Sample Will Language for Bequests

Tips for creating a will to benefit others

Your will is a very important document. It is too important to be left to a few notes on a piece of paper. Your will reflects your wishes. Instead of the courts appointing an administrator (personal representative), someone you select will handle your desires.

A will makes provision for family members in a way that state statutes cannot. Your will lets you disburse money to your children and grandchildren in an orderly and prolonged manner, and in a manner which might reduce any potential taxes.

Your will can also identify End of Life Washington or other charities to receive special bequests. In short, your will allocates your assets according to your desires.

​Here are several points to consider regarding your will:

First, your will needs to be legally valid.

We recommend that you see an attorney who specializes in estate planning. They know the right questions to ask and the best way to accomplish your goals. Don’t be tempted to take a short cut and use one of those will kits that you can buy over the counter or as a program for your computer. You might even think about just sitting down and writing out your will on a piece of paper, a sort of do-it-yourself project. But don’t fall into those traps. After all, why write a will and then spend the rest of your life wondering whether it is truly valid?

Second, make sure your will is up-to-date.

Life never stays the same. Within a few years new estate laws may arise, family members may develop different needs, or the composition of your estate may change. As many attorneys say, “An out-of-date will could be as harmful as having no will at all.” Remember, your will can be amended. It is not set in concrete. You can change it easily, either by adding a codicil or by simply having it redrafted. The important thing is to have a workable will in place.

Third, make sure your will is safely stored.

Keep a copy of your will in your files at home, but keep the original in a bank safety deposit box. You don’t want to lose this important document through fire or theft. Make sure that your personal representative and your family know how to find your will and that you identify one of them as a deputy of the lock box on the authorization card.

Your will can provide you with peace of mind. You can have a sense of well being about those matters, an inner calmness. It may take a little time and effort and it costs a few dollars, but it is well worth it all.

If you are making a bequest to a non-profit like EOLWA, it is important to use the full legal name of the organization: End of Life Washington. This will avoid confusion and possible delays during probate. Be as clear as you can. If you are making a bequest for a specific purpose, spell out your wishes so the recipient will know exactly what you intend. Charitable organizations usually prefer unrestricted bequests since this allows the board of directors/trustees to apply the gift where it is needed most. The establishment of an endowment to End of Life Washington in your planning is also