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Donating to Charities via Your Last Will and Testament: A Good Way To Support Causes You Believe In

Posted by Anthony Serra | Dec 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

Making charitable donations in your will is a good way to support charities that you care about. Many charities rely on money and resources they receive from estates. Donations by will have been widely used to distribute to charities some or all a donor's remaining assets upon their death. Donation by Last Will and Testament may help donors achieve goals of both supporting charitable endeavors and avoiding or minimizing state inheritance and federal estate taxes.

You can leave gifts to support an organization's broad purposes, or you can specify a particular program or initiative you wish to promote. A pecuniary “legacy” is simply the gift of a fixed sum of money in your will. A specific legacy is the gift of a named item in your will. Typically, its an item of value such as property, jewelry, collections, or shares of stock. Leaving a specific legacy can be as simple as the inclusion of a sentence that describes the gift and identifies the receiving organization.

You can leave a defined amount or a percentage of your estate. For example, “I level $5,000 to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital to be used to further their goal of finding cures and saving children.” Or it can say, “I leave 5% of my residuary estate to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital to be used to further their goal of finding cures and saving children.” You can also simply let the charity decide how to allocate funds by leaving your donation for “general funding purposes.”

A good tip is to try and be as specific as possible in terms of how you want the money to be used. Also, include the address of the charity and try and find out the charity's full legal name. Finally, if the charity has many locations, be specific about a local operation you would like to support. For example, if you wish to support the Animal Humane Society, make sure you designate a location by you. Or try and locate a smaller, local charity that protects animals and name them in your will. Contacting the charity for guidance in this regard and to confirm their non-profit status can be helpful as well.  

We at Serra Law Group can help you draft your will to ensure that your gift is left to the charity of your choice.

About the Author

Anthony Serra

Tony Serra is a passionate advocate, especially for the elderly, disabled and those of modest means who need the services of an experienced and caring attorney. For more than 30 years, Tony has been helping common, everyday folks navigate their way through life's turbulent waters. Through innovation and utilizing modern technology, Tony and his law firm are now able to offer quality legal services that at one time were prohibitively expensive, at a fraction of the cost. If you need basic legal services, such as a Will, Power of Attorney, Living Will, Special Needs Trust, real estate transactions, uncontested guardianship pleadings and much more, please visit our website and our SMART LAW legal services platform. You will be pleasantly surprised by what we offer and glad you did! Tony is also an experienced mediator and founder of the Conflict Resolution Center of NJ. Tony has specific training in family matters as well as elder law and contested guardianship and estate cases.  


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