Launching Your Legacy Now

Giving While Living

Ron Hatcher – Senior Financial Consultant, Investors Group

You’ve reached that comfortable age when you have the time and resources to consider the legacy you wish to leave – and you may decide that the time to give is now, not later. If so, here are some giving-while-living strategies that can offer significant benefits to your estate as well as making a donation to the charitable organization of your choice.

Name the charity as beneficiary

Leave a bequest in your Will to a recognized charity. Your estate will receive a charitable donation tax receipt.

Establish a Donor Advised Fund

This tax-favoured vehicle avoids the administrative responsibilities and costs associated with establishing a private foundation. However, it does require a donation to a public foundation and the Fund is subject to administration fees. You receive a tax receipt for contributions made to the fund from the public foundation and also retain the right to recommend which charity or charities are to receive allocations of the fund’s income.

Establish a Charitable Remainder Trust

This option allows you to donate capital while you live on the income. A Charitable Remainder Trust is irrevocable and can hold assets such as cash and mutual funds. The named charity has no access to trust capital during your lifetime — all interest and dividends are paid to you as taxable income. Upon your death, the trust assets – known as the remainder – go immediately to the charity. Remainder assets are not subject to probate fees, nor are they usually subject to claims by creditors. You will receive a charitable receipt for a portion of your donation, based on your age at the time of the donation and current interest rates.

Donate a life insurance policy now

Donate a paid-up policy or one that requires ongoing premiums and receive a charitable receipt based on the cash surrender value of the policy plus accumulated dividends. The premium payments you make each year will also generate a charitable receipt.

Establish a Charitable Life Annuity

You make your charitable gift now and continue to receive a lifetime income for yourself and/or your spouse from the assets you’ve donated. A large portion of this annuity income will be tax free and will not trigger Old Age Security clawbacks. You will receive a charitable receipt for a portion of the donations, with the amount of the receipt based on the amount of annuity income you elect to receive and your life expectancy.

Donate publicly traded stocks or securities

There is no capital gains tax on appreciated stocks and mutual funds when they are donated to a recognized charity either while you are living or through your Will.

Establish a Private Foundation

This option ensures your generosity lives on and can permanently associate your name or your family’s name with the causes you’ve chosen. A professional advisor can help map out the giving-while-living strategy for you.

This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. (in Quebec – a Financial Services Firm), presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. Contact a financial advisor for specific advice about your circumstances. For more information on this topic please contact your Investors Group Consultant.

 

Sledge Hockey

“Anyone, even able-bodied players can play sledge hockey. This is a great opportunity to get this league off the ground,” said Darren Cossar executive director of Hockey Nova Scotia.

The league will be housed by the Dartmouth Whalers Minor Hockey Association and will meet once a week throughout the 2008-2009 hockey season at a reduced cost. Hockey Nova Scotia is proud to offer the first ever organized sledge hockey league in the Maritimes. The inaugural season will run with two teams, one out of the Dartmouth Association and one out of the Acadia Association. Both teams are open to anyone in the minor hockey age range of five to 20.  Able-bodied players are encouraged to join as well.  It is not a requisite that the player live in the association’s designated area, anyone from the across the province is eligible.

The Dartmouth Whalers Minor Hockey Association team will meet once a week throughout the 2008-2009 hockey season at the Bowles Arena at a reduced cost. Those interested contact the Dartmouth Whalers Minor Hockey Association at http://www.whalers.org

The Acadia Minor Hockey Association team will operate in a similar fashion and those interested should contact Laurie Dauphinee.

The Answer On What to Drink to Maintain a Healthy Bladder

Christine Short MDFRCPC Assistant Professor, Dalhousie University, Division Chief Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,  Dept. of Medicine, QEII Health Sciences Centre

An important issue for persons with spinal cord injury is what to drink to maintain a healthy bladder. In this article, Dr. Christine Short, Head of the Spinal Cord Injury Team at the Nova Scotia Rehabilitation Centre gives the answer to this question.

It’s not necessarily what you drink, but how much that is important.

To maintain a healthy bladder you need to flush it out regularly. This will help prevent urinary tract infections, kidney and bladder stones, and will help regulate your bowel routine.

