SOURCE: Scotiabank

Scotiabank

April 22, 2014 07:30 ET

One-in-Five Canadians Leaving Some of Their Estate to Charity; Want to Give Back to Society: Scotiabank Poll

61% of Canadians Not Aware of Tax Benefits Associated With Gifts by Will

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - April 22, 2014) - One-in-five Canadians with a written will (22%) plan to leave some of their estate to charity, with the primary reason to give back to society (60%), according to Scotiabank's annual Investment Poll. Canadians opting not to leave any of their estate to charity (78%) say they would prefer to leave their money to their beneficiaries (64%).

While not a motive for giving, the poll surprisingly revealed that only 4-in-10 Canadians are aware of the tax benefits associated with charitable donations as part of their will (39%). Residents of Alberta (47%) are the most likely to say that they are aware of the tax benefits, while those in Quebec (27%) are the least likely to be aware of the benefits.

Additional Facts:

  • The top three reasons to leave some of their estate to charity (among those with a written will) are to give back to society (60%), followed by not having dependents and wanting money to go to a good cause (20%), and for the tax benefits (12%).
  • For Canadians with a will who do not plan to leave any of their estate to charity, the top reasons include preferring to leave money to their beneficiaries (64%), affordability (22%), and giving to philanthropic causes during their lifetime (20%).
  • Compared to the national average (22%), residents of Manitoba and Saskatchewan (37%) are most likely to leave some of their estate to charity while residents of Quebec (11%) are least likely.
  • Canadians ages 18-34 (45%) are most likely to leave some of their estate to charity compared to those ages 45-54 (17%).
  • Men (71%) are significantly more likely to say that they would prefer to leave their money to their loved ones compared to 58% of women.
  • The older Canadians get, the more they are aware of the tax benefits to including charitable donations in their will, with only 25% of those aged 18-34 compared to 59% of those over 55.

Quotes:

"We were encouraged to see how many Canadians are choosing to make a gift by will to charity, as these donations are typically much larger than the average lifetime gift," says Malcolm Burrows, Head of Philanthropic Advisory Services at Scotiatrust. "Twenty percent of those surveyed who said they would make a gift by will to charity are individuals without children. In our experience, these 'invisible donors' often dedicate the largest percentage of their estate to charity."

"With only 39 percent of Canadians aware of the tax benefits associated with gifts by will to charity, many may not know that Canada has the most generous tax benefits in the world for gifts by will," adds Burrows. "While taxes are not the primary reason to give, tax savings greatly reduce the cost to other beneficiaries. A gift by will generates a non-refundable tax credit that can be claimed against tax owing, and new rules provide a five-year claim period against up to 100 per cent of net income. An estate planning and charitable giving expert can help determine the best plan for you and your family."

About the polling data
This study was conducted online for the third consecutive year using Nielsen's (formerly Harris/Decima) online panel from November 12, 2013 to November 27, 2013.A total of 1,029 completed surveys were collected from a random sample of panel members across Canada.

About Scotiatrust
Estate and trust services are provided by the Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Company (Scotiatrust), a subsidiary of the Bank of Nova Scotia. The professionals at Scotiatrust have helped generations of Canadians plan, preserve and transfer their wealth. Scotiatrust can assist Canadians in developing and implementing a personalized estate plan incorporating professional executor, trustee and attorney for property services.

About Scotiabank
Scotiabank is a leading financial services provider in over 55 countries and Canada's most international bank. Through our team of more than 83,000 employees, Scotiabank and its affiliates offer a broad range of products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management, corporate and investment banking to over 21 million customers. With assets of $783 billion (as at January 31, 2014), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (TSX: BNS) and New York Exchanges (NYSE: BNS). Scotiabank distributes the Bank's media releases using Marketwired. For more information please visit www.scotiabank.com.

BACKGROUND

REGIONAL & GENDER FINDINGS
 
Planning to leave some of estate to charity
(Among those with a will)
 
  Regions Gender
Total Atlantic Quebec Ontario Man/Sask Alberta BC Men Women
22% 13% 11% 25% 37% 33% 23% 24% 20%
 
Canadians' awareness of tax benefits to gift by will
(Among those with a will)
 
  Regions Gender
Total Atlantic Quebec Ontario Man/Sask Alberta BC Men Women
39% 40% 27% 43% 45% 47% 42% 41% 38%

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