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How should I leave a gift to charity in a will?

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2022 | Estate Planning

Some people have causes that they are passionate about and give to those causes through charities. Perhaps you wish to leave one final gift of money or property to your favorite charity after you die. One way to do this is through your will.

According to Kiplinger, you may use your will to leave a bequest. This is a sentence in your will stating how much money you want to go to a charity. There is other information you should include in the bequest so that your charity will receive your gift when the time comes.

Accurately identify the charity

When you name the charity in your will, be sure that you list the correct, legal name of the charity. There may be another charity with a similar name. If you are not precise with the name of the charity, it could result in confusion. A different charity might receive your gift, and there may be resulting litigation between your preferred charity and the one who received your gift by mistake.

Describe the purpose of your gift

You might also want to state what your charity will use your gift for. You could write in your will that the money or assets will go towards the general purpose of the charity. This would allow the charity to use your gift as the organization wishes. However, you may describe a specific purpose for your gift, such as improving a facility or expanding an existing program.

If you want to put qualifications on your gift, you may contact that charity to learn if the organization can use your donation as you intend. It is possible that the charity might not carry out your stated purpose. This is also an excellent opportunity to ask the charity about other information like the specific legal name of the organization, so your will is as accurate as possible.