Life insurance: A tax-efficient way to give back to the world's most vulnerable

Oct 03, 2022
Photo caption: Glen and Mae have been World Vision supporters since 1994.

Have you ever thought about what kind of legacy you want to leave behind? About your legacy to the next generation?

When most people think of will and estate planning, they think of how to financially take care of their immediate family and friends.

For Glen and Mae, they decided to think of support beyond Canadian borders, choosing to leave behind a financial gift for vulnerable communities around the world, through their life insurance policy.

Over the years, Glen and Mae have sponsored 10 children through World Vision and other organizations. It just made sense to include a contribution in their estate plan to a charitable organization they have trusted since 1994.

Growing up in a low-income household of three children, Glen saw the struggle to make ends meet firsthand with his parents.

“Growing up like that shapes your thinking,” he said. “Gives you a better ability to relate to those in need because you’ve been there. My parents didn’t have a lot to give.”

After a career in finance, Glen retired early at the age of 55 and found that he and Mae became blessed with a lot to give—and they were eager to pay it forward.

Living in a high-income country in North America, Glen and Mae said they recognize that the privileges they have and are aware of how they have the means to support the response to urgent global needs.

“We wanted to lock in our beliefs about supporting needs globally.”

Discovering a new tax-efficient option: life insurance
When their financial advisor told them they’d be able to multiply their generosity by including a charitable donation through a gift of life insurance , Glen and Mae chose to designate World Vision Canada as a beneficiary of their policy.

“When we die, we can leave a significant benefit to those who need it,” Glen said. “So, that's what we did.”
The couple is paying tax-deductible annual premiums, which don’t compromise their lifestyle now or their children’s inheritance when they die.

Plus, their gift won’t be subject to probate fees, unlike giving directly through their estate.
“At the end of the day, I'm going to leave a little bit for my kids—enough that they're going to be comfortable, but I want the bulk of our inheritance to go to a good cause,” Glen said.

How to give through life insurance
If you’re thinking about estate planning and looking into including charitable giving, take these tips from Glen and Mae’s journey.

Consult a financial advisor – Consult with your trusted legal and financial advisors to understand your best, most tax-efficient options for giving. Experts can give you knowledgeable advice on how to go about leaving a legacy. Talk to your trusted professionals so you can get started.

Speak with your loved ones – Planned giving is an important matter; a discussion with your family is necessary. Let your loved ones know your wishes and reassure them that you are not choosing a charity over your family.

Research organizations and causes – Is there any cause you’re particularly passionate about? Research organizations who serve that cause. Whether your gift goes to World Vision or another organization, it’s important to make sure your gift goes to an organization with impact.

Find out more about legacy giving

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