Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Charitable Bequests....Imagine

According to this article, 8 percent of wills contain charitable bequests.  However, 90 percent of all charitable gifts are made in wills, and total close to $23 billion.  The article asks -- imagine what would happen to charities if the 8 percent doubled to 16 percent?  I know a few non-profits that would be thrilled.

So why don't more wills contain bequests?  The article offers several suggestions.  But I have an alternative, and one that doesn't require an attorney.  Instead of listing a charity in a will, listed one on a beneficiary form for life insurance, retirement accounts, or even a POD at your bank.  You can do this on your own, no attorney needed.  I would suggest making sure you have the complete legal name of the non-profit and the phrase or its legal successor organization.  Including its federal tax ID number wouldn't hurt either.

Imagine -- it could be a different world if people left 10% of their non-probate assets to charitable organizations.

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