Leave a lasting legacy and enhance your community for generations to come through your Will.
A bequest in your Will can help you celebrate your good life and share the fruits of your labor with those you love and care for. A Will is much more than a legal document. It is an opportunity to responsibly provide for the security of your loved ones. It can be a lasting legacy of your life and commitment to your community, as well.
It’s never too early to plan! In a large national survey of those who reported they had included a charity in their will, 43% were younger than 55 years old. Forty-nine is the average age at which a charitable bequest is first included in a Will / estate plan. A Will is much more than a legal document. It is an opportunity to responsibly provide for the security of your loved ones and it can be a lasting legacy of your commitment to your community.
What is a Bequest? A bequest is a section of your Will or living trust that directs a gift from your estate to the person or institution of our choice after you die. It is often the simplest way for a donor to make a significant, lasting gift. Bequests may be used to provide gifts of money, real estate, stock, or even works of art or jewelry.
After the needs of a spouse, children, and other loved ones have been addressed, many individuals find it satisfying to know that a portion of their resources will go toward a common good.
Benefits of Giving through a Will and Bequests
- Your assets remain in your control during your lifetime.
- You can modify your bequest if your circumstances change.
- You can direct your bequest to a particular purpose (be sure to check with The Greater PineBelt Community Foundation to make sure your gift can be used as intended).
- There is no upper limit on the estate tax deductions that can be taken for charitable bequests.
- A properly drafted will allows you to minimize death taxes and other costs.
- You can have the satisfaction now of knowing that your bequest will support your community and favorite charities in the way you intended.
Why have a Will? A will allows you to make choices regarding who will receive the assets you have accumulated during your lifetime. Without a Will, your assets will be distributed according to laws established by the State of Mississippi, without regard for personal wishes or the needs of loved ones. Do you want to take the chance that the State of Mississippi’s plan is exactly as you would have intended? Your Will allows you to make choices about how your family’s future security is provided. A properly drafted Will allows you to make the choice of minimizing death taxes and other costs.
How to make a Will – Making a Will is neither difficult nor expensive. Your first step is to make an appointment with your attorney to plan your will. If you do not have an attorney, ask a friend or relative to recommend one, call your local bar association, or call us at the PineBelt Community Foundation. The second step involves careful consideration of those people and charitable organizations that are important to you. Caring for family, friends, your hometown, and other charitable organizations can be accomplished through your Will
Why Update an Existing Will – 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. If you haven’t reviewed your current will within the past 12 months, now would be a good time to read your will to make sure that it will still allow you to share the fruits of your labor with those you love and care for.
Make a Charitable Gift in your Will – A bequest, a gift in a Will, is an opportunity to make a difference in the quality of life in your community. Many people discover that a bequest is a satisfying way to provide for future resources for their favorite charitable organization. When creating or updating your Will, consider including one of the many charitable funds at the PineBelt Foundation as a beneficiary or establish your own fund through your Will. A bequest can be a percentage of your estate or a stated dollar amount. Some people prefer to gift a percentage of the “residue” or what remains after paying all inheritances, debts, and costs.
What do I do? You can establish or add to your named fund in your will or trust through a bequest. Your gift can be used to accomplish almost any charitable goal:
- Create an endowment for your favorite charity, church or school
- Establishing a scholarship fund
- Leave a family legacy — which allows children to continue their involvement in charitable grant making.
Suggested Will Language for a Bequest
(a) I give and bequeath the sum of $_______ (describe gift) to The Greater PineBelt Community Foundation, subject to its governing instruments, as amended from time to time.
(b) This gift shall be devoted to the general charitable educational, religious and scientific purpose of The Greater PineBelt Community Foundation as set forth in its governing instrument, as amended from time to time. More specifically, this gift is for addition to _____________________________________“The Fund Name.”
(a) This gift shall be devoted to the support of ___________________________ until such time as such charitable use, in the judgment of the Board of Directors of The Greater PineBelt Community Foundation shall have become unnecessary, undesirable, impracticable, incapable of fulfillment, or inconsistent with the charitable needs of the PineBelt area. In any of such events, this gift shall be devoted to the general charitable, educational, religious and scientific purposes of The Greater PineBelt Community Foundation as set forth in its governing instruments, as amended from time to time.
(b) The fund hereby created is established in memory of ___________________________, and shall be known as the ” ___________________________ Fund.” Any recipient of benefits from this fund shall be advised that the source of such benefits is the___________________________Fund.”
CODICIL TO WILL
Codicil to Will – 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. (Click here for pdf version of Codicil to Will instructions).
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