Many people pay more income tax in their year of death than they do in any year during their lifetime. This may be due to additional income created by a deemed disposition of certain assets on death, as well as inclusion into income of registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) or registered retirement income funds (RRIFs), especially if there is no spouse as the designated beneficiary.
Gifts made through RRSPs and RRIFs are a popular way to eliminate or greatly reduce the deferred tax burden owing on these funds at the time of death.
By naming the ROM directly as the primary beneficiary, co-beneficiary or contingent beneficiary, your estate can avoid the application of estate administration tax (commonly referred to as probate fees) as the donation comes directly from the fund, as the proceeds will not form part of your estate.
You retain use of the fund during your lifetime and the remainder is transferred to the ROM upon your death. Your donation may be applied against 100% of your taxable income in the year of death and, to the extent the gift cannot be fully used, it can be used as a deduction for taxes paid in the immediately preceding tax year.
Alternatively, if you wish to make a gift of cash or property now and watch it work, an insurance policy can replace those assets in your estate, and your current gift will earn tax credits that can be spread over six years.
Ask Jean Read what part of the ROM she loves the most, and she’ll quickly reply “I love it all!” For more than 15 years, Jean has been an enthusiastic ambassador for the ROM, first as a member of the Board of Trustees, then as a volunteer with the Department of Museum Volunteers. Since Jean loves all that the ROM offers, it is fitting that she chooses to direct her annual and planned gifts to care of the collections. Over the years, she has supported diverse conservation projects such as the restoration of the Paul Kane collection and the cleaning of the Chinese guardian lions on Queen’s Park. Through a gift of retirement funds, Jean helps preserve the ROM’s many treasures for the enjoyment and education of future generations.