What’s your number?

By Rich Widdifield, CFP®
Senior Financial Planner
Assante Capital Management Ltd.


When you talk about “Know Your Number” in a hospital setting, you are likely discussing your health numbers, such as your cholesterol or blood pressure. But what if you are thinking of leaving a legacy gift in your Will? Many Canadians will make a charitable gift in their Will, and if you are a family considering this, there are two numbers you should know: Your Net Worth and your Net Estate Value.

Your Net Worth is comprised of your assets minus your liabilities. You can take this a step further and figure out what your estate would be worth if you and/or your spouse passed away. Your Net Worth minus any taxes owing on your final tax return and to your estate will give you your Net Estate Value. As a Financial Planner, we ensure all families we work with know their most up-to-date Net Worth and Net Estate Value figures.

When we discuss these numbers with the families we advise, we find many are surprised by how much they will be leaving in their Will. In BC, with our high real estate prices, many families have a Net Worth and Net Estate Value in the millions.

If this sounds like your situation you may want to consider a gift in your Will. Your family, your children, your grandchildren, and other heirs can still receive significant inheritances all while your family makes a generous gift to an organization that does great work in our community.

Lastly, whenever you consider a major gift to charity, we recommend you practice what we call strategic philanthropy. Being strategic will minimize taxes, allowing you to leave a charitable gift (maybe larger than you thought) while still providing a generous amount in your Will to your family and heirs. Now the question now is, do you know your number?