Updating your Will

If you would like to include the University of Saskatchewan in your plans for the future, thank you! We would love to hear from you to discuss your wishes for your gift. Please reach out to us at 306-966-6077 or legacygiving@usask.ca and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

However, we do understand that there may be circumstances where you would like to start or update your Will plans right away. If this is the case for you, feel free to use the following information to share with your lawyer:

Will planning information

USask charitable registration number: 11927 9313 RR0001
USask legal name: University of Saskatchewan at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Suggested Will language to discuss with your lawyer:

I give and bequeath

  1. the rest and residue (or share of the residue), OR
  2. the sum of ______ dollars

to the University of Saskatchewan at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, for the purpose of (include gift direction details here).

In the event that circumstances make the specified use or administration of the gift no longer practical or desirable, the Board of Governors of the University of Saskatchewan is hereby authorized to make changes in the use or administration of the gift to maintain, as much as is reasonably possible, its spirit and general intent.

It is acknowledged that the University of Saskatchewan advises donors to discuss their charitable giving plans with professional advisors and family.

It is acknowledged that the University of Saskatchewan has not provided any legal, estate or tax planning advice to the donor(s) relative to the donor’s/donors’ gift(s) to the University of Saskatchewan.

Plan your gift

By including the University of Saskatchewan in your estate plans, you have the opportunity to contribute to this institution in many ways:

Many of our generous alumni and friends decide to leave a gift in their will to the University of Saskatchewan (USask) to support the areas they care about most. In fact, this is by far the most common way of making a future gift. What makes this type of giving so appealing?

  1. You can plan for a future gift now without affecting your current cash flow.
  2. You have the opportunity to work with the university to arrange your gift to support the programs and areas that are the most important to you.
  3. If your personal or financial circumstances change, you have the flexibility to make changes to your will at any time.

How will USask use my gift?

That’s entirely up to you! Maybe you are interested in student scholarships or have a passion for research in a particular college. Whatever your interests may be, we want you to direct your gift to the area that is most meaningful to you. If you prefer, you may choose to provide a donation to support the university’s greatest needs.

How do I set up a gift in my will?

We are here to help! We can work with you to provide suggested wording for you to share with your lawyer. Many people choose to make what are known as “residual gifts.” This type of donation is in fact the “leftovers” after all your other obligations are met. Others prefer to leave a percentage of their estate to the University of Saskatchewan. A discussion with your lawyer may help you decide which of these options would be best for you. As well, there are tax benefits for will gifts that your financial planner can discuss with you.

Do I need to tell USask about my will gift?

The University of Saskatchewan is so grateful for your future gift and we want to make sure that it can be used as you intend. If you would like to share your plans with us, we would love to help ensure your gift can be properly utilized as you wish in the future. Of course, this is entirely up to you as your gifts are your impact on our future.

Note: The information provided here is of a general nature and should not be taken as a substitute for professional advice. We urge you to consult with your advisors to ensure that a particular option is right for your financial and estate planning situation.

A gift of life insurance can enable you to leave a significant legacy to the University of Saskatchewan at a relatively low annual cost. Life insurance proceeds are paid out directly to your beneficiaries outside your estate, therefore; your gift will not be diminished due to taxes, probate or administration fees.

There are three ways that you can donate using life insurance:

1. Transfer ownership of an existing policy to the university, and also designate the university as the policy’s beneficiary. In this case the university will issue a charitable receipt to you for the policy’s cash surrender value, plus any accumulated dividends and interest. If, after gifting the policy, you choose to keep it in force, you will receive charitable receipts for any additional premiums paid.

2. Purchase a new policy and designate USask as the owner and beneficiary. You will receive charitable tax receipts for the full amount of the premiums paid year after year.

3. Name USask as a beneficiary of either a fixed dollar amount or percentage of either a new or existing policy. In this case, a receipt will be issued to your estate for the value of the proceeds the university receives.

You may also choose where to direct your gift to the university. For instance, you may wish to support student awards, research or a program in a particular college. Our Advancement staff would be happy to assist you with choosing an area of support that means to most to you. We can work with you to establish a document of understanding outlining your wishes for your gift.

Note: The information provided here is of a general nature and should not be taken as a substitute for professional advice. We urge you to consult with your advisors to ensure that a particular option is right for your financial and estate planning situation.

Next to personal real estate, registered retirement accounts are the most popular investment for Canadians, and generally are the single biggest assets owned besides a home.

