Leaving money to those in need in your will is a beautiful thing to do. It creates a deeply meaningful legacy that can transform families, futures and even generations.
Whether it’s disaster relief, families in crisis, recovery from addiction or other troubles that strike, out of the blue, you can provide precious help – for decades to come.
For many people, they hold a special connection to a charity or cause, such as addiction, family crisis, disaster relief, to name just a few. Even small bequests can have a powerful impact, allowing a charity to stay afloat or fund research that will have an enormous impact. Here are a few easy steps for making a bequest.
What is a Bequest?
A bequest is the act of leaving something – money, items, etc. to someone. In this instance, it is gifted in a will. Your will is the legal document detailing your final wishes, and will include all of this information so your executor knows what to do.
Choosing a Charity
Some people will already have a desired charity in mind, often having some sort of personal connection to it. If you would like to bequest money in your will, but haven’t yet decided which charity works best for you, here are some questions to consider:
- If I had the capacity to change three things in the community, what would they be?
- What particular causes do I care about and want to support?
- Do I prefer to support social work, family crisis, disaster relief, public education, self-help, direct services or advocacy?
- Do I want to support a local, state, national or international cause?
You will be able to research how a particular charity will direct your donation. However, once you have made a shortlist, you should also reach out to the charities, asking how your bequest will benefit them and how your gift will be used. This will also give you a chance to ask questions to feel secure in knowing they will be around for decades, using your assistance to help those in need.
How to Make a Bequest?
You have a few options when it comes to how to make your bequest, although, as with any major decision about your will, you should discuss it with your professional legal advisor first. The types of bequest include:
- Residual – here, any part of your estate remaining after debts, family, friends, etc. have been paid will be bequested.
- Specific – with this type of bequest you specify a set amount of money, stocks/shares, or property to be bequested.
- Whole estate – this type of bequest is generally made by those with no dependents. It is when the entire estate is left to the charity of your choice.
How Much to Give?
This is entirely up to you. If you feel the charity of your choice will benefit from a large sum, you can make that decision. The important thing to remember is that no matter how big or small, every bequest is gratefully received, and you can rest assured you are doing a good thing.
When it comes to your will and final wishes, talking about it with your family is important. Ask how they feel about it, what they might recommend, and make sure they are fully aware of your feelings on the subject. Issues may occur if someone feels ‘left out’ of an inheritance, so an open dialogue is a must. In the end, it is up to you what you do with your hard-earned money.