Wills and Bequests

A bequest, which is a gift of property or assets to a beneficiary as defined in a will to be delivered at the donor’s death. There can be long term tax benefits because charitable bequests can reduce estate taxes. In addition, there are the emotional rewards of knowing what a charitable gift means to the charity and how it can benefit our California Scottish Rite Foundation. There can be other tax benefits as well if the bequest involves Appreciated Assets.

Specific language Bequest Language is used to effect a bequest. The example provided here are for general information – please consult your attorney to make sure your wishes are properly carried out.

There is additional information available about the Benefits of utilizing a charitable bequest and how bequests enable you to keep Control of your Assets.

Using funds from a retirement account to make bequests is often a good strategy. If there is a balance in your retirement account at your death, not only is there a potential income tax burden, but there may be estate taxes as well. Estimates are that taxes could eat up as much as 70-75% of retirement assets under certain circumstances. Careful planning concerning retirement funds needs to be done. Some additional information regarding Retirement Assets is available.

Another option to consider in making a gift is to use real estate that is no longer practical or necessary. There are some different ways to
make a Gift of Real Estate.

A charitable gift can be designated in the body of a will or as an amendment (codicil). A codicil eliminates the need to rewrite your will.