Planned Giving & Bequests

Planning your gift to Canadian Warplane Heritage during your Lifetime or in your Will is a big step. It requires organizing your affairs and consulting with your family and advisors. Timing and taxes are also important.

We will work with you, your family and your advisors on a confidential basis to ensure that your personal, family, financial and philanthropic goals are met.

Photo of Donor Recognition at Canadian Warplane Heritage


Charitable Bequests

The most commonly planned gift, a charitable bequest is a gift that is made through your will and can be used to provide a permanent endowment. You can choose to leave Canadian Warplane Heritage a specific piece of property, a pre-determined sum of money or a percentage of your estate. Planned today, a bequest is not realized by Canadian Warplane Heritage until after your death.

If you are considering a bequest to our charity, we recommend that you explore the various donation methods to ensure your future gift is tax effective and takes your family needs into consideration. Please speak to your legal advisor about drafting or revising your will.

Canadian Warplane Heritage would be pleased to provide you with our brochure, "A guide to planning your bequest to Canadian Warplane Heritage," that includes a step-by-step process to plan your estate. We can offer sample wording for your will and other useful legal and tax information and confidential assistance to you and your advisors.

By carefully planning your bequest, you can eliminate significant taxes payable upon your death. Your estate may claim gifts in the year of death equal to 100% of your net income in that year and the year preceding death.

For more information, contact Sandra Price, Vice President - Operations at 905-679-4183 Ext. 230 or

Gifts of RRSP's or RRIF's

Unlike other deferred donations, RRSP/RRIF funds require no legal documents or complicated trust arrangements.

Since February 2000, the Canadian government has implemented a simple and effective way for individuals to donate the proceeds of their Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) and Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) to a designated charity like Canadian Warplane Heritage. The gift is easy to make - you simply change the beneficiary information on the plan document and advise the institution holding your retirement account of the change.

You can support multiple beneficiaries, meaning a combination of family members, other significant people and charities such as Canadian Warplane Heritage. Unfortunately, your retirement funds are amongst the most heavily taxed assets that you own. However, when a charity is designated a direct beneficiary of registered plans, these taxes are offset by the tax receipt issued by the charity for the full amount being transferred.

If you are married, your spouse will probably be designated as the beneficiary of your RRSP or RRIF. Once you are confident that your family is well provided for, you may wish to consider what will happen to the remaining portion of your plan when your spouse dies. If you choose, you can make Canadian Warplane Heritage a contingent beneficiary of your plan, the proceeds of which will only flow to Canadian Warplane Heritage following the death of your spouse.

This deferred donation is one of the most advantageous because when planned assets are directly designated, they are not included in the estate and are not subject to probate fees and your estate (or your spouse's estate) will receive a tax credit.

Upon your death or the death of your spouse, 100% of the assets in your RRSP or RRIF are taxed. A direct donation of RRSP/RRIF funds is an effective way to avoid this tax liability and to preserve the value of your funds for a charitable contribution.

For more information, contact Sandra Price, Vice President - Operations at 905-679-4183 Ext. 230 or

Gifts of Life Insurance

Giving with life insurance is a creative way to donate to Canadian Warplane Heritage at a relatively low cost. Paying modest life insurance premiums today can provide a significant gift in the future.

You may own a life insurance policy that has now outlived its purpose. If your children are grown and you have accumulated enough assets, you may not require the life insurance policy you took out for a younger family. You now have an excellent opportunity to make a significant gift.

By simply naming Canadian Warplane Heritage as the owner and beneficiary of your policy, you will receive an immediate tax receipt for the cash surrender value. The Museum can either cash in the policy and put your gift to work immediately, or hold the policy until the full death benefit is paid out.

You could establish a new life policy for yourself or for you and your partner with Canadian Warplane Heritage as beneficiary when both partners are deceased. Each year's premium payment that you make will represent a tax deductible donation, making it easier for you to make a meaningful gift to the museum without depleting the assets of your estate that you may wish to pass to your children or other family members.

