A note from the Editor

Reflecting on what has taken place over 2021 can allow us to better prepare for a more successful 2022.  The definition of success will differ to each individual.  For myself, I have greatly welcomed a return to a more ‘normal’ work life; namely being back at the office with my colleagues.  Reflecting on this has allowed me to appreciate working with others and its importance to my success as an advisor.  I rarely work with a client in isolation; rather, I am typically coordinating and working with my clients’ other advisors to ensure that their goals and objectives are clearly defined and met.

This coordination is not only important to a good tax and estate plan but will also play a critical role in a client’s charitable giving strategy.  Several people with a range of skills and expertise are often required in order to implement an efficient charitable giving strategy: the donors (of course), charity, accountant, insurance advisor, wealth manager and lawyer can all play a different but important role.  You will see this common theme of collaboration throughout the articles in this edition of Giving Advice.  We hope that these articles will inform and educate. 

Have a wonderful holiday season and happy new year!

Jonah Mayles, LLB, TEP
Partner, Tax & Estate Planning, Sterling Park Financial Group

Executorships: Before Accepting One, Read This!

Mark Biderman LLB,

TEP Vice President, Trust and Legal, Cidel Trust Company

An executor has five broadly defined responsibilities:

  • arranging the funeral;
  • probating the will and locating the beneficiaries;
  • collecting and preserving the estate assets;
  • addressing liabilities and related compliance, including known debts and taxes and potential claims against the estate; and
  • distributing bequests to the beneficiaries and establishing testamentary trusts. 

Leaving an Enduring, Impactful Legacy Through the Jewish Foundation: A Case Study

Brian Cohen
Partner, Private Client Services Group, Gowling WLG


In July 2018, my clients Mark and Mira Shnier were introduced to the Jewish Foundation by their family advisor, Jordan Caplan. This began a journey of philanthropic generosity and legacy-building, and a relationship in which Mark and Mira placed the Jewish Foundation at the centre of their strategy for giving. In fact, there were three distinct and beneficial ways Mark and Mira took advantage of having a Fund at the Jewish Foundation.

How to Help Refine a Charitable Giving Strategy

Jag Gandhi
Vice-President, Wealth Planning, Gluskin Sheff

Mark Skeggs
Vice-President, Wealth Planning, Gluskin Sheff

It’s that time of year when individuals might be considering, either intentionally or through solicitation, providing financial support to their favorite charitable causes or organizations.


For many families, charitable giving is done on an ad-hoc basis. However, individuals may want to consider developing a strategic philanthropic plan to enhance a sense of social responsibility for their family and to help ensure that their giving can achieve the significant impact that they intended.


An effective plan should begin by identifying the family’s core values, as it is imperative that the philanthropic plan be aligned and focused on these ideals. The plan should take into account important considerations, such as determining when to give and how to give. This is where professional advisors can help guide their clients.

Serving Your Client

Razik Sarsam, CPA, CA
Partner, MNP LLP

Jayson Schwarz, LLM
Senior Managing Partner, Schwarz Law Partners LLP

As most files that come across our desks are multifaceted, in writing this article we chose to lay out a common scenario involving a family business and provide a strategic process to address related corporate tax, real estate, and succession planning issues.


Shaun Moishe MacDonald is 58 years old and is happily married with 4 children, two of whom work in the family business. Shaun makes widgets and exports them internationally. The business is tremendously successful, located in its own 100,000 square foot building in Vaughan with no mortgage. When Shaun started the business 35 years ago, his lawyer convinced him to incorporate and set up MacDonald Widgets Inc. (“MWI”).


MWI has only common shares as authorized capital. From inception, Shaun has continued to own the 100 issued and outstanding common shares that were issued from treasury. Shaun is the only officer and director.



The Jewish Foundation and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto are excited to partner with the Jewish Future Pledge, an unprecedented global initiative which was inspired, in-part, by Bill Gates' and Warren Buffett's "Giving Pledge.” The pledge is a commitment to gift, upon passing, at least half of funds earmarked for charity to Jewish causes and/or Israel.  As money transfers to the next generation, the goal is to ensure global Jewish continuity, with an aim of securing more than $600 billion over the next 25 years.


To learn more: Please visit the Jewish Future Pledge site or call Janice Benatar at 416-318-9601, and to learn more about how the Jewish Foundation can assist you or your clients with philanthropic giving, call us at 416-631-5703 or email jewishfoundation@ujafed.org.


ARCHIVE: To read previous Giving Advice newsletters, please click here.