A Heart of Gold
Director Major Gifts and Planned Giving
Burnaby Hospital Foundation
Dorothy McFarlane left a large charitable gift to Burnaby Hospital Foundation when she departed this world in July 2014. Her longtime companion, Emil Roy, was proud, but not surprised. Dorothy’s last wishes were in step with all that she had cherished about life.
She had an adventurer’s heart and a quick, easy laugh. Dorothy always loved being around people and had a natural curiosity that stayed with her throughout her 92 years. Yet it hadn’t always been easy. She was born and raised in north-east England, coming of age as World War II raged. Dorothy’s family, like many, faced all the hardship wartime brought and the experience created a deep-seated desire in her to help others.
Throughout her life, Dorothy performed community service by way of a long-time association with the Shriners and Daughters of the Nile. She aged gracefully and was independent until the last months of her life. Dorothy always appreciated the care she received from the dedicated medical practitioners on staff at the hospital. “At Burnaby Hospital,” she would tell her loved ones, “I’m always treated as a person. Not just a patient.” And that meant a lot to Dorothy and her family.
Dorothy’s decision to make a charitable gift in her will demonstrates that an estate gift is a long-term commitment of support that does not have to negatively impact a donor’s current standard of living. In evaluating which assets to bequeath to family and charity, it often makes sense for estates with less tax liability to provide for family, and those with higher tax liability to include a gift to a charity. Legacy gifts can reduce taxes owed by an estate and ultimately, reducing tax liabilities makes sense for all beneficiaries.
Through careful estate planning with her lawyer, Dorothy provided Burnaby Hospital with a residue gift after providing for various family and friends. Everyone has unique circumstances and should seek guidance from their advisors (lawyer, accountant etc.) to best determine the right plan for them.
The fact is that Dorothy McFarlane left a legacy for the people of Burnaby—hers is a legacy that works every day to improve patient care at the hospital. Leaving a bequest in your will is a wonderful way to celebrate a life well lived and to ensure that those following will benefit from that life for many years beyond.