Estate & Legacy Giving

Estate & Legacy Giving

Your support of Bishop’s can have an immediate and a lasting impact on students.

There are many ways that you can help support Bishop’s University, making a difference in a way that means the most to you. A gift can be designated (for example, for the creation of a scholarship or to support a specific project) or undesignated, in which it will be used to help fund the University’s highest priorities.

You can decide if your gift will be endowed or directly funded. Endowed gifts are invested by the University to create a steady income stream in perpetuity, while directly funded gifts are spent immediately or over a defined period.

You may also choose to make a deferred gift, to be given sometime in the future. Most of these are referred to as planned gifts, but include bequests, gifts of life insurance or RRSPs. Another option you may wish to consider is to make a “hybrid” gift whereby an annual gift amount (direct funded) is supplemented with long-term planning for a deferred gift, made via a bequest or a life insurance policy.

Reasons to consider legacy giving:

  • Commemorate your life achievements
  • Support the areas that mean the most to you at Bishop’s
  • Achieve your personal, financial and philanthropic goals
  • Receive tax benefits while retaining control of your assets
  • Positively influence the leaders of tomorrow

We always recommend that you consult your financial advisor to determine which strategy is best suited given your personal financial situation.

Ways to give:


Remembering the Bishop’s University Foundation in your Will is an act that is generous, powerful and surprisingly simple. It allows you to leave a larger gift than would be possible during your lifetime while still retaining control of your assets, and your estate will receive a charitable tax receipt that can lower or even eliminate estate taxes.

Leaving a gift to the Bishop’s University Foundation in your Will is simple. Talk it over with your family and loved ones, then speak to your legal advisor about drafting or revising your Will, or adding a codicil.

Please consider informing us of your bequest and your wishes. It will give us the opportunity to thank you and, more importantly, to discuss what you hope your gift will help to accomplish. Of course, we will respect your privacy and confidentiality. Every gift in every will makes a difference.

Benefits of making a bequest

  • The satisfaction of making a donation to Bishop’s in an area that is important to you – e.g., scholarships, a particular program or sport, or priority needs.
  • Your estate may claim gifts in the year of death equal to 100 percent of your net income in that year and the preceding year.
  • A bequest can be modified or withdrawn if your financial circumstances change.
  • Depending on the size of the gift, you can establish an endowed fund and name it in honour of someone close to you, or establish a personal legacy.

Bequest options

  • Cash, securities, or other property.
  • You can designate a specific dollar amount, a particular asset, or a percentage of your estate.
  • Leave all or a portion of your remaining estate to Bishop’s after you have provided for your other beneficiaries.
  • Name the Bishop’s University Foundation as a contingent beneficiary of your estate if other beneficiaries do not survive you.
  • Create a trust through your Will – your beneficiaries will receive income from the trust for a fixed term or for life, following which all or a portion of the remaining capital can be directed to the Bishop’s University Foundation.
  • You may wish to combine giving during your lifetime with a bequest in your Will, e.g. by establishing a scholarship fund now.

We encourage you to contact the Advancement Office to discuss your wishes so we can make sure your gift can be used as you intend.

Always consult your advisors (financial, tax, legal) to ensure that you and your estate will maximize tax benefits as a result of your donation, and that your Will is a true reflection of your wishes. 

Bequests (sample wording)

1. Unrestricted Use

“I give, devise and bequeath to Bishop’s University Foundation (Charitable registration # 118810787RR001) located in Sherbrooke, Quebec, the sum of $ ______, (or % share of my estate, or the residue of my estate) for the highest priorities of the University as it may determine”.

2. Restricted Use

“I give, devise and bequeath to Bishop’s University Foundation (Charitable registration # 118810787RR001) located in Sherbrooke, Quebec, the sum of $ ______, (or % share of my estate, or the residue of my estate) to be used for __________________________________.”

Suggested clause (restricted use):

In the event that circumstances make the specified use of this gift no longer practical or desirable, the Board of Directors of the Foundation are hereby authorized to make changes in its use in keeping as far as possible with the spirit and general intent of the gift.

3. Contingent Bequest

This is a provision which allows you to determine the recipient of your estate in the event that none of your named beneficiaries are alive at the time of your death.

“If none of the individuals I intend to benefit by this Will are alive or otherwise capable of benefitting, I leave the residue of my Estate to the Bishop’s University Foundation(Charitable registration # 118810787RR001) located in Sherbrooke, Quebec.”

Contact Bruce Stevenson at 819-822-9600 ext. 2264 for a confidential discussion.

Life Insurance

A Gift of Life Insurance offers an affordable way to support Bishop’s University.  This type of gift is most appropriate for donors aged 30 to 60, who hold an existing policy that is no longer needed, or who want to make a large gift but have limited resources.

Potential Benefits of Giving a Gift of Life Insurance

  • The opportunity to leverage the value of your gift to make a much larger gift overall
  • Immediate tax relief against your present tax return or relief for your final tax return
  • Avoidance of probate fees
  • The gift cannot be challenged by the Estate.

Gifts of Life Insurance Options

  • Transfer ownership of an existing, fully paid-up policy you no longer need.  You will receive a donation receipt for the appraised value just as if you had made a cash donation.
  • Sign over a partially paid policy.  When you transfer ownership of a policy that is partially paid and name the Bishop’s University Foundation as beneficiary, you will receive a tax receipt for the appraised value as well as for further premiums you pay on the policy.
  • Purchase a new policy and make the Bishop’s University Foundation the owner and beneficiary of the policy.  You will receive charitable donation receipts for all the premium payments that you make.
  • Retain ownership of your policy and name the Bishop’s University Foundation as the direct beneficiary and upon your passing, your estate will receive a tax receipt for the value of the policy.

Arrangements for the gift of a life insurance policy can be made by contacting your insurance advisor.

Gifts of Securities

Donating publicly traded securities directly to Bishop’s University is a simple, tax-smart way to support our students.   Securities can include stocks, mutual funds, segregated funds, bonds, and employee stock options.

Giving securities is simple. Consult your financial advisor to decide which investments will make the most financial and philanthropic impact.  You can give now or as part of your estate plan.

You or your estate will receive a tax receipt for the market value of the donated securities on the day they were received by Bishop’s, and you will eliminate capital gains tax.

Conversely, if you sell the securities yourself with a view of donating the proceeds, 50% of the gain will be taxable. In other words, it is more advantageous to transfer stock directly to Bishop’s than to sell it and donate the cash proceeds.

You and your investment advisor can electronically transfer these types of gifts into the Bishop’s account by referring to our Gift of Securities transfer form, or by contacting us at 819-822-9660.

Gifts of RRSPs and RRIFs

When it comes to transferring your wealth to the next generation, retirement funds are among your most heavily taxed assets. Registered assets can only be rolled over to a surviving spouse on a tax-deferred basis, but are taxed if they’re transferred to children or next of kin, unless the child has a disability.

Donating your RRSP or RRIF funds to the Bishop’s University Foundation is a tax-smart and effective solution. By naming the Bishop’s University Foundation as a beneficiary of registered plans, you will retain ownership and use of the funds during your lifetime, and your gift will be treated as a charitable donation in the year of death.  The Foundation will issue a tax receipt for the full amount being transferred to it, which may offset taxes owed in your estate.

The gift is simple to make. Just request a Change in Beneficiary form from your plan provider and name the Bishop’s University Foundation as a beneficiary of all or a portion of the RRSP or RRIF and return the document to your provider.

Endowment Funds / The B.U. Foundation

An endowment is a gift that keeps on giving year after year. It is a fund that is set aside and invested, to generate funds in perpetuity for an area that is important to you. The capital of an endowment is always left intact, and a percentage of the earnings is given annually to the designated purpose for which the endowment was created.

In order to generate enough earnings, the Bishop’s University Foundation has set a minimum of $25,000, which can be paid over time, in order to create an endowment fund.  As part of your legacy, a named endowment is a deeply personal statement of what you believe should be supported long into the future. You can also support an existing endowment. In fact, there are already more than 240 endowments at Bishop’s University that support areas as diverse as scholarships, athletics, fine arts, music, physics and much more.

The Bishop’s University Foundation

The Bishop’s University Foundation raises and manages funds to help advance the University’s goals. The foundation recognizes that charitable donations must supplement government grants to fulfill these goals and maintain Bishop’s emphasis on excellence in teaching enriched by scholarship and research.

In its fundraising capacity, the Foundation, in conjunction with the Advancement Office, assumes a leadership role in soliciting annual discretionary funds and building the permanent endowment. The Foundation’s Investment Committee pursues effective investment and spending policies, providing Bishop’s with annual income while protecting capital against inflation. Endowments provide a reliable source of income year in and year out; for this reason, the Foundation aims to continue building its endowment over the years.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is estate giving?

The most common and simplest form of estate giving is a bequest in your Will.   Other forms of estate giving include life insurance policies, and gifts of RRSPs and RRIFs (which can be donated through or outside your Will).

Why do I need to make a Will?

You need to make a Will to carry out your wishes in order to provide for those you would like to ensure benefit from your estate. If not, the people you care about, including charities like Bishop’s University, will not receive what you desire.  If you do not have a Will, promises you have made may not be carried out; your wishes can be disregarded.  Also, you may leave your loved ones with legal and financial challenges to sort out.

Who can help me plan a gift in my Will?

Your financial advisor (accountant, investment professional, financial planner) and legal advisor (notary, lawyer) may all assist. These professionals will explain how to incorporate your philanthropic goals into your financial and estate plan. They will provide you with information on the advantages of a charitable bequest (or another form of estate giving) and will guide you through this process. You may also discuss your goals with us. We will be pleased to answer any questions you may have.

How do I go about changing my Will?

The first step is to talk to a lawyer or notary who can help you draft and complete your Will, or change your existing Will.

If I already have a Will, why should I change it?

Your Will should be reviewed every few years. Changes may include marital status, birth of a child or grandchild. You want to update your Will to reflect changes and ensure your wishes are carried out. A codicil allows you to update your will and it is not difficult or expensive.

Must I have a large fortune to make a charitable bequest?

All gifts, large or small, make a difference and very much appreciated.

Won’t making an estate gift to Bishop’s penalize my heirs?

An estate gift can significantly reduce your tax burden and make it possible to provide both for your family and Bishop’s at a relatively low net cost.

Can I make my gift for a specific purpose?

You are welcome to support an area or program that was dear to you at Bishop’s, such as financial aid (scholarships or bursaries), a specific department, athletics, etc.  We will be pleased to discuss opportunities with you.

If I leave a gift to Bishop’s University Foundation, must I inform you of my gift?

This is entirely up to you. However, Bishop’s always appreciates knowing about planned gifts so that we can make sure we understand your wishes, as well as recognize your generosity (unless you prefer to remain anonymous). 

Always consult your advisors (financial, tax, legal) to ensure that you and your estate will maximize tax benefits as a result of your donation and that your estate gift is a true reflection of your wishes.

Trevor Bennett '81 and Charene Wood

The drive home following Trevor’s induction to the RBC Wall of Distinction gave us time to reflect on what a wonderful institution Bishop’s is and our decision around a planned gift was easy.

Our bequest will provide opportunities for student-athletes at Bishop’s for generations to come – experiences they might not otherwise enjoy. We are thrilled to contribute to the success of future Gaiters.Trevor Bennett '81 and Charene Wood

For information on Estate & Legacy Giving, contact your financial advisor, or speak with Bruce Stevenson:

Bruce Stevenson

Mr. Bruce Stevenson
Estate Giving & Donor Relations,
Bishop’s University Foundation
Advancement Office
Phone: 819-822-9600 ext. 2264
Office: Griffin House 203