A charitable bequest is simply a distribution from your estate to a charitable organization through your last will and testament. There are different kinds of bequests. For each, you must use very specific language to indicate the precise distribution of your assets, and to successfully carry out your final wishes. In any charitable bequest, be sure to name the recipient accurately. For instance, a general bequest to the "Community Foundation" might go to a different local community foundation than you intended. Be sure to use "Western Kansas Community Foundation" when making a bequest to us. And, always, feel free to contact us about the specific name of the charity of your choice. We will be happy to assist you in finding their legal name and address.
Sample Bequest Language
General Bequests are legacies left to certain people or causes that come from the general value of the estate, and are made by designating a specific dollar amount, a particular asset or a fixed percentage of your estate to the cause of your choice. General bequest language:
"I give, devise, and bequeath to the Western Kansas Community Foundation headquartered in Garden City, Kansas, the sum of $________ (or a description of the specific asset), for its general purposes."
Specific Bequests are made when a particular item or property is bequeathed for a designated purpose. Specific bequest language:
"I give, devise, and bequeath to the Western Kansas Community Foundation, headquartered in Garden City, KS, the sum of $_______ (or a description of a specific asset), to be added to a permanent endowment fund held by the Western Kansas Community Foundation for the benefit of name of charity. If at any time in the sole judgment of the Board of Directors of the Western Kansas Community Foundation, it is or becomes impossible or impracticable to carry out the designated purpose of this gift, then the Board of Directors of the Western Kansas Community Foundation shall determine an alternative purpose closest to the original designated purpose."
Residuary Bequests are made when you intend to leave the residue portion of your assets after other terms of the will have been satisfied. Residuary bequest language:
"All the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, I give to the Western Kansas Community Foundation headquartered in Garden City, KS, for its general purposes."
Contingency Bequests allow you to leave a portion of your estate to a particular charity if your named beneficiary does not survive you. Contingency bequest language:
"I devise and bequeath the residue of the property, real and personal and wherever situated, owned by me at my death, to (name of beneficiary), if (she/he) survives me. If (name of beneficiary) does not survive me, I devise and bequeath my residuary estate to the Western Kansas Community Foundation headquartered in Garden City, Kansas for its general purposes."
Beneficiary designations in a life insurance policy, checking account, or a retirement plan are also simple and meaningful ways to make a planned gift to the Western Kansas Community Foundation. These allow you to list the Foundation along with others that you would like to benefit from the proceeds of the policy or plan. You can name the Foundation as the sole beneficiary or as one of numerous beneficiaries. As well, you can name the Foundation for a percentage or for a specific dollar amount of the proceeds. Just ask the administrator of your policy or plan for a designation form if you wish to make this kind of gift.
If you have questions about this information, please contact Shea Sinclair at 620.271.9484 or shea [at] wkcf [dot] org.