You can give a new policy, an existing policy, or simply name Canadian Warplane Heritage as the beneficiary.

For more information, contact Sandra Price, Vice President - Operations at 905-679-4183 Ext. 230 or

It is quite common for many high-net-worth individuals to have the bulk of their wealth tied up in a very small number of assets. Perhaps it is a family farm or other real estate holding. The individual may hold a number of stock options that are ready to mature, or may own marketable securities that have a low cost basis and significant capital appreciation.

Regardless of the asset type, you may be in a position to unlock some of the appreciation, significantly reduce the capital gains tax and thoughtfully exercise a philanthropic impulse, all through well-conceived charitable gift planning strategies.

An outright sale of appreciated assets (other than a principal residence) will produce a substantial capital gains tax liability.

People who own stocks, bonds or mutual funds are pleased when their investments have increased. Unfortunately, when such an investment is converted to cash the realized capital gain is taxable. You can decrease this financial impact by donating your publicly listed security directly to the Canadian Warplane Heritage.

Federal budget changes in 2006 have made donating publicly listed securities very attractive by eliminating the capital gains tax on such gifts as shares, bills, warrants, mutual funds and futures listed on stock exchanges.

Before deciding on any financial matters, it is best to seek out the advice of a professional financial planner.

For more information, contact Sandra Price, Vice President - Operations at 905-679-4183 Ext. 230 or

There are many ways to word a charitable gift in a Will. Here is some suggested language we hope might help you describe a testamentary gift to our Museum.

These clauses may need to be adapted to reflect your client's specific interests and circumstances.

Sample clauses for wills:

1. A gift in a will may be specified as a fixed amount, or the residue (or portion) of the estate.

  • a) Your gift of a fixed dollar amount (legacy):

    "I give the sum of ______ Dollars ($ ____) to Canadian Warplane Heritage, Mount Hope, Ontario to be used for such charitable purposes as the Museum may determine from time to time."
  • b) Your gift of the remainder (residue) of your Estate:

    "I give the residue of my estate to Canadian Warplane Heritage, Mount Hope, Ontario, to be used for such charitable purposes as the Museum may determine from time to time".

2. The gift may be directed in any one of a variety of ways:

  • a) General charitable purposes:

    You may provide maximum flexibility for the benefit of Canadian Warplane Heritage – see examples 1 (a) and 1 (b) above
  • b) Specific charitable purposes:

    You may specify the endowment fund, whereby the Museum will be the beneficiary of the income every year:

    "I give the sum of _____ Dollars ($___) to Canadian Warplane Heritage, Mount Hope, Ontario. The said amount to be treated as capital and invested in the endowment fund, and the net income therefrom to be paid to Canadian Warplane Heritage".

    OR – if the gift is to be the residue of your estate

    "I give the residue of my estate to Canadian Warplane Heritage, Mount Hope, Ontario, which shall be treated as capital and invested in the endowment fund, and the net income therefrom to be paid to Canadian Warplane Heritage".

3. Your gift may be deferred until the death of a named survivor (spouse, or other dependent) Add these words to the beginning of the clause:

"Upon the death of the survivor of _____ and me, I give..."

When a donor makes an "outright gift" of cash or property to Canadian Warplane Heritage, every dollar goes to work the moment it is given, providing vital current support to ongoing programs. An outright gift gives a donor the satisfaction of seeing their gift at work and knowing Canada's aviation heritage is being kept alive for generations to come.

Acceptable Assets:

  • Cash
  • Cheques or Money Orders
  • Payments on Credit Card
  • Publicly Listed Securities (including segregated and mutual fund units)

Benefits to the Canadian Warplane Heritage:

  • Available for immediate use
  • Highly liquid
  • Easy to administer
  • Limited to no risk

Benefits to the Donor:

  • Donation receipt for the full amount of gift
  • Straightforward, easy-to-understand transactions
  • Significant tax benefits depending on assets gifted
  • Satisfaction of seeing the gift at work immediately

Most Appropriate for:

  • Everyone (any age) who can afford to give up some principal and the interest it would otherwise earn.

