Planned Giving Program - Frequently Asked Questions
Please note that these answers are given as guidance only and are subject to changes in the law or its interpretation. A donor should always seek the advice of professional advisors when making a planned gift.
1. What is a probate fee?
It is a tax payable by the Estate of a deceased to the Minister of Finance of Ontario on certain assets of the Estate. The fee is calculated at 0.5% on the first $50,000.00 and 1.5% thereafter.
2. If an individual names a parish as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy but remains owner of the policy, will the Estate have to pay the probate fee on the amount of the policy?
No, the life insurance policy will be paid directly to the beneficiary (in this case the parish) and therefore no probate fee will be payable by the Estate on this amount. If the life insurance policy had been payable to the Estate, then the probate fees could be applicable.
3. What do we do if someone wants to donate Publicly Listed Securities to the parish?
The Archdiocese can facilitate such a donation with its broker. The securities would be transferred to the Archdiocese’s brokerage account, which will issue the tax receipt to the donor, and instructions would be given to the broker to sell the securities upon receipt and the proceeds would be transferred to the parish.
4. Will the parish have to pay Diocesan Administration Tax on Planned Giving donations?
In principle, yes. Some gifts may be exempt from Diocesan Administration Tax; for example, donations directed to a project for which the parish had received a prior exemption from Diocesan Administration Tax.
5. For a charity as beneficiary, what type of life insurance is best?
There are a variety of life insurance policies available; some such as term to 75 (year old), term to 100 or whole life. If the parish was named beneficiary of a term to 75 life insurance policy, it could only expect something if the donor passed away before the age of 75. For this reason, it is better for a parish to be named beneficiary of an insurance policy where the payment is certain.
6. If someone donates a property (i.e. land) to a parish, who will be the owner of the property, the parish or the Archdiocese?
Only the Archdiocese is civilly incorporated; therefore, the property would be transferred under the legal name of the Archdiocese which is the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Ottawa, for the use and benefit of the parish as stated by the donor.
7. For a life insurance policy where an individual is the owner (as opposed to the parish), can he/she name more than one beneficiary?
Yes, a donor could name the parish as the beneficiary for a portion of a life insurance policy (e.g. 50%). In this case, the parish would issue an income tax receipt to the Estate for the amount received.
8. Who is responsible to cover the cost related to a Planned Gift?
In most cases, the donor is responsible for the cost related to a donation, such as property appraisal, actuarial valuation, legal fees, etc. The church will normally cover the legal costs involved with the transfer of real estate.