Generally people name their surviving spouse as the beneficiary of their RRSP. However, if the beneficiary of your RRSP is someone other than your spouse or dependent(s), the value of the RRSP will be taxed as ordinary income, often at the highest marginal tax rate. Therefore, it is one of the most heavily taxed estate assets to pass to children.

By designating the University of Saskatchewan as the beneficiary of all or a portion of your RRSP or RRIF, your tax credit will offset the tax on your RRSP or RRIF distributions. A direct designation of RRSP/RRIF plan assets would pass to the university outside your estate, bypassing probate and yielding a tax receipt for the full value of the donation.

A gift of retirement funds presents you with an opportunity to make a significant gift to the university, while enjoying beneficial tax savings. You retain full access to the funds for your lifetime and your donation will pass to the university tax free. 

The process to establish a gift of RRSP/RRIF funds is easy. Simply speak to your RRSP/RRIF sponsor about changing your designated beneficiary to the university. 

Note: The information provided here is of a general nature and should not be taken as a substitute for professional advice. We urge you to consult with your advisors to ensure that a particular option is right for your financial and estate planning situation.

Real Estate

A gift of real estate to the University of Saskatchewan can be an excellent option for many people. Gifts of property are carefully screened and assessed for suitability before they are accepted by the university. A charitable receipt for gifts of real estate will be issued only after it has been determined that the value placed on the property is correct.

The fair market value of the property will be determined by one or more appraisals. Generally a tax receipt will be issued for the fair market value. The difference between the fair market value and your cost to acquire the property is referred to as the capital gain. With a gift of ordinary property, you will be taxed on 50% of this gain. In order to limit or eliminate this tax, you may elect the deemed proceeds to be any amount between the original cost and the fair market value. The university may then issue a receipt for this elected value. If the real estate given is a principal residence, ecologically sensitive land or certified cultural property none of the capital gain is taxed.

Donated real estate will generally be sold, unless the university deems that it is useful for a specific purpose. The proceeds from the sale will used to support whatever area you have designated; for instance student awards, research or a particular college program. Ordinarily, the university does not retain real estate for investment purposes, since it requires additional resources to manage the property.

Farm Land

There are also special tax considerations for gifts of farm property. If you are considering a gift of farm land, including gifts of mineral rights, we would be happy to discuss this option with you. The University of Saskatchewan currently manages 7 sections of land that were donated through estate gifts. The revenue from the rental of this land flows to the specific areas of research or scholarships that the donors have specified. Should the Board of Governors ever deem it necessary to sell these properties, the proceeds will support the same research or scholarships that were outlined by the donors. Additionally, the university manages 12 sections of land designated for research purposes. The majority of this land is actively involved in research operations, with a portion being leased for revenue.

With gifts of real estate or farm property, the university recommends establishing a gift agreement. This document outlines your wishes for your gift and ensures that the university can abide by them. Since there are many factors involved in a gift of real estate, we strongly encourage you and your advisors to contact the university at the outset so we can work through the process together. 

Note: The information provided here is of a general nature and should not be taken as a substitute for professional advice. We urge you to consult with your advisors to ensure that a particular option is right for your financial and estate planning situation.

1. I’ve heard of Gift Planning, Legacy Giving or Estate Giving before, but I don’t know if it would be right for me.

People of all ages, demographics, family situations and income levels leave gift plans to charitable organizations. There is no minimum gift requirement, nor maximum. Alumni account for approximately 50% of legacy gifts received by the University of Saskatchewan, and the rest come from university friends and the community. The most significant factor in choosing to make a legacy gift is your desire to contribute to future generations.

2. What type of gift can I leave?

You may choose to leave a gift in your Will to donate cash, property or real estate. You may also choose to transfer publicly traded securities or donate through your life insurance or RRSP/RRIF.

3. If I give a legacy gift to the university, how will it be used?

You choose. It depends on what or who is most important to you. Many donors establish student awards, but your funds could also go towards research, providing a professor’s position or a chair, athletics, libraries, a particular college, or to the Greystone Heritage Trust to be directed toward the area with the most need at that time.

 4. How much do people usually give in their Wills?

The university is grateful for bequest gifts of any amount. We strongly recommend that you choose an amount that best fits with your financial and estate plans.

