Your belief in human rights for all can live on for future generations.
Join us as a Human Rights Guardian and leave a legacy gift in your Will to Amnesty International Canada. You can help build a lasting legacy of equality, justice and freedom of expression for the world.
Leaving a legacy gift in your Will is a meaningful way to support human rights work, and it is much easier than you think. Find out more below about how to leave a legacy gift to human rights.
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What is legacy giving?
Legacy giving is a way of making a charitable gift to charities or non-profit organizations in your last Will and testament. It can be a legacy gift in your Will (or a charitable bequest) or a percentage of your assets. It could also include naming a charity of choice as an inheritor. Legacy giving allows you to leave a lasting legacy for the next generation.
Why should I leave a legacy gift to Amnesty International?
A charitable gift in your Will to Amnesty International shows your undeniable wishes to support equality, justice and freedom of expression. Leaving a legacy gift can continue to help amplify the voices of brave human rights defenders in Canada and worldwide well beyond your lifetime.
You can have an enduring voice in the fight for human rights, helping to create a world where human rights are respected and protected for the future. By leaving a legacy gift in your Will, you can continue your commitment to human rights for all. Forever.
Watch Hamid Ghassemi-Shall’s Story
“There is something very satisfying about being in a position to make a final statement that has real meaning for me.”Mike Wilkshire, Amnesty Member since 1981
How can I still make sure my loved ones are taken care of?
Your family and loved ones always come first. It is possible to ensure your family is provided for first and then consider leaving a legacy with your remaining money and assets. Even a percentage of your estate can significantly impact human rights work in the future.
In Canada, there are valuable tax incentives to encourage Canadians who leave a legacy gift. When you leave a charitable donation, your estate benefits with a tax receipt for the gift’s total value, which adds a tax credit to your final income tax return. This can help to maximize the value of your residual estate for your beneficiaries.
How do I leave a legacy gift in my Will?
Whether you are having your first Will drafted or you are revising your current one, you can do one, or both, of the following:
- You can leave a percentage of your assets after your loved ones have been cared for. This is called a residual gift. Even a rate as small as 1% can make a massive difference in the future of human rights work.
- You can leave a legacy gift in a specific dollar amount, often called a particular gift.
I recognize how effective Amnesty’s work is and want it to continue. I cannot think of a better way of ensuring justice and dignity for future generations.Margaret John, Amnesty Member since 1975
What information must I share with my professional advisor drafting my Will?
Amnesty’s legal name:
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL-CANADIAN SECTION (ENGLISH SPEAKING)
Charitable registration number:
11878 5914 RR0001
Full mailing address:
312 Laurier Avenue East
Ottawa Ontario K1N 1H9
Sample wording for a residual gift in your Will:
“I give to Amnesty International – Canadian Section (English Speaking) currently of 312 Laurier Ave East, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 1H9, all (or ______%) of the residue of my estate, to be used at the discretion of the organization.”
Sample wording for a specific gift in your Will:
“I give to Amnesty International – Canadian Section (English Speaking) currently of 312 Laurier Ave East, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 1H9, the sum of $______ to be used at the discretion of the organization.”
What other types of legacy gifts can I leave for Amnesty International?
While a charitable bequest, or legacy gift in your Will, is the most popular, giving the gift of life insurance or naming Amnesty International as the beneficiary of your retirement savings plan is also possible.
How do I go about preparing a Will?
Making a Will is an essential part of life. It allows you to leave instructions on how your estate will provide for your loved ones. It also allows you to support important causes and, in so doing, have a lasting impact on the type of world you would like to pass on to future generations. It ensures your compassion for others can live on.
Please find out more details on how to start preparing your Will in our guide to the basics of estate planning.
Always seek professional advice. Amnesty International can provide information and assistance on how to leave a legacy gift and other ways you can support our work. However, we strongly encourage you to seek independent advice when making charitable gifts of annuities, securities, property, life insurance, wills, trusts, contracts and other legal agreements.
Do I need to redo my entire Will to include my gift to Amnesty International?
Luckily, no, you don’t. Even if your Will has already been written, you can include Amnesty International using a legal clause called a codicil. We have a sample codicil language available here that you and your legal professional may find helpful. You can also add Amnesty International to your Will next time you update it.
