BLOG - Plan ahead and leave a lasting legacy


Derek Spalding is young, but he’s already thinking about how he can leave a long lasting legacy for his community through a planned gift to United Way. Derek explains why he gives and how he went about setting up a planned gift – something you can do on any budget.

Written by Derek Spalding, United Way Donor

Support for your community comes in many forms. Some people give generously by digging deep into their pocket books, while others volunteer tirelessly for the causes dearest to them. But it’s surprisingly rare for people to think of a charitable organization when drawing up their wills.

The idea of donating my life savings or my house, in the event of my death, occurred to me shortly after buying my first home. Knowing that 18,000 children in the Windsor region live in poverty — and up to 40 per cent may never get out of that cycle without any help — I wanted to help. 

If I got run over by a bus tomorrow, there is no question where I want my estate to go. I know every dollar will count for much more in the hands of United Way, given the organization’s reputation for leveraging resources and increasing its spending power. More importantly, the organization offers a wave of support for low-income families, ranging from lunch programs to unparalleled educational support. 

Investing in my community, through United Way, is exactly the type of legacy I want to leave behind. Fortunately for me, the folks at United Way knew exactly how to help me. They quickly connected me with financial and legal experts.

Creating the will with my lawyer took less than an hour of my time, mainly discussing the details of my estate. Then financial planner came up with the perfect insurance plan that matched where I was at financially, making sure I wasn’t overspending. 

I now have a mortgage policy that gives United Way $250,000 after I die, which is even higher than the value of my home right now. The second phase of my plan involves buying a charitable insurance policy. That’s the best part about planned giving — you can go as big or as small as you want, depending on your comfort level. Charitable insurance policies also give you a nice tax credit. 

Once you create the charitable policy, there’s no hassle to you because the policy belongs to the organization right from the start. If my parachute doesn’t work in my next skydiving attempt, that policy pays out to United Way immediately — the same as my estate. 

If you’re updating your will, or haven’t made one yet, consider how your estate can benefit your community. My planned giving donation will be a large part of my lasting legacy without question, reducing poverty in our region thanks to United Way. 

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This article was featured in Windsor Life Magazine. Derek Spalding is a marketing specialist with Web Geeks Marketing in Windsor. The former journalist also volunteers with United Way's Marketing and Communications Committee. 



Last Updated April 30, 2018


United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County
300 Giles Boulevard East, Unit A1, Windsor, Ontario N9A 4C4

t: 519-258-0000 | f: 519-258-2346 | | Charitable Registration #: 108160334 RR0001