5. The university is publicly funded so does it actually need my money?

Public funding covers only a portion of the university’s operating budget. Many people who establish gift plans with the university direct their funds towards student awards or research. Students are very grateful, and truly need financial assistance as tuition costs and living expenses grow in Saskatoon. Research projects are always in need of ongoing funding. Some individuals do choose to contribute towards specific purposes or general university needs. Support from alumni and friends like you is very much needed and appreciated.

6. How will making a legacy gift affect my family?

Deciding how to distribute your estate is very personal and we understand that providing for your family often comes first. There are many ways that you can fulfill your charitable goals while still providing for your family. In some instances, your charitable gifts can provide tax savings for your estate, thereby providing more for your family or other beneficiaries. 

7. How much of my gift goes towards operating your fundraising office?

None. 100% of your gift goes to your chosen destination. The Advancement or fundraising office at USask is funded through the operating budget of the university.

8. Do I have to tell the university if I’ve decided to leave a gift in my Will?

Please do let us know if you have or are considering leaving a gift to USask in your Will. Talking to us now is your opportunity to clarify your future wishes and our opportunity to ensure they can be carried out. We will work with you and your professional advisors to provide the assurance you need to feel secure in the knowledge that your bequest will occur as you intend. It also gives us a chance to thank you personally for your thoughtful consideration.

9. What is an endowment?

Endowments provide a long-term source of funding for the University of Saskatchewan programs. Endowments are subject to current university policies regarding minimum amounts and spending.  Donated funds are held in trust and invested by the university and an approved portion of the annual earnings are used to fund the initiative you have chosen to support. Many scholarships and bursaries are set up as endowments to provide support for students for many years to come.

Endowments are generally named for the person or persons who are establishing it, or in honour of a family member or admired individual. You may also include a profile or background information to share your story or that of your honoured individual. This profile will be provided to the individuals who will benefit from your gift.

10. I would like to donate today, but I’m worried that a large donation will leave me short of future income during my retirement. What are my options?

One of the benefits of establishing a legacy gift is that it does not affect your cash flow or net worth now. However, you will receive recognition from the university now, and have peace of mind that you are helping future generations with your gift.

Be inspired


Greystone Circle

Donors who support the University of Saskatchewan with a legacy gift are invited to join the Greystone Circle, the society that honours individuals for their future support. The Greystone Circle is our way of thanking you for being a treasured friend and supporter of our university.

Why become a Greystone Circle member?

The University of Saskatchewan wants to celebrate you! We appreciate your generous and thoughtful plans to include the university in your estate and we want to thank you. Members of the Greystone Circle are part of an honoured group of supporters. By becoming a Greystone Circle member you will join the ranks of your peers who have also chosen to include the University of Saskatchewan in their estate plans.

The Greystone Circle is open to all those who support the University of Saskatchewan in their estate plans. Membership involves no dues or obligations of any kind. No minimum level of giving is required. Simply contact the Legacy Giving office to let us know that you are interested in becoming a member at 306-966-6077 or legacygiving@usask.ca.


Members receive:

  • Personalized thanks and recognition of your gift
  • A pewter Greystone Circle pin
  • Complimentary subscriptions to the Green & White
  • Invitations to special Greystone Circle and university events
  • Updates and behind-the-scenes information


History of Greystone:

Many of the buildings at the University of Saskatchewan are built with greystone, a material found near campus in the early 1900ʹs. This stone has become symbolic of the university itself. Like greystone, the members of the Greystone Circle will serve the people of the University of Saskatchewan for many centuries to follow.

Patron Member, Chancellor Emerita Vera Pezer

Patron Member, Chancellor Emerita Vera Pezer

Read Dr. Pezer's story of life-long commitment to the university.

Professional Advisors

The University of Saskatchewan Advancement team is available to work with you and your client to arrange a gift that will best suit your client's charitable and financial needs.

We are professional gift planners who follow University of Saskatchewan fundraising policies and procedures, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regulations, and Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP) ethical principles and standards. Any information shared by you or your client will be treated with the utmost discretion and respect.

If you are working wth a client who is considering USask in their estate plan, you may find these resources useful: University of Saskatchewan Gift Acceptance PolicyUniversity of Saskatchewan Investment Policy, and University of Saskatchewan Spending Policy.

For all inquiries contact:
Sacha Tegenkamp, Director, Legacy Giving
University of Saskatchewan, University Relations
G16 Thorvaldson Building, 110 Science Place
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5C9