Should I tell Amnesty about my decision?
Estate planning and legacy giving involve very personal decisions, and we realize that you need to make these decisions in your own time. However, if you choose to leave a legacy gift to Amnesty International, please do consider letting us know. It will allow us to thank you and, more importantly, to discuss which areas of our work you would like to learn more about. Of course, we will respect your privacy and confidentiality.
Support future changemakers
A Gift of RRSPS or RRIFS
Your retirement funds: for saving and giving
You can be an enduring voice for freedom and justice by giving retirement funds to Amnesty International.
Naming a charity as the beneficiary of your registered retirement savings plan or retirement income fund is easy and beneficial. Contact the financial institution managing your retirement plan and sign a declaration (known as a “beneficiary form”) naming Amnesty International: Canadian Section (English Speaking) as the inheritor.
You can name Amnesty International as the primary or secondary beneficiary if your spouse or another primary recipient should pass on before you. It is unnecessary to amend your Will to take advantage of this option, and designating a charity does not affect your use of the retirement funds.
The after-tax amount of funds remaining in the account upon your demise will support the cause you believe in. Your estate will receive a charitable donation tax receipt for the total amount of the legacy gift.
Two ways to make a gift of an RRSP or RRIF
- Name Amnesty International-Canadian Section (English Speaking) as the designated beneficiary. You can do so with your financial institution on a prescribed form.
- Leave the proceeds of your RRSP or RRIF to Amnesty International-Canadian Section (English Speaking) in your Will.
Amnesty International will issue a charitable receipt to your estate in both cases. By naming Amnesty International as the beneficiary, you will also avoid probate tax and ensure that funds are available to help address critical human rights issues as quickly as possible.
Suppose you withdraw money from your retirement fund during your lifetime to donate to Amnesty International. In that case, we recommend carefully reviewing the tax implications with your financial advisor.
A gift of life insurance
You can be an enduring voice for freedom and justice by giving life insurance to Amnesty International.
Depending on how you structure your gift, you can realize significant tax advantages during your lifetime. Remember, your life insurance needs can change. Once your children become self-sufficient, your life insurance coverage may no longer be needed for the purpose it was originally purchased.
Life insurance does not diminish your estate because the insurance company pays the death benefit.
Gifts of life insurance can be made in three ways:
- Change an existing life insurance policy. You no longer need to provide financial security for your heirs; you can change the beneficiary’s name to Amnesty International. We cannot offer an immediate tax receipt to you. However, after death, your estate will get a charitable donation receipt for the policy’s proceeds. This can offset income tax payable on your estate’s final tax return. In addition, your thoughtful gift will not be subject to probate taxes.
- Transfer ownership of an existing policy. If you’d like to receive immediate tax savings on the donation of a current policy, you can transfer ownership to Amnesty International, making Amnesty the beneficiary. A portion of your policy’s value will be taxable as income, but you will receive a receipt to help offset taxes payable. If premiums are still owing, you will receive a charitable tax receipt for every premium you continue to pay on that policy.
- Purchase a new life insurance policy. You can purchase a new insurance policy to support Amnesty International. By designating Amnesty International as the owner and beneficiary of the new policy, you will receive an income tax receipt for your annual premium payments. Suppose you name Amnesty International as a beneficiary only. In that case, you will not receive an income tax receipt for your yearly premium payments, but your estate will receive a tax receipt for the face value of your policy.
- Always seek professional advice. Amnesty International will provide information and assistance to you on this and other ways you can support our work. However, we strongly encourage you to seek independent advice when making charitable gifts of annuities, securities, property, life insurance, wills, trusts, contracts and other legal agreements.
How much can I give?
You can make a long-lasting difference and receive significant tax benefits when you support Amnesty International. Learn how to use our online calculator.
Always seek professional advice.
Amnesty International will provide information and assistance to you on this and other ways you can support our work. However, we strongly encourage you to seek independent advice when making charitable gifts of annuities, securities, property, life insurance, wills, trusts, contracts and other legal agreements.
The Legacy Giving information on this website is provided for general information purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice and assistance from your lawyer, financial advisor, or tax consultant. We recommend that you discuss your plans with your lawyer and/or financial advisor before proceeding with a legacy gift.