For more information, contact Sandra Price, Vice President - Operations at 905-679-4183 Ext. 230 or

Not necessarily, but a cash contribution – paid by cheque, money order or credit card – is the simplest way to give.
The federal tax credit is equal to 16% of the first $200 of donation receipts plus 29% of receipts in excess of $200. Since a federal tax credit also reduces provincial taxes, a donor's combined tax savings could be nearly half of the contribution made.

Here's an example assuming a combined tax credit of 45%. You write a cheque for $1,000 to the Canadian Warplane Heritage but the net cost of the gift to you is only $550, because your donation receipt for $1000 reduces your income taxes for that year by $450.

You may claim up to 75% of earned income in charitable donations each year. Donations exceeding the limit can be carried forward and claimed on future tax returns for up to five years.
Non-cash assets such as publicly listed securities, real estate, artworks and other tangibles are also suitable as outright gifts and may be especially suitable if the property's practical worth is less than its market value or it does not fit your investment objectives. In any case, you are entitled to a donation receipt for the fair market value of the property contributed..
Yes, but for certain types of property, less tax than if you sold the property. When listed securities (including mutual funds) are contributed to a registered charity, you are taxed on only 25% of the gain. If those same securities are sold, you are taxed on 50% of the gain.

In the case of other property, such as real estate and artworks (other than cultural property), you are taxed on 50% of the gain whether the assets are first contributed or sold. Prior to 2000, a donor would have been taxed on 75% of the gain.

Whatever type of appreciated property is contributed, your tax credit will exceed the tax on the gain, so a net tax saving will always be realized. For example, if you contribute listed securities having a current fair market value of $10,000 and a cost base of $2,000, only $2,000 of the gain (25% x $8,000) will be subject to tax. The tax on the gain (assuming a 50% combined tax credit) will be $1,000, but the tax credit will be $5,000. Thus, net tax savings of $4,000 will be realized.

If you had sold the securities first, $4,000 of the gain would be subject to tax, and you would have paid $2,000 in taxes, again assuming a 50% combined rate.

Larger Contribution Limit: When appreciated property is donated, the amount claimed for credit is actually larger than 75% of your income. In this case, the contribution limit is 75% of income from all other sources plus 25% of the gain arising from the contribution.

Bottom line: No matter how large a contribution or how much the property has appreciated, you will always be able to use enough of your contribution for a tax credit to exceed the tax on gain that would otherwise be owing.
Ordinarily it's quite simple. The process begins by listing assets and most important personal possessions (nothing should be overlooked!), and the persons, institutions and causes for which you would like to provide. Then a lawyer should be consulted to review intentions and draft the final document in proper language.
A will is fully revocable by you while you live – you retain control and can easily make revisions should your wishes or circumstances change, either by having a new will drafted or adding a codicil to an existing one.
For most people, yes. At the death of the donor, your estate is entitled to a donation receipt for the full value of a bequest, providing a significant tax credit on your final tax return. Here's an example:

(Margaret J), a widow, leaves $10,000 to the Canadian Warplane Heritage and the remainder of her estate to her two children. Her bequest results in a tax saving of $4,500 (assuming a combined tax credit of 45%). If she had left the $10,000 to her children instead of giving it to the Museum, taxes would have consumed $4,500 and only $5,500 would have passed to the children.
No, you may also give publicly listed securities or real estate. Because a charitable bequest is creditable up to 100% of income in the year of death, the tax credit will almost always exceed tax on the gain, resulting in some tax savings. Whether the bequest consists of cash or other property, any portion not usable because of the 100-percent-of-income limit can be carried back to the prior year, again subject to the 100-percent limit.
A bequest may take any of several forms. Consider these possibilities:

A general bequest is for a certain dollar amount of property, usually cash:
"I give to the Canadian Warplane Heritage the sum of $100,000 to be used for its general purposes."

A specific bequest directs that the Canadian Warplane Heritage is to receive a specific piece of property:
"I give... 500 shares of XYZ stock..."

