What is a Charitable Bequest? A charitable bequest is simply a distribution from your estate to a charitable organization through your last will and testament. There are different kinds of bequests and for each, you must use very specific language to indicate the precise direction of your assets, and to successfully carry out your final wishes.
Why consider a bequest to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard. Bequests make a real difference for the future of HMV and for the next generation of hospice families. A bequest will help HMV work towards making it possible for many more Vineyard families to benefit from hospice services. Bequests allow you to distribute your assets to HMV in the manner most appropriate to your circumstances. You can specify a dollar amount, a percentage of the estate or the residual part of the estate, as well as make the gift contingent on specific future events.
Bequests do not reduce current assets.
Many HMV donors want to make a greater effort to support us, but are not in a position to do so right now. A gift by will or living trust means that you have all of your assets available for any needs that might arise. A bequest means that you make the gift when you no longer need to have the funds available.
Bequests can be made after taking care of family.
Family always comes first. You can remember HMV by including a percentage of the remainder of your estate or trust after providing for your family. Only if there is enough for family and others important to you will the gift to HMV occur.
Bequests may reduce estate taxes.
Giving a charitable bequest can decrease the size of your estate and possibly reduce your estate taxes. Certain kinds of gifts, such as US savings bonds, retirement funds, annuities and some mortgages can generate significant income taxes and even estate taxes if given to living individuals in your estate plans but will be fully tax free if given to HMV. (Please consult your tax professional or estate planner for details.)
Bequests can be easily modified at any time until death.
If your circumstances change, you can easily modify your will at any time. Changes can be made inexpensively by drafting a new will or living trust or by amending your existing document.
TYPES OF BEQUESTS
Making a decision to include HMV in your estate plans is a personal choice. There are a number of bequest options that you can include in your will or living trust to help you instruct your family and friends on what to do with the assets that you have accumulated in this life.
Below are a few examples:
Give a ____% or all of the “rest, residuary and remainder” of your estate to HMV after taking care of all other gifts, taxes and other specific gifts.
Give a specific amount, asset or estate percentage to HMV.
Plan just in case. For example: “Should I outlive my spouse or partner, $____ or ____% of my residual estate goes to HMV.”
Include a gift to HMV in your living trust.
Retirement Fund Gift:
Consider naming HMV as a beneficiary of your IRA, 401k, 403b, company retirement or profit sharing plan. If you are making any charitable bequest, it is better to make such gifts first from retirement plans to the extent practical.
Consider naming HMV as a beneficiary of your life insurance policy.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss bequests further with a HMV staff member, please contact us at 508-693-0189.