Bequests are the transfer of wealth that occurs upon a donor’s death, either by means of a will or a trust. Donors choose a bequest because it is not payable until death, so it does not affect your assets or cash flow during your lifetime.

We help clients set up trusts that benefit charitable organizations during or after your lifetime.

Another way to leave money is to name one or more nonprofits as beneficiaries of an insurance policy, or as a recipient of your IRA or retirement fund.

Bequests are revocable — you can change the provisions in your will or trust at anytime.

It’s private — your will is not filed or made public until your death. For a free consultation about your charitable giving goals, or to learn more about making a bequest, contact Joe Finneran at (614) 800-7985 or .

Bequest FAQ

Do I need a will?

Without directions provided by a will, the state will make these decisions for you. Every state has intestacy laws that distribute property in the absence of a will, and it’s done without regard to your priorities, just formulas that do not include charities.

Can I write my own will and make my own bequests?

You can write your own will, but the state could still deem your will as invalid and intestacy laws take over. Your will must pass muster in Probate Court. We can advise you on resources for writing a will and help you make specific bequests to family, friends, and charities.

What if I already have a will with bequests?

You can still add charities through something called a “codicil” which allows you to amend an otherwise appropriate will to reflect the new changes.

Donor Story — Bequest

bequestsPatty and Mike, both in their mid 80s, live far enough outside a metro area that they can sit on their back porch and enjoy the peaceful tranquility of their 20 acres of land — just them, the crickets and their birds. On every Tuesday for last 20 years, they have delivered hot nutritious meals to chronically ill adults and seniors in and around the county. It’s been a labor of love, but they aren’t sure how much longer they will be up to the task. With failing health themselves, they are beginning to put their affairs in order.

They set up a meeting with their estate planning attorney to see what they could do to assure that after they were gone, the local Meals-on-Wheels organization would be there to serve the next group of needy people.

Their attorney explained how their heirs were already set up to inherit their home, but that they could bequest a section of their 20 acres to any charity by simply including the land bequest and recipient in their wills. They would continue to use and enjoy the land during their lifetime and the land would continue to be theirs. If circumstances changed and they needed the money for health care or other needs, the bequest could be changed.

Patty and Mike still sit on their back porch and gaze out over their land. But now the landscape takes on a deeper meaning for them — knowing that it will someday help carry on the cause that so enriched their lives in their later years.

NEXT »   Donor Advised Funds (DAF)