A Couple Bonds Over A Shared Commitment to Their Cause

By Surrey Hospitals Foundation |

Long before Jan and Walt met and fell in love, they had already been supporters of Surrey Memorial Hospital.

Walt recalls how well his mom was taken care of at the hospital in the twilight years of her life.  “The nurses did many little special things for my mom and for us during her final stay at the hospital, which has made me so thankful and want to give back,” says Walt.

Jan echoes Walt’s experience when her first husband, Hal, was a patient battling cancer at Surrey Memorial. She firmly believes that good medical care requires staff to be communicative, supportive and compassionate towards the patient, and their spouses and families.  “…And, I received that in spades at Surrey Memorial,” recalls Jan with a wistful smile.

Between them, they have included three legacy gifts in support of their favorite cause. 

With the help of her financial advisor, Jan purchased a life insurance policy and eventually, donated the policy to Surrey Hospitals Foundation.  Each year, she receives a charitable tax receipt for the annual premium.  She loved the concept of “leverage” that her advisor explained to her – that the small annual premiums provide a much larger tax free payout in the future, and the charitable receipt she receives now help to offset her current taxes. 

But that wasn’t enough.  She also decided to include a gift through her Will.  “I know these gifts will make life better for others dealing with difficult medical issues,” says Jan.  Making her favourite charity a beneficiary of her estate was easy to do and made so much sense.

Walt has also decided to include a gift through his Will.  On the advice of his advisor, he spoke with his (adult) children about his intention to include a gift to the hospital, and asked them to sign a document which will be included in his Will to indicate they understand and support his plan.  “In fact,” says Walt, “I got the impression they were actually proud of the decision I’ve made to help others in this way.  I’m at peace with myself for doing this, and for me, it is a way to honour my mom,” claims Walt. 

After Jan and Walt met, got to know one another, and discovered their common bond with Surrey Memorial and their legacy gift intentions, well…it just seemed like a match made in heaven.  After 31 years of marriage it still feels that way!

Learn how leaving a gift in your Will works.