Legacy Giving: Leave a gift in your Will

Legacy giving is a form of charitable giving that allows you to make a gift to Oxfam Canada in the future without substantially affecting your income today.

As part of your long-term financial planning, a legacy gift can offer you substantial tax and estate planning benefits and allow you to make a larger and more lasting gift to Oxfam. It's a way for you to be a key Oxfam supporter while meeting your personal financial goals.

Guide to Gift Planning


Guide to Gift Planning
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There are several ways you can plan to make a gift to Oxfam. The option(s) you choose depends on your unique circumstances and financial objectives. Please consult with your financial planner or lawyer for specific advice. 

To find out more about making a Legacy Gift to Oxfam Canada please contact us, and we'll send you an information pack.

Our Senior Fund Development Officer will be delighted to work with you and your advisors to arrange a gift that best suits your objectives:

Rowena Griffiths

Global Visionaries

Global Visionaries are a very special group of people who have confirmed their intent to leave Oxfam Canada a legacy or other planned gift. Global Visionaries is our way of recognizing and honoring these donors during their lifetime. You can choose if or how you would like to be recognized, in your lifetime, or if you prefer, only for your Estate to be recognized in our Annual Report.


Naming Oxfam Canada as a beneficiary in your Will is one of the simplest legacy options to arrange without decreasing your present income and it can significantly reduce the tax paid by your estate.

If you are about to have a Will prepared, you simply need to include your bequest to Oxfam Canada.  If you already have a Will, the easiest, least expensive way to include a bequest is to add a codicil, where you specify your gift and name Oxfam Canada as beneficiary.  The provisions of your existing Will remain unchanged.

Leave a Bequest brochure


Leave a Bequest
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A charitable bequest results in a tax receipt which can be used to offset taxes owing on up to 100% of your taxable income on the final tax return.  If taxable income is insufficient to take advantage of the full tax credit, a one-year carry back is permitted and the remainder of the credit can be applied against your income in the previous year.

There are several ways you can make a gift through your Will.  You can choose to leave Oxfam Canada:

  • a specific bequest,of a specified amount of money
  • a residual bequest (after all other bequests, debts and taxes are paid out of your estate)
  • a contingent bequest, taking effect only if your primary beneficiary does not survive you.

It may be more advantageous for you to leave Oxfam Canada your publicly-listed securities rather than a cash bequest.  If your executor is able to distribute your assets “in specie”, you may want to advise your executor to donate publicly-securities to Oxfam Canada rather than liquidating and giving Oxfam the cash amount.  The charitable receipt would be calculated at the securities’ closing day value on the day of death.

Sample Bequest Language:

Here is the recommended working for a bequest to Oxfam Canada:

"I deliver, pay or transfer  the sum of $_____ (___% share of the estate) to Oxfam Canada currently located at 39 McArthur Ave., Ottawa, ON  K1L 8L7, for its general purposes. The receipt of an appropriate officer of Oxfam Canada shall be a sufficient discharge of my Trustees.”

Our legal name is “Oxfam Canada” and our charitable number is #12971-6866-RR0001. Our head office address is: 39 McArthur Ave., Ottawa, Ontario, K1L 8L7.

It is in the best interests of Oxfam Canada if you would create an unrestricted bequest to Oxfam Canada for “its general charitable purpose”. If a bequest gift is restricted for a specific purpose, please include the following clause in your Will that release the funds for other purposes, should the restriction not be operational at the time the gift is realized:

“If Oxfam Canada’s program areas change and it becomes impossible or impractical to satisfy any particular restriction, Oxfam Canada may make the decision as to where the proceeds of that gift may be spent, consistent with the donor’s original intent to the extent possible”.

Every effort will be made to contact the lawyer of the estate and/or living relatives to advise them of the change in how the funds are to be used. Please do let us know if you intend to make a restricted bequest by contacting Rowena.Griffiths@oxfam.org.

Something that you may want to consider is to provide your charitable beneficiaries with a copy of your Will.  If you do decide to leave a bequest to Oxfam Canada, please do let us know as we would like to acknowledge your decision and it would help us plan for our future work.  You can contact us or fill out and return the Legacy Statement of Intent Form.

A Gift of Life Insurance

You can make a larger gift than you might expect possible by naming Oxfam Canada as the owner and beneficiary of a new or existing life insurance policy.

Gift of Life Insurance


Gift of Life Insurance
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The insurance benefit is paid directly to Oxfam Canada and is separate from your estate, so there are no administrative or probate fees and the gift has no effect on your estate’s assets.  There are a few ways to donate a policy during your lifetime:

An Existing Policy

If you and your family find you no longer need an existing policy, instead of cancelling it you can donate it by naming Oxfam Canada the owner and beneficiary of that policy.  You will receive a charitable income tax receipt for the year in which you transfer ownership, based on the current surrender value of the policy plus any accumulated dividends and minus any outstanding loans.  You will also receive a charitable receipt for any premiums that you keep paying.

You may not have to pay premiums indefinitely, because most whole life policies have a premium offset option.  After seven to ten years, the dividends usually become sufficient to cover the cost of the annual premium and you no longer need to pay to keep the policy in force.

You can also donate a paid-up policy that you no longer need.  You will receive a charitable income tax receipt for the surrender value and any accumulated dividends, minus any outstanding loans.

A New Policy

You can name Oxfam Canada as the owner and beneficiary of a new policy.  Although the new policy has no current surrender value, if it’s structured properly, you will be eligible to receive a charitable receipt annually for any premiums that you pay.

Gifts of Life Insurance or Registered Plans made at the time of your death

You cannot claim any tax credits during your lifetime if you name Oxfam Canada as the beneficiary of your life insurance without transferring ownership of the policy.  However, your estate will benefit from a tax credit if you name your estate as the beneficiary of the plan and make a bequest to Oxfam Canada in your will.  The gift is treated as a charitable donation in the year of your death and is eligible for a tax credit on your final tax return or in the previous year’s return.


Registered plans, such as RRSPs or RRIFs, can also be bequeathed to Oxfam Canada through your estate.  Another option is to name Oxfam Canada directly as the beneficiary of your life insurance, RRSP or RRIF.  By naming Oxfam Canada as the beneficiary to your registered plan, the plan does not form part of the estate assets that require probate.  This may result in significant savings in some provinces where the fee is charged on the value of the estate.  A beneficiary designation can be made directly on the RRSP or RRIF application form and can only be changed by the annuitant

Endowment Fund

An endowment fund is a donation which is investd with the earnings generated on the principal used to support Oxfam's work.  The Oxfam Canada Endowment Fund is established with Tides Canada Foundation.  Please contact Rowena Griffiths (1-613-237-5236 x 2209) / Email: Rowena.Griffiths@oxfam.org) for more information. 

Charitable Remainder Trust

Your gift of cash or I other property is used to establish a trust.You receive the income from the trust, according to the terms set out when it is established, and a receipt for the remainder. Oxfam Canada receives whatever remains in the trust after your death.