Donor Dianne Woodruff supports DWDC through an insurance policy 

Personal Stories | May 6, 2022 | Dying With Dignity Canada

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A photo of Dianne in New Zealand

In 1980, Dianne Woodruff came across a TTC advertisement that suggested we should “think about our end-of-life”. It was a Dying With Dignity Canada (DWDC) poster. “It was probably the first time I had thought about end-of-life rights and planning,” Dianne explained. These were the very early days back when the organization was just called Dying With Dignity, Dianne became a member and has supported our organization ever since. 

Dianne moved to Canada from the U.S. in 1977. She has had a full career in dance and movement including as a university professor, as a movement therapist, and with her own business promoting wellness through movement and fitness. 

While planning her charitable giving, Dianne’s financial advisor suggested a unique way for her to support Dying With Dignity Canada through an insurance policy. Essentially, Dianne took out a policy in DWDC’s name, she pays the premium every year which is also a charitable tax deduction, and at her end-of-life DWDC is the recipient of the policy. 

Whitney Hammond is Dianne’s financial advisor, she explains, “Dianne has a passion for helping the longevity of a much-needed charity Dying with Dignity Canada. It was important to her that this organization continue to grow and help make changes in the Canadian laws around assisted dying, as has been done in other countries. 

Dianne, like many others, does not have a spouse to roll sheltered investments over at death and avoid taxes. In speaking with her, I enlightened her with Planned Giving and how many people have 3 options for naming a beneficiary to parts of their estate: person, income tax, charity. 

We implemented our Pick 2 strategy where she was able to name a loved family member and her favourite charity which would result in removing the income tax portion of her estate.” 

In addition to being a donor, Dianne has held several volunteer roles at DWDC. “I help with Independent Witnessing for medical assistance in dying (MAID). It is a very lovely thing to do. You meet people who have made a choice about their end-of-life and you are there to support them.” She has led Advance Care Planning workshops and enjoys ways of connecting with communities that are interested in end-of-life care. 

Dianne is following the current MAID legislation closely because she is very interested in the option of advance requests. “My parents had poor health at their end-of-life, and I would like the option to plan and prepare.” 

“I have been connected with DWDC for many years since I read that TTC poster. I have watched the conversation around end-of-life evolve and was pleased to see the legislation change to include assisted-dying in 2016. I believe in choice and am happy to have had a part in it.” 

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