An outdated Will can often be as bad as dying without a Will.
Common events in life, such as births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and retirements, can trigger the need to update your Will. Also, changes in tax law, an inheritance received, assets purchased or sold can impact your estate plan. When you update your existing Will, consider including one of the many charitable funds managed at the PineBelt Foundation, or the PineBelt Community Foundation itself, as a beneficiary.
Codicil To Your Will: How to Amend Your will To Leave A Legacy (click here for Codicil To Will information).
One easy and low-cost way to provide a legacy in your community using the Greater PineBelt Community Foundation is to ask your legal advisor to draft a short Codicil (an amendment) to your Will. A Codicil states that you are amending an existing Last Will and Testament by adding a specific bequest or other change.
There are several ways you can describe the gift. It can be (i) a lump sum, such as $100,000, (ii) a specific percentage (for example, 10%) of your estate, (iii) a bequest of specific property, (iv) a gift of the remainder (or residuary) of your estate after you have described particular gifts to your named beneficiaries, or (v) a contingent gift, if your named beneficiary does not survive you.
Here is some sample language that you can discuss with your legal advisor:
An Example of Introductory Language for the Codicil to Your Will:
_________________ (YOUR NAME), A RESIDENT OF THE County of (_________), State of (____________), declare that this is a codicil to my Last Will and Testament dated _______ (date the original will was signed).
Whereas, I now desire to make certain changes in my Last Will and Testament:
Now therefore, I do hereby make, publish and declare this as the (first) codicil to my said Last Will and Testament to be annexed to and taken and allowed as part thereof:
I hereby amend my Will by adding thereto a new Section, which is to be added following Article ___ of my Will, as follows:”
Examples of General Bequest (unrestricted) Language:
“I give, devise and bequeath to the Greater PineBelt Community Foundation the sum of $__________, to be used for such purposes as the governing body may designate.”
“I give, devise and bequeath to the Greater PineBelt Community Foundation ____% of my gross probate estate, to be used for such purposes as the governing body may designate.”
An Example of Specific Bequest Language:
“I give, devise, and bequeath to the Greater PineBelt Community Foundation, the sum of $_______ (or a description of a specific asset), to be used for the following purpose: (state the purpose). If at any time, in the judgment of the Board of Directors of the Greater PineBelt Community Foundation it is impossible or impracticable to carry out exactly the designated purpose, they shall determine an alternative purpose closest to the designated purpose.”
An Example of Residuary Bequest Language After You Have Provided Other Gifts to Your Named Beneficiaries:
“I give all the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, to the Greater PineBelt Community Foundation for its general purposes.”
An Example of Contingency Bequest Language If Your Named Beneficiary Does Not Survive You:
“I give, devise and bequeath the residue of the property, real and personal and wherever situated, owned by me at my death, to (name of beneficiary), if (she/he) survives me. If (name of beneficiary) does not survive me, I give, devise and bequeath my residuary estate to the Greater PineBelt Community Foundation, for its general purposes.”
After the gift is described, you (the Testator) reaffirm your Last Will and Testament as amended by the Codicil, and you will sign the document in the presence of two witnesses who are not related to you and who are not named as beneficiaries under your Will or Codicil. Your attorney should have the appropriate language for this.
You should retain the Codicil with your Last Will and Testament. Please send a copy of your Codicil to the Greater Pinebelt Community Foundation for our files and so we may recognize you in our Legacy Society.
Leaving a legacy does not need to be difficult or expensive. We want to make this process easy to understand and easy to accomplish. Your legal advisor should be able to draft a short Codicil quickly and without a great deal of expense.
This illustration is not a Will or Codicil. It merely provides sample language for your consideration. There are certain technical requirements for a Will or Codicil to be legally valid. We encourage you to consult with a licensed attorney for assistance.
We hope that you will consider naming the Greater PineBelt Community Foundation in your estate plan and we stand by to assist you in every way that we are able.
For more information please contact your Professional Advisor or Theresa Erickson, Executive Director at contact@PineBeltFoundation.org or call 601.583.6180