You Are Here: Home > Get Involved > Ways to Give > Legacy and Planned Giving > Gift in Your Will

Gift in Your Will

Gifts in Will

A gift in your will is also known as a bequest or legacy

A person’s Will is more than a legal document. A Will is a testimony to a person’s life and values – values that have emerged from a lifetime of living, learning, work and growth.  Giving consideration to a gift in your Will indicates a willingness to give real expression to the values which were important during a lifetime. An increasing number of Canadians as part of their estate planning are leaving a gift to charity in their Will.

Naming the Arthritis Society in your Will is a wonderful way to continue your support into the future. Bequests help ensure the continuation of access to arthritis education, programs and services for Canadians living with arthritis. They are also an integral part of funding research for a cure.The tax structure of our country is set up in such a way as to favour charitable giving.  There are a number of ways of leaving a gift through your Will.  Bequests can be in the form of cash, real estate, securities, tangible personal property or other assets.

Tax Benefits: A gift in your Will (also known as a bequest or legacy) gives your estate a donation receipt for the amount given and thus a tax credit to be used in your final tax return.  It can be used against 100% of income in the year of death and any excess not used may be carried back one year and used up to 100% of income in the year before death.

Charitable registration #: 10807 1671 RR0003

  • How to leave a gift in your will

    A gift in your Will (also known as a bequest or legacy) is straightforward to arrange. It can be as simple as including a sentence or two when you write your Will, or adding a codicil to your existing Will.
    There are different types of gifts you can leave in your Will:

    • Specific bequest: a specified dollar amount, or a specific item of property, that is left to a named beneficiary in the Will
    • Residual bequest: a percentage (or) share (or) all of the remainder of your estate after other gifts and liabilities have been paid out
    • Contingent bequest: a percentage or share of your estate paid only in the event that other named beneficiaries have predeceased you

    If you are thinking of leaving a gift to The Arthritis Society in your Will, download our sample wording for bequests. You can provide this sample wording to your lawyer for inclusion in your Will.
    Need help planning your will?

    Planning Your Will Guide

    Download our easy-to-follow Planning Your Will guide. It will help you think about your estate – a first step in preparing for discussions with your family, your lawyer and other advisors.

    Download the Planning Your Will Guide

  • Is Your Will Up-to-Date?

    If you have an existing Will, read over the below checklist to know if it’s time to review and update it. It is recommended that you review it every three to five years

    Talk to your lawyer: Talk to your lawyer about what will work best for you. Once you have provided for your loved ones, the Arthritis Society would be honoured if you would consider naming the Arthritis Society as a beneficiary of your estate.


    If ANY are true, you would be wise to consider updating your Will:

    • It has been three years or more since I last reviewed my Will.
    • My Will was drawn up when I lived in a different province or country.
    • There has been a birth in the family.
    • There has been a death in the family.
    • There has been a change in my marital status.
    • The beneficiaries named in my Will are no longer living.
    • I would like to add or remove beneficiaries.
    • The executor and/or alternate named in my Will are no longer living.
    • I would like to change the executor and/or alternate named in my Will.
    • There have been changes in the value of my estate.
    • I would like to change how I distribute my estate.
    • My charitable giving plans have changed.

    You answered that at least one of the above statements was true. Please consider downloading our Planning Your Will Guide. It will help you think about your estate – a first step in preparing for discussions with your family, your lawyer and other advisors.

    Download the Planning Your Will Guide

  • Estate Planning Tips

    A Will makes sure your assets are distributed quickly and in the manner you desire, and that your loved ones lose as little as possible to the tax man. Following are some estate planning strategies to consider:

    • The core of any estate plan is a valid, up-to-date Will. Your Will legally establishes what you want done with your assets.
    • If you die without a Will, your estate will be distributed according to the laws in your province of residence.  And unfortunately, the results may bear little resemblance to how you would like to see your assets divided.
    • To draw up an effective Will, it is wise to seek expert counsel. If you draft it yourself, you may inadvertently leave some areas open to challenge. Take the case of a woman who wrote in her do-it-yourself Will that she wanted all of her “cash” to go to her son. The Will was tied up for years as the courts tried to determine whether “cash” meant investments such as GICs.
    • It is also important that your Will be up-to-date. The value of your assets will change over time, and you will probably acquire new assets as well as sell others. Your Will should reflect these changes. A Will should be reviewed with your professional advisor every three to five years and updated as necessary.
    • You should always review your Will if there has been a major change in your life, such as a marriage, divorce, or birth of a child.
  • Talking to your family about your will

    Once you have made your Will, does your family know:

    • Where your Will is located?
    • Name & address of your Executor?
    • Name & address of your accountant?
    • Name & address of your lawyer?
    • Name & address of your life insurance agent?
    • Where your life insurance policies are located?
    • Where you duplicate tax returns are located?
    • Where the house or cottage deed is located?
    • Where your valuables and legal documents are located?
    • Where the key to your safety deposit box is kept?
    • Where your safety deposit box is located?

    "Planning takes a little time, however, the time spent will give you and your family peace of mind."
    -Colleen Bradley, President, Planned Giving Solutions Inc.

Please tell us about your gift

If you have left, or intend to leave, a gift in your Will to the Arthritis Society, please let us know. Download our Bequest Commitment Form [PDF].

Letting us know of your gift will help to ensure that the funds will be used in the way that you intend. We would also like to thank you personally for your future gift! Your information will be kept completely confidential.