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Non-Profit Organization's Bequest Language

One way for you to support a non-profit organization's mission is to leave a bequest to the non-profit organization(s) of your choice. A bequest is a gift made to charity in your will or trust. One significant benefit of making a gift by bequest is that it allows you to continue to use the property you will leave to charity during your life. Another benefit is that by making a bequest you are able to leave a lasting legacy.

Types of Bequests


There are a number of ways you can make a bequest to a non-profit organization(s) of your choice. You can leave what is called a specific bequest. A specific bequest involves making a gift of a specific asset such as real estate, a car, other property or a gift for a specific dollar amount. For example, you may wish to leave your home or $10,000 to a non-profit organization(s) of your choice. 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 a non-profit organization(s) of your choice.

Another kind of bequest is called a residual bequest. A residual bequest is a bequest that is made from the balance of an estate after the will or trust has given away each of the specific bequests. A common residual bequest involves leaving of 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 a non-profit organization(s) of your choice.

Bequest Benefits


There are no limitations on bequest gifts. Bequests may be made for a general or specific purpose. All 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.

Bequest Language


In order to make a bequest, you should speak with your attorney. Your attorney can help you include a bequest to a non-profit organization(s) of your choice in your estate plan. We have provided some basic bequest language to assist you and your attorney.

1. Outright Bequest

If you are considering making an outright bequest to a non-profit organization(s) of your choice, we recommend the following language:

Bequest of a Specific Dollar Amount


I hereby, give, devise and bequeath $DOLLARS to ORGANIZATION, a non-profit organization located at ADDRESS, Federal Tax ID #____________, for ORGANIZATION's general use and purpose.

Bequest of Specific Personal Property


I hereby, give, devise and bequeath DESCRIPTION OF PROPERTY to ORGANIZATION, a non-profit organization located at ADDRESS, Federal Tax ID #_______________, for ORGANIZATION's general use and purposes.

I hereby, give, devise and bequeath PERCENTAGE OF YOUR ESTATE to ORGANIZATION, a non-profit organization located at ADDRESS, Federal Tax ID #______________________, for ORGANIZATION's general use and purpose.

Bequest of Specific Real Estate


I hereby give, devise and bequeath all of the right, title and interest in and to the real estate located at ADDRESS OR DESCRIPTION OF PROPERTY to ORGANIZATION, a non-profit organization located at ADDRESS, Federal Tax ID #_______________, for ORGANIZATION's general use and purposes.

2. Restricted Bequest

If you are considering a bequest but would like to ensure that your bequest will be used only 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 that will ensure your charitable objectives can be met. We will also work with you and your attorney to craft language to accomplish your objectives.

In cases where donors are making a restricted bequest, we recommend that your attorney include the following provision to give the non-profit ORGANIZATION(s) flexibility should it no longer be possible for the original non-profit organization to use your gift as you originally intended:

If, in the judgment of the Board of Directors of ORGANIZATION, it shall become impossible for ORGANIZATION to use this bequest to accomplish the specific purposes of this bequest, ORGANIZATION may use the income and principal of this gift for such purpose or purposes as the Board determines is most closely related to the restricted purpose of my bequest.

Contact Us


Please contact us if you have any questions about how to make a bequest to the non-profit ORGANIZATION(s) of your choice or to request any additional information that might be helpful to you and your attorney as you consider making a bequest to the non-profit organization of your choice.

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