A residual bequest designates all or a portion of whatever remains after all debts, taxes, expenses and other bequests have been paid:
"I give... fifty percent (50%) of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate..."

A contingent bequest takes effect only under certain conditions:
"In the event that my wife does not survive me, I give to the Canadian Warplane Heritage the sum of..."
Most bequests will be contributed for general purposes, but you may also make a restricted bequest to be used for the endowment fund.

Let us guide you! We can provide you with helpful information on how to make a will and sample bequest language appropriate to the forms and purposes described above. At your request, a Museum representative would be happy to refer you to a qualified financial advisor to discuss your intentions for giving.

For more information, contact Sandra Price, Vice President - Operations at 905-679-4183 Ext. 230 or

Photo of Canadian Warplane Heritage Donor WallCanadian Warplane Heritage recognizes all donations. All donations are acknowledged and a tax receipt issued.

Major donors are recognized on the magnificent donor wall at the main entrance to the museum.

Donors who advise us that they have included Canadian Warplane Heritage in their estate and gift planning will be offered a small pin in the shape of a pair of wings. This will symbolize your commitment to ensure the museum's future and will indicate that you are a member of "Heritage Wings".

The donor reserves the right to remain anonymous and decline public (or private) recognition at all times.

Al Shelley, CWH Lifetime Member

As a very active volunteer at the museum I am privileged to witness the professional way the museum preserves, maintains and displays the aircraft collection and memorabilia. I personally enjoy meeting visitors from around the world who come to see our museum. It is always nice to be able to speak with visitors who had family members who were in the military and to see their reaction when they see the aircraft and exhibits. They often become emotional and I have made many friends on the hangar floor who correspond with me regularly and whom I have visited when travelling overseas.

My wife Bev and I have no children. We both had family members who were in the Canadian military and we feel very strongly about preserving their memories, the history of Canada's military, and our heroes.

We have selected Canadian Warplane Heritage to receive a major portion of our residual estate. Our reason for selecting CWH is the focus they place on educating our youth and the public about Canada's rich aviation heritage and Canada's heroes.

Including CWH in my will was a very simple process. I would encourage any supporter to speak with your lawyer about this type of support.

Message from the former Chairman of the Fundraising Committee

Over forty years ago, two pilots had a dream. Dennis Bradley and Alan Ness began what is today one of the world's truly great flying museum projects. In those early days my passion for warbirds was less acute than it is today, but I watched the movement grow and today I am one of 300 volunteers doing my best to help the museum prosper and offer even more to the aviation and local communities.

As I worked as Chair of the Fundraising committee to develop the planned giving approach we are formalizing, I found that changing my will to provide ten percent of my primary estate for the museum was easy to do. I share the passion of the other members and volunteers, not just for the heritage and cultural contribution this museum has made and will continue to make, but in my interaction with the staff and guides and board members, I've learned how important this museum is to the many thousands who have been inspired by their visits.

I want to make a personal appeal to you to help the museum by making the kind of gift I have arranged. It can be for any amount and it doesn't need to cost you anything during your lifetime, but it can mean so much to others afterwards.

Please read this description of how you can contribute and discuss it with your financial planner or lawyer. We'll never ask you what you've done but when the time comes to turn your promise into money to help Canadian Warplane Heritage, you can be sure there will be many who will be grateful for your generosity.

- Sandy Thomson


The purpose of this publication is to provide general information, not to render legal advice. In addition any changes in the tax structure may affect the examples listed in this information. You should consult your lawyer or other professional advisor about the applicability of this information to your situation.

Canadian Warplane Heritage understands that donors consider estate and gift planning to be a strictly confidential matter. Out of respect for its donors, the Museum has adopted a policy dedicated to preserving privacy and maintaining confidentiality in the planning process. We will, however, recognize your intent to give by offering you a small pin the shape of a pair of wings. This will symbolize your generous commitment to ensure the museum's future.

For the purposes of charitable giving, our legal name is "Canadian Warplane Heritage".

© Canadian Warplane Heritage 2024