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Planned Giving FAQ
How do I leave a gift for a nonprofit organization that I admire?
It's easy. You can arrange for a gift several ways, the most common being through a charitable gift in a will or a living trust. Many people set aside a certain dollar amount. Others leave a percentage of their estate or any assets left over after their family has been provided for. Some people donate something they own, like a car or their home. Others leave a paid up life insurance policy, retirement account or other financial investment. See our suggested bequest language for a will or living trust.

Must I have an estate in order to leave a gift?
An "estate" is simply a word used to describe any money, property or personal belongings that you may have at the time of your death. Most people leave an estate when they die, even though they may not have a great deal of wealth. Anyone can arrange to leave a charitable gift from their estate when they pass away. Many gifts are less than $1,000.

Do I have to include my wish to leave a gift to a specific organization in my will?
A charitable bequest will not take effect unless you state your intention in your will or living trust. Without a will, you may lose control over your belongings after death. Your property and finances are settled according to state laws, whether or not they coincide with your wishes. See our suggested bequest language.

How do I leave a gift in memory of a person or for a specified purpose?
A planned gift is a wonderful way to recognize someone who has made a difference in your life or to honor an organization that made a difference in the life of a loved one. This kind of memorial gift can be made in the same manner as your planned gift — through your will or trust. You just need to make it clear that this gift is made in memory of a particular person or for a specific cause.

Do I tell the charity that I've left a gift?
That is up to you. Charities often like to know in advance so they can recognize your generosity. They can also tell you about specific opportunities for giving. But whether or not you let the charity know of your plans, it's your decision to make.

Who can help me arrange for a gift?
If you have a professional you're working with, such as a financial planner, lawyer, accountant or insurance agent, please talk with him or her about leaving a gift. A professional can tell you about the tax benefits of planned gifts. You can also call a nonprofit organization directly for assistance.


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Do you have an old vehicle (car, boat, RV) that you would like to donate rather than sell? Click here for more information.

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