General Advice

River in forest

Written by Sebastian Sadja

February 28, 2023

  1. Please be as clear as possible in describing your bequest.  Lack of clarity could result in litigation.
  1. Always seek professional advice!  We can provide information and assistance; but we strongly encourage you to seek independent advice when making charitable gifts of annuities, securities, property, life insurance, wills, trusts, contracts and other legal documents.
  1. Please do not place restrictions on a bequest. Priority projects we are working on today may not be priorities in the future. Give WE-CAN the discretion to use the funds in the manner that WE-CAN feels will achieve the greatest good.  A donor’s restrictions may be impractical for WE-CAN to comply with, or even be ultra vires (contrary to WE-CAN’s constitution and bylaws.) Instead, use the phase “to be used at the discretion of the organization”. 
  1. Ensure your legacy lives on beyond WE-CAN.  Upon dissolution, Not-for-profits and registered charities must produce a statement listing gifts or other assets which they have legally acquired, what purposes these assets were to be used for, and how these assets would be redistributed.  If, in the future, WE-CAN can no longer continue as an organization, WE-CAN would specify that remaining assets be donated to another organization doing similar work. If the bequest states that the funds be used at the “discretion of the organization” then the transfer of funds to another organization working on similar issues as WE-CAN can be easily done.  
  1. WE-CAN will not be able to issue tax receipts nor will your donation to WE-CAN help reduce probate fees. Solving the climate crisis requires political engagement, and WE-CAN must be able to retain its ability to advocate with municipal, provincial and federal governments for necessary changes.  Thus, we have decided not to take out registered Canadian charitable status.  Because of this, WE-CAN will not be able to issue tax receipts for legacy gifts.  We hope you will agree with our need to stay independent of government, and will continue to support us.

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