The usual recommendation is 2-3 litres per day. This can be difficult if you are trying to time intermittent catheterization and keep them to a reasonable number (four to five times per day). Just remember what goes in comes out. This is the general rule. For example if you drink 2 litres a day you will pee 2 litres. To keep a safe catheter volume (less than 500 cc per catheter) you will need to cath about four times a day. This is a reasonable expectation, so we usually recommend that, if in and out catheterization is your bladder management, then aim for two litres a day. If you have a drainage system that can tolerate more, such as a foley catheter or condom drainage and a leg bag then we push 2-3 litres. This is true especially in the former situation (foley) because persons who use these are at higher risk of bladder infections, and more fluid may be helpful in preventing these.

The fluid you drink should be non-caffeine and non-alcoholic. Caffeine and alcohol are mild diuretics. This means they make you pee more and leave your body in a state of dehydration, which can be bad for your bladder, kidneys, and bowel. These fluids are okay in moderation, but don’t count them toward your daily fluid intake. Fluids that count are any non-caffeine or non-alcoholic beverages. Water is probably the best. Juice is okay but be careful because a lot of juice equals a lot of sugar and can cause problems with weight management.

Some people push specific fluids such as cranberry juice. The theory behind this is that if you make the bladder environment more acid (cranberry juice is acidic) then bacteria will not grow as well. The substances in cranberry extract also seem to prevent bacteria from sticking to the bladder. There is now a small amount of research that supports this claim so assign cranberry to your daily list of fluids may be a good idea. If you don’t like cranberry juice or want to avoid the sugar that comes with it you can also try cranberry pills.

If there are issues preventing you from keeping up your fluids such as leakage between catherterizations, urgency, or discomfort then you should consult your doctor. Managing these things could help improve your bladder, your fluid intake, and your overall health.

Self-Managed Care

This article is reprinted from “The Quill”, Boyne Clarke’s Personal Injury Group’s newsletter, Editor – Matt Napier, www.lawyerfortheinjured.ca.

Since December 2005 the Department of Health has been offering the Self Managed Care program. So far the response has been terrific allowing many Nova Scotians with disabilities to take their care into their own hands.

“We have reached our budget capacity but we are going beyond that because of the wonderful response,” said Carolyn Maxwell, Service Delivery Coordinator, Nova Scotia Department of Health, Continuing Care Branch.

The Self Managed Care program is a progressive approach to ongoing care. Funds, based upon the program guidelines, are provided to the eligible individuals and it is left up to them to develop their own care plans and directly arrange and administer their own support services, this includes hiring, training and paying care providers. The program is designed for people who require ongoing physical assistance with routine activities of daily living. To qualify each person must be able to fully participate in decisions, make arrangements regarding their care requirements and enter into a contractual agreement.

The program provides the benefits of independence, flexibility and freedom. However, on the flip side the demands can prove burdensome and challenging. There is also the restriction that family members cannot be paid to provide care.

Gordie Publicover was one of ten involved with the initial pilot project over ten years ago.

“It has been the reason I have been able to be employed for the last ten years,” said Mr. Publicover. “The biggest asset was being able to get the person to help when it’s needed. So if I need some assistance getting up in the morning to be at work at 9am, I can do that, and still get assistance in the evening to get to bed. It allows me to have a productive work day.”

As well as allowing flexibility, Mr. Publicover appreciates having a consistent career. Before going on the Self Managed program he had to deal with a large rotation of different people helping him with very personal things, which he didn’t enjoy.

“It’s hard to keep your dignity when you have a disability,” he said.

Mr. Publicover has the advantage of having a Bachelor in Commerce and many years working experience. He appreciates that the challenge of fully managing your own career can for some people be too much.

“The reality is if someone is anxious all the time about fulfilling the financial responsibilities of self managed care it will impact on the quality of their life,” said Mr. Publicover. “They may have more independence but they’re worried. So it has to be up to them to decide what balance is ok.”

The financial challenges imposed by the program are something Nova Scotia Health is aware of. Ms. Maxwell said the department is current considering the possibility of allowing the financial responsibilities to be given to someone other than the individual.

Currently the department provides a stringent assessment and orientation process to ensure the individual’s capacity to perform the necessary tasks. There is also always the option to withdraw from the program.

“We want the best for our clients so there is nothing locking them in,” said Ms. Maxwell.

One of the major restrictions imposed by the program is that family members are not to be used. Nancy Beaton, Director of Client Services, Canadian Paraplegic Association (Nova Scotia), said the rational behind this probably was put in place to protect individuals, however, it can be difficult for people in rural communities to access care outside the family.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Self Managed Care program please visit Continuing Care Services at www.gov.ns.ca/health/ccs or the Canadian Paraplegic Association NS at www.thespine.ca.