One common factor that holds people back from creating a will is that they don’t feel prepared to answer all of the questions that process brings up. While planning a philanthropic legacy requires some forethought, those who have done it have discovered that the process itself helps you uncover those answers.
Toronto Foundation bequest donors Lars Boggild, Paul Butler, Emma Lewzey and Samantha Luc discuss what they would tell someone considering leaving a legacy gift to charity in their will, how Toronto Foundation guided them through their own learning process and what they discovered about themselves and their loved ones along the way.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE THINKING ABOUT LEAVING A LEGACY GIFT IN THEIR WILL?
Emma: It's such an interesting process if you let it be, because it gives you the opportunity to reflect on your values and what you want to leave behind when you’re gone.
Samantha: It's a continuation of the wishes you had when you were alive. If these are issues that you care about today, then they should be issues that define your legacy when you are gone. It comes down to figuring out what your core values are now and projecting them into the future.
HOW DID TORONTO FOUNDATION HELP IN THE LEARNING PROCESS?
Lars: Our relationship with Toronto Foundation has helped us articulate our philanthropic values in a more concrete way. It’s given us a lot more structure and intentionality in our giving.
Emma: Working for charitable organizations, I've always appreciated the impact of undesignated giving. Toronto Foundation's education on philanthropy and equity has reinforced that as a donor, it's not only who we're giving to that matters, but how. Unrestricted giving is the biggest gift.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT YOURSELF AND LOVED ONES THROUGH THIS PROCESS?
Emma: Having this conversation with my parents, who recently updated their wills, I found it was an opportunity to bond with them and hear more about what their values are. It helped to spark an important conversation for us and ended up bringing us closer.
Paul: You don’t need all the answers before you set up your will. It’s a discovery process to confirm what matters to you most.