When Blair and Sharon Richardson were in the process of revising their Will, they sat down with their two kids to have a talk about what they were thinking of doing: creating a Bequest Fund with the Oakville Community Foundation. They wanted to leave their kids some money but also wanted to continue to give to the charitable organizations they had supported throughout their lives.
“They were both really supportive,” said Blair. “They were very enthusiastic about the whole idea.”
Through Blair’s role on the Board at Food For Life, he became acquainted with the Oakville Community Foundation and was interested in the prospect of being able to leave money to charity after they were gone that could continue supporting those most
“You’re aware that when you make your Will that you can’t see into the future after you’re gone. You don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Blair. “I could see the pitfalls of saying, ‘I want to leave X amount of money to these organizations,’ while not knowing what the situation would be when it actually came time to carry out the Will.”
The Richardsons liked the idea for a number of reasons. First, there is no minimum commitment for setting up a Bequest Fund at The Foundation and all of the administration would be done for them. They also liked knowing the dollars would be in good hands in terms of investment management.
Another important aspect for them was knowing that their two children could have a say in where the dollars were directed. Bequest Funds can be set up with instructions on which charities or causes to support or, as the Richardson’s have done, their children can be named to make those decisions on an annual basis.
“I liked the idea that our kids could decide where the money could go,” said Blair. “They know what charities we typically support, but life changes and they could feel free to give it to any charity in Canada that they felt was worthwhile.”
Philanthropy is something that has grown on the Richardsons through their lives. Sharon volunteered for a number of years with Home Suite Hope and Blair with Food for Life, where he started as a volunteer driver and became Chairperson on the Board of Directors
Through the years, they both found themselves recognizing the responsibility they had to use their resources wisely and set out to find organizations that would do the same. Being so involved in volunteer work, both Sharon and Blair have some sense of an organization’s performance and capabilities.
But for others, it’s not so easy to see. Blair knew that if their children were to be the ones making decisions on where the money should go and The Foundation made a recommendation, that it would get them pointed in the right direction.
“The more I learned about the Oakville Community Foundation, the more impressed I was with their knowledge of both community needs and community resources.”