CRA’s document “Gifts and Income Tax” (P113(E) Rev. 09) is helpful for Canadian charities and taxpayers understanding what is a “gift” that can be receipted.  The document is located at Here is an excerpt dealing with carrying forward tax credits.

“Gifts in the year of death
If you are preparing a return for a deceased person, you can claim the eligible amount of gifts that the person gave in the year of death including those that the person bequeathed in the will. The amount claimed must be the lesser of:
• 100% of the deceased person’s net income; and
• under proposed changes, the eligible amount of the gift(s) donated in the year of death (including gifts by will), plus the unclaimed portion of the eligible amount of any gifts made in the five years before the year of death.

Any excess can be claimed on the return for the previous year (up to 100% of the deceased’s net income for that year).

You may be able to claim a charitable donation tax credit on the deceased person’s return for a donation of a direct distribution of proceeds to a qualified donee who is the designated beneficiary of a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP), including a group RRSP, a registered retirement income fund (RRIF), or a life insurance policy including a group life insurance policy. This does not apply if the qualified donee is a policyholder under the life insurance policy or is the assignee of the life insurance policy.

You have to attach official tax receipts and other required forms to the return on which you are claiming the gifts. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For more information, see Guide T4011, Preparing Returns for Deceased Persons.”