I thought I would start off this week’s blogs by discussing planned giving. Planned giving provides a mechanism for people to contribute to programs that they support. In this way, people are able to target their philanthropic efforts towards programs that they believe will improve communities. The book, The Art of Giving: Where the Soul Meets a Business Plan, captures this idea perfectly and I recommend it as a must read. The authors, Charles Bronfman and Jeffrey Solomon, recognize that giving is meaningful and personal. So, for example, individuals who love animals may decide to donate part of their estates to animal welfare organizations.
So how do you want to improve your community? What about willing your body to a “body farm”? This is 1 of the 10 suggestions made in a CNN Report written by Elizabeth Cohen entitled “Ten uses for your body after you die”.
The body farm, as it is known, is located in Knoxville, Tennessee and has 650 skeletons scattered over 2.5 acres so that anthropology students are able to study bodies in varying stages of decay for the purposes of learning about body identification and time of death analysis.
If your charitable inclination is to donate your body to the University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Center (aka the body farm) click here.
If you’re undecided, check out the Art of Giving. It’s a good place to start if you are considering providing for charitable donations in your will.
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Kathryn Pilkington – Click here for more information on Kathryn Pilkington.
Chinese real-estate tycoon, Yu Pengnian, announced this past April that he was donating the last $500 million of his fortune to his charitable foundation on philanthropy. He was asked by a reporter, whether his children were angry about his donations and responded by stating: “They didn’t oppose this idea, at least not in public.”
|It is not uncommon for billionaires to donate their fortune. For instance, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates started a campaign called "The Giving Pledge." At that time, they had four billionaires pledge to give away half of their fortune upon their death. Now there are 40. My colleague, Nadia Harasymowycz, recently blogged on this topic, which can be found here: Leaving it all to Charity – A Good Plan or an Estate Litigator’s dream.
The idea of giving away your fortune is a strong shift from the traditional idea of passing down your wealth, from generation to generation. Why this switch in estate planning? Yu stated: “If my children are competent, they don’t need my money. If they’re not, leaving them a lot of money is only doing them harm.”
Yu’s message to wealthy families put simply: “Too many wealthy parents focus on preventing their children from failing. But in doing so, they also deprive their children of the joys of self-made success.”
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Rick Bickhram – Click here for more information on Rick Bickhram.
BBC News recently commented on a study published in the Lancet journal that shows more than half the babies now born in the UK and other wealthy nations will live to be 100 years old. The data from the study indicates that these extra years would be spent with less serious disabilities for the elderly.
The researchers, from the Danish Aging Research Center, refer to “four ages of man”-child, adult, young old age and old old age. Surprisingly, there was little evidence that those who belonged in the old old age group were unhealthier that those in the young old age group likely because the frailest elderly died first leaving the more robust to survive past the age of 85. Danish and American studies show that about 30%-40% of those falling into the old old group live independently.
Of course, such a development requires countries to reform their health-care services, employment practices, and care services. In the U.K., with an election looming, the Tory party has promised a Home Protection Plan that would allow people at the age of 65 to make a one time payment plan of £8,000 pounds in exchange for free full-time residential care in later life. This proposed policy addresses the issue of the elderly having to sell their houses in exchange for funding care giving services.
A significant longer life expectancy requires careful retirement and estate planning. If this trend towards increased life expectancy continues, long standing assumptions will have to be altered.
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Diane Vieira – Click here for more inforamtion on Diane Vieira.
While I was in Court in Toronto on Friday, Mr. Justice Brown advised the court room in general that with respect to most Orders Giving Directions granted by him (and possibly other judges on the Estates List), the Order Giving Directions will include a Schedule that provides that the Applicant is to file with the Estates Office a tabbed, three ring, red 1” binder labelled “Endorsements/Orders Brief”, which is to be maintained as part of the record of the proceeding. Within five days after the making of any endorsement or Order in the proceeding, the Applicant is to file a copy of such endorsement or Order in the next available tab in the Brief.
Mr. Justice Brown observed that the purpose of such a Brief is to allow the presiding Judge on any subsequent hearing date to quickly determine the history of the proceeding, and all judicial determinations made to date.
The Schedule also provides that Factums are to be filed on all subsequent motions.
The utility of such a Brief and the requirement to file a Factum appears obvious. The requirements to create the Brief and to file a Factum will clearly assist the Court in determining the history of the proceeding, and allowing for the prompt and efficient determination of the matter before it.
Thank you for reading.