked, “Just think of all the tax dollars that could have been saved if this woman had donated more money to charity along the way.” This statement resonated with me, and I hope it does with you. From that day forward, my personal goal has been to donate enough money to charity annually to offset my personal income tax.

Similarly, often individuals don’t sell, move, or cash in their (dirty) investments because they don’t wish to pay capital gains tax. Registered charities can help offset capital gains taxes with charitable tax receipts (i.e. providing you with more money in your pocket, a clearer conscience and support for groups like Sierra Club BC).

What about that ecologically significant land your cottage is sitting on? If possible, you probably would prefer not to pay taxes on 50% of the difference in value from the time you purchased it when you die. The good news is you don’t. Registered charity land trusts can help you through conservation easements or covenants written according to your terms while giving you a tax break. This means you can keep the cottage in your family for your kids, protect the forest around it, all while saving an enormous amount of tax

Lest we forget, we are in a climate emergency! So, I’m investing in a future I believe in. What if more Canadians donated to environmental and social justice charities along the way? What would this country and planet look like? Canadians overwhelmingly want the government to act on climate change. B.C. is literally on fire! By donating to Sierra Club BC, you are helping to support the planet and future generations now! Let this be our legacy.

Signed, Anonymous long time Sierra Club BC donor/supporter (20+ years)

Use your Will to make a difference

By leaving a gift to Sierra Club BC in your Will you can make a bigger contribution than you ever thought possible to build a healthy, just and sustainable future that respects the dignity and interdependence of all. No matter the size of your estate, you can be a part of this powerful movement for change. Learn more at willpower.ca.

Want to chat more about estate planning and Sierra Club BC?

Reach out to our manager of donor engagement Elisabeth Noble at gifts@sierraclub.bc.ca or 250-882-3682. We’d love to hear from you!

Featured image by Shutterstock.