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.

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

You can certainly include The Ottawa Hospital in your will, even if it’s already been written. You can use a special legal document called a codicil to update your will at any time.

Here is some sample wording to include in your will.

Residual Bequest

“I give the rest, residue and remainder of my estate [or ___ % of the residue] to The Ottawa Hospital Foundation in the City of Ottawa, Province of Ontario, Canada.”

Specific Bequest

“I give the sum of $________ (dollars) to The Ottawa Hospital Foundation in the City of Ottawa, Province of Ontario, Canada.”

Contingent Bequest

“If [name of beneficiary] does not survive me, or shall die within thirty days from the date after my death, I give to The Ottawa Hospital Foundation, City of Ottawa, Province of Ontario, Canada, ___ % of the residue of my estate [or $____ ].”

Legal Name: The Ottawa Hospital Foundation
Charitable Registration Number: 86904 2747 RR0001
Address: 737 Parkdale Avenue, 1st Floor, Box 610, Ottawa, ON K1Y 1J8

To be legal, the codicil must meet the same requirements as a will. It must be in writing, dated, signed by you and two witnesses.

The average Canadian will update their will three times over the course of their life. You can do this yourself or seek the advice on your lawyer. 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, like The Ottawa Hospital, that are close to your heart, too. By leaving a gift in your will to The Ottawa Hospital, you are helping to create better healthcare for tomorrow.

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.

You’re under no obligation to share that you’ve left a gift in your will with us. 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.

The following is some general information that may be useful to you and your legal advisor if you are planning a gift through your estate.

Download Sample Codicil Language

Why should you make a gift in your will?

Right now, at The Ottawa Hospital, we’re conducting major surgeries through incisions the size of a keyhole. We’ve learned how to dissolve brain tumours, personalize chemotherapy, and repair a heart after a heart attack. We’re using viruses and stem cells to change the outcomes of deadly diseases.

Ten or fifteen years ago, none of that would have been possible. And for the patients diagnosed with those diseases, the outcome would have been very different.

But today, we can offer these life-saving therapies and treatments, because forward-thinking Ottawans chose to remember The Ottawa Hospital with a gift in their will.Those gifts funded the research, purchased the equipment, and built the care teams that are saving lives, right here in Ottawa, every single day.

We still have a long way to go. There are diseases we still can’t cure, injuries we can’t fully fix–at least, not yet. But with a gift in your will to The Ottawa Hospital, you can make sure that the progress continues. Your compassion will reach into the future, shaping healthcare in Ottawa for generations to come.


Ready to talk about a gift in your will?

If you have already left a gift in your will to The Ottawa Hospital – thank you! We would love to hear from you and to thank you personally. Please contact Graham Thompson at (613) 798-5555 ext. 19818.

Should you wish to inform us of your gift, please complete a gift confirmation form or contact us.