Benefits of donating to charity in your Last Will
- Sustain charities and impact people’s lives: Charities and non-profit organizations have limited budgets and often depend on private funding to continue doing their work.
- Leave a personal legacy: Planned giving is an opportunity to contribute to a cause that’s meaningful to you. By leaving a donation, your memory will live on through a gift to a foundation that’s important to you.
- Receive financial benefits: Depending on the type of gift you make, you or your estate receive certain tax advantages, such as reduced taxes on your estate.
Choosing a charity for your legacy gift
Deciding what gift to leave
- General gift: A specific amount of money or percentage of your estate.
- Residuary gift: Donating any remaining assets after all other requests are fulfilled.
- Specific gift: The donation of a particular item, such as furniture or a vehicle.
- Contingent gift: A donation based on certain conditions being met, such as your main beneficiary passing away before you.
- Real estate, such as land or residential property
- Personal property, including vehicles, artwork, antiques, or jewelry
- Investments such as stocks and mutual funds
Updating or creating your Will
- Decide the type of legacy gift that best suits your estate planning goals and financial position.
- Decide which assets (such as money or personal property) you’d like to leave to charity.
- Confirm your organization’s legal name, charitable registration number, and proper wording for legacy gifts. Use the exact language recommended to avoid ambiguity in your Will.
- When you create your Last Will, designate your charity as a beneficiary of your assets and assign them a gift.
- Name an alternate beneficiary for your legacy gift in case your chosen foundation no longer exists when you pass away.
- Let your charity know that you’ve thought of them in your estate plans. Charities often take the opportunity to thank donors in various ways.
- If you’re changing your main beneficiary or making a major change to the distribution of your assets, it’s a good idea to create a new Last Will. Follow the directions provided above for including a legacy gift in your new Will.
- If you’re adding a charity as a beneficiary, you can amend or change your Last Will with a Codicil.
- If you do not wish to make any changes to your Will, you can ask your family and friends in your End-of-Life Plan to send their condolences by donating to your favorite charity instead of sending flowers.