Common questions about a gift in your will

Do you have questions about remembering The Ottawa Hospital with a gift in your will? Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

Common questions

What is a will?

A will is a legal document that lets you decide what happens to your money, property and possessions after your death.

Who can leave a gift in their will?

Anyone at all can leave a gift in their will to charity, and nearly 1.5 million Canadians have. Some people think that it’s only an option for the very wealthy, but that simply isn’t true. You may not have a lot of cash to give today, but you may have accumulated modest savings or assets such as a house that you never have a chance to spend during your lifetime. A gift in your will is your final opportunity to make a lasting gift to a cause you care about.

What types of gifts can you make?

There are many ways to structure a gift in your will, and we recommend that you speak with your lawyer to choose the type of gift that is right for you. One of the most common types of gifts is called a residual gift. After you’ve taken care of your loved ones and paid any outstanding debts, whatever is leftover–or the residue–can be gifted to charities of your choice.

Why is it important to leave a gift to charity?

Gifts in wills serve two purposes. First, remembering The Ottawa Hospital in your will is a wonderful way to shape the health care of the future by providing much-needed funding. And second, it stretches your lifetime of generosity on into the future. We often hear from donors that they feel deeply satisfied, knowing that they can continue to help their families and neighbours even after they’re gone.

How will The Ottawa Hospital Foundation use my gift?

We’re committed to using your gift as efficiently as we can, to do the most good possible. You’ll be funding ground-breaking research, purchasing vital equipment and technology, and supporting patients right at the bedside.

How can I leave a gift in my will and provide for my loved ones?

Your will is the best way to make sure your friends and family are provided for. We understand that this may be the most important consideration for you.

One way to think about this is to divide up your estate into percentages. For a moment, think of your will like a pie. You can choose to leave a slice to each of your children, another to your grandchildren, and another to a cause you care deeply about.

In some cases, leaving a gift to charity in your will can help reduce the amount of inheritance tax that needs to paid on your estate. If you’d like to know more about this, we recommend discussing it further with a professional advisor.

What if I already have a will?

You can certainly include The Ottawa Hospital in your will, even if it’s already been written. You can use a special legal clause called a codicil to update your will at any time. We’re happy to share sample codicil information that you and your legal professional may find useful.

Can I change my will?

Yes. In fact, the average Canadian will update their will three times over the course of their life. As the years go by, things change: marriages take place, babies are born, loved ones pass away, living situations are adjusted. It’s very common to update your will to reflect those important milestones in life. And, it can be a convenient time to include a gift to charities that are close to your heart, too.

Isn’t it better to help now, and not later?

Every gift to The Ottawa Hospital makes a great deal of difference for our patients and research. A gift in your will is simply another way of helping–but it’s a particularly special one. That’s because for most people, a gift in their will includes assets like real estate or investments, that might not be considered when you normally think about making a donation. So, by including The Ottawa Hospital in your will, you might find you’re able to make a much bigger difference than you ever dreamed possible.

Do I have to let you know about my decision?

You’re under no obligation to share that you’ve left a gift in your will with us. It’s a very personal decision. However, if you do choose to communicate that you’ve included The Ottawa Hospital in your will, it enables us to plan much more effectively for the future. More importantly, it gives us the opportunity to thank you personally for your commitment to healthcare and to ensure that your legacy is never forgotten. Should you wish to inform us of your gift, please complete a gift confirmation form or contact us.

Ready to talk about a gift in your will?

Our team would be delighted to speak with you about your estate plans–whether you’re just starting to think about your will, looking to update an existing will, or in need of more information.  Please call Rob Gottschalk, Associate Vice-President, Philanthropy at (613) 798-5555 extension 70626, or enter your details below to receive a response by email.