Last week was Smart Giving Plan Awareness Week in Carman, and the Carman Area Foundation was joined by other local charities and organizations currently fundraising for projects to host a seminar on “smart” estate-planning on Nov. 28 in the Carman United Church hall. (EMILY DISTEFANO)
Organizers were pleased with the turnout at last week’s Smart Giving Awareness Week information seminar.
A coalition of local charities, including the Carman and Community Area Foundation, presented the afternoon event on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at the Carman United Church.
Around 30 people came out to listen to Carman-based lawyer Scott Johnston and Chartered Professional Accountant Lauren Nokonechny talk about how to get the most out of your money, whether through smart estate planning or smart charitable giving throughout your lifetime.
Barry Gosnell, president of the Carman and Area Foundation, said that this is the first year he can remember holding this kind of seminar for the public.
“Our focus certainly was on planned giving and giving to charities,” he said. “We just thought this was a pretty good opportunity to bring in some professional people...this gives folks an opportunity to come and get some information.”
Topics included estate planning, tax rules, charitable giving tax benefits, wills, power of attorney, health care directives and more.
“We weren’t quite sure how it would turn out, but we we’re quite happy with the the participation and the feedback,” said Gosnell. “The questions were all really good.”
Organizers also wanted to highlight some of the larger projects fundraising in the community right now, including the Boyne Regional Library expansion project, the new personal care home project and the Carman splash pad project.
“If you’re in the mood for donating, there’s so many places to go to,” said Gosnell. “Our thought process was if you can keep it local, that’s best for everybody.”
Gosnell said another big take-away from the afternoon was the importance of talking to professionals in order to make the most of your money.
“Don’t try and do it yourself, because that’s where some of the pitfalls arise,” he said.
If you would like to learn more about smart giving, or if you are looking for a list of local charities, you can visit www.smartgivingplan.ca or contact the Carman and Community Area Foundation. The group is planning to host a session on applying for grants in January.