Estate Planning

Grief comes in all sizes, all shapes. Sometimes it lingers. Sometimes it searches you out in the middle of the night. Sometimes it brushes you on the way out the door.

Remembering loved ones has changed drastically over the years

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TORONTO - Along the low, grassy hills of Mount Hope Cemetery, monuments mark past lives and passing trends in honouring the dead. From modern cremation niches to old family mausoleums, walking through Mount Hope is like walking through a timeline of design.

Take stress off your family by pre-planning your funeral

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Pre-planning your own funeral can relieve some stress for your family at the time of your death, says Bradley Scott.

The million-dollar conversation

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In my job with the archdiocese of Toronto, I meet a lot of people and have a lot of conversations. Some are more interesting than others. Below is one with a man I’ll call Gunter that I’ll not soon forget.

Keep your assets in your loved one’s hands

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TORONTO - Having a financial plan in place before you die will help keep the tax man’s hands off your assets.

Donating stocks to the Church, charity a ‘win-win proposition’

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If you’re used to buying low and selling high, donating stocks to the Church might be an option to consider.

Life insurance gifting is one way to help your Church

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At 40 years old, Justin Mullin started making contributions towards the gift he’ll leave behind to the Church.

Gift annuities can make your money go further

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A recent study commissioned by the Canadian Institute of Actuaries confirmed the findings of numerous other reports: people are living longer.

Investment plan essential as we live longer

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Updated 11/14/13

As the number of seniors staying in the work force increases for a variety of reasons — from living longer to the sheer number of baby boomers reaching retirement — it’s become more important than ever to have a solid investment plan. Without one, you could be forced to work well into your retirement years.

Estate planning: Are your affairs in order?

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Estate planning is a broad term that encompasses more than just one’s “estate.” It involves the arrangement of a person’s affairs to ensure that, on incapacity or death, all financial and other affairs have been arranged to ensure their wishes are followed, including:

Honour what they lived for not what they died of

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Many of us do not think of the Church when it comes time to choose an in-lieu-of-flowers designation. Research shows that when we make an in-lieu-of-flowers selection for a loved one who has passed away, we usually select charities associated with their death. In other words, we make our decision based on what our loved one died of, and not what they lived for.

Of course none of us diminish the need for the important work being done at research foundations for diseases and of other charities. A lot of good progress is being made. We may simply wish to consider the Catholic Church as our in-lieu-of-flowers option and have the opportunity to recognize the importance of faith in our lives and the lives of our loved ones. An in-lieu-of-flowers mention in an obituary presents a wonderful opportunity for us to tell our family and friends that the Church is important to us.

One such example is Sir Louis H. Parsons who is remembered by his children as a hardworking man who was kind, generous, ethical and trustworthy. His family says that the greatest lesson they learned from him was that “Everything in life worthwhile requires sacrifice.”

At the time of his passing, his children directed the in-lieu-of-flowers donations to honour him by establishing The Sir Louis H. Parsons Memorial Scholarship Fund at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Choir School. The purpose was to help ensure that his love of the Choir School and community would remain in perpetuity. Donations collected were designated to the scholarship fund given every year to a student who exemplifies leadership and the qualities of humility and service to others. This fund has created a legacy for Sir Louis H. Parsons that will live on for many generations.

Creating your own in-lieu-of-flowers legacy is easy and can be directed toward your parish or favourite religious charity. It may not fund a parish renovation or solve the needs of the poor, but having the choice of supporting the Church in a big or small way indicates that the Church is a fundamental part of our lives.

And we place our trust in Jesus to do the rest.

If you would like to choose your parish or favourite Catholic charity as your in-lieu-of-flowers designation consider sharing your decision with your family. This will help to ensure that your wish is fulfilled. You can also write down your intention and keep it with your Will.

(Foronda works with the Development Office of the Archdiocese of Toronto.)

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