Leaving a Legacy With Charitable Impact

Julie Cafley and her family
Julie Cafley, second from the left, with her sons Zach (left) and Théo (second from the right), and husband Luc Poulin (right).

As some provinces celebrate Make a Will month, it’s a good time to note that it’s never too early to start estate planning. Experts say it’s a good idea to update your will after any significant life event, such as a birth, divorce, death or change to your financial status. Without estate planning, you will not be able to influence how, when, and to whom your assets will be distributed after you die. Creating a will is your opportunity to leave a legacy to beloved family and friends and the causes you have respected and supported during your life.

Legacy giving is a beautiful way to make an ongoing and meaningful contribution to the cause of finding a cure for Parkinson’s. And you don’t have to have a large estate to support both your family and a beloved cause. Just a small percentage can have a significant impact – you’ll be helping scientific researchers, advocates, and supporters build a better future for those living with Parkinson’s. Charitable bequests also have tax benefits, which ultimately help other beneficiaries.

For Luc Poulin and Julie Cafley, including Parkinson Canada in Luc’s will gives them pride and hope for the future. Julie and Luc kindly shared their story and their reasons for making a bequest to Parkinson Canada. Julie is Vice-President at the Digital Research Alliance of Canada and sits on the Parkinson Canada Board.

Luc was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at 37, just after the couple’s honeymoon, over 20 years ago.

As Julie says, “It was a traumatic revelation. And yet, we found hope and carved a path forward. In the 20 years since his diagnosis, he has led an active and productive life and been a brilliant and engaged dad to our two teen boys Zach (18) and Theo (16).”

For Luc and Julie, Parkinson’s represents the battle of a lifetime. It has become an expression of their values as a family to “pay forward” the support they have received from Parkinson Canada to others. “Our family wants to see a world free from Parkinson’s disease, and there is hope in that, even if it happens after we’re gone.”

Luc and Julie are particularly excited about the progress taking place in Parkinson’s research. As Luc points out, “There is research being carried out by pharmaceutical companies, but it’s imperative for us to support the type of research projects that Parkinson Canada funds – independent research projects that are innovative and novel and testing new ideas.”

Thanks to research funded by Parkinson Canada, Luc is now on track to receive a treatment that has the potential to ease his symptoms. Deep brain stimulation (DBS), which delivers electrical pulses to key regions of the brain affected by Parkinson’s, often generates dramatic improvements in the symptoms of people living with Parkinson’s.

Luc and Julie have achieved a deep sense of satisfaction by including Parkinson Canada in Luc’s will.

“We know that our fight against Parkinson’s will go on and that someday, that legacy will include the end of Parkinson’s.”

If you’re interested in learning more about leaving a legacy, visit our Will Power page for more information.

We also invite you to download a copy of My Personal Organizer, a free will planning guide designed to help you gather and prepare the information required to make a will. This guide does not replace legal advice on making your will.

If you have any questions about or would like to discuss planned giving, please get in touch with planned.giving@parkinson.ca.

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