What is a Charitable Bequest?
Over 40% of families have no estate planning documents in place
A charitable bequest is one of the easiest gifts to make and it will leave a lasting impact for ministry. With the help of an attorney, you can specify in your will or trust a gift to be made to Focus on the Family of either a specific amount or percentage that you desire. Or you can make a bequest using a beneficiary designation form from a 401k, 403b or life insurance policy.
Benefits of a charitable bequest
- Receive an estate tax charitable deduction (a tax that an estate pays on your behalf)
- Reduce the burden of taxes on your family
- Leave a lasting legacy gift to a ministry, yielding eternal impact
A bequest may be made in several ways
- Percentage bequest - make a gift of a percentage of your estate
- Specific bequest - make a gift of a specific dollar amount or a specific asset
- Residual bequest - make a gift from the balance or residue of your estate
- Contingent bequest - make a gift if the primary bequest cannot be met
A bequest is generally a revocable gift, which means it can be changed or modified at any time. You can choose to designate that a bequest be used for a general or specific purpose so you have the peace of mind knowing that your gift will be used as intended. Charitable bequests are exempt from federal estate taxes. If you have a taxable estate, the estate tax charitable deduction may offset or eliminate estate taxes, resulting in a larger inheritance for your heirs.
Types of Bequests
There are a number of ways you can make a bequest to Focus on the Family.
Percentage Bequest. Another kind of specific bequest involves leaving a specific percentage of your overall estate to charity. For example, you may wish to leave 10% of your estate to Focus on the Family.
Residual Bequest. A residual bequest is made from the balance of an estate after the will or trust has distrubted each of the specific bequests. A common residual bequest involves leaving a percentage of the residue of the estate to charity. For example, you may wish to leave 30% of the residue of your estate to Focus on the Family.
Contingent Bequest. A contingent bequest is made to charity only if the purpose of the primary bequest cannot be met. For example, you could leave specific property, such as a car, to a relative, but the bequest language could provide that if the relative is not alive at the time of your death, the car will go to Focus on the Family.
In order to make a bequest, you should speak with your attorney. Your attorney can help you include a bequest to Focus on the Family in your estate plan. We have provided some basic bequest language to assist you and your attorney.
1. Specific Bequest
If you are considering making a specific bequest to Focus on the Family, we recommend the following language:
I hereby give, devise and bequeath _________ and No/100 dollars ($DOLLARS) to Focus on the Family, a nonprofit organization located at 8605 Explorer Drive, Colorado Springs, CO, 80920, Federal Tax ID #95-3188150, for Focus on the Family's general use and purpose.
If you are considering making a bequest of a percentage of your estate to Focus on the Family, we recommend the following language:
If you are considering a bequest but would like to ensure that your bequest will be used for a specific purpose, please let us know. We would be happy to work with you and your attorney to help you identify ways to give and meet your charitable objectives. We will also work with you and your attorney to craft language to accomplish your goals.
If you are making a restricted bequest, we recommend that your attorney include the following provision to give Focus on the Family flexibility should it no longer be possible for our Focus on the Family to use your gift as you originally intended: