November is “Make A Will Month”—Do you have one?

It’s never too early to start estate planning. And you should update your Will after any major life event, such as a birth, divorce, death or change to your financial status.

Without proper estate planning, you will not be able to influence how, when, and to whom your assets will be distributed after you pass. If you don’t have a Will, then gifts to specific individuals or to charitable organizations will not occur and a provincial or territorial government can appoint someone to decide what happens to your savings and property.

A good place to start is to think about your assets and how you want to divide them amongst your family members and friends. Parkinson Canada has developed a resource—My Personal Organizer—to assist you with this process. This resource will help you prepare information needed to complete your Will.

It’s important that you keep your original Will in a safe place, and a copy at home. Only an original Will—no photocopies—can be shown in court. Usually a Will is kept by the client in a safety deposit box, or by the lawyer. There have been cases where the original Will wasn’t presented and the judge revoked the wishes of the deceased, so make sure people know where the original is being kept.

Making a Will isn’t hard or overly expensive—it could cost $1,000 or more depending on the complexity of the document and how much your lawyer charges per hour. But whatever the cost, it’s worth it. You don’t want a judge deciding your estate’s fate.

If leaving a gift in your Will to Parkinson Canada is something you would like to consider, we would be pleased to speak with you in confidence to explore your options.

Benefits to you by making a gift to charity in your Will

  • Convenient: It can be made regardless of your age and for any amount.
  • Cost-effective: Your present income will not decrease.
  • Simple: It is easy to arrange. Simply instruct your lawyer to include a gift to Parkinson Canada in your Will. It can be a specific amount, a percentage of your estate, or the residue of your estate (a gift after debts have been paid and other gifts have been distributed.)
  • Tax Relief: Your estate will receive a charitable tax receipt which can be used to reduce taxes on your final tax return and, in some cases, the previous year’s tax return.

Benefits to Parkinson Canada and the people you help

  • Helping people with Parkinson’s: Your gift will enable us to provide education and support services, and advocate on behalf of Canadians living with Parkinson’s.
  • Investing in a cure: Your gift will also provide funding for innovative research, expanding our knowledge about early symptoms, diagnosis and treatments for Parkinson’s disease, and ultimately bring us closer to a cure.

To request your free copy of our Will planning toolkit, My Personal Organizer, please contact Sue Rosenblat, Manager, Major and Planning Giving, at Sue.Rosenblat@Parkinson.ca or 1-800-565-3000 ext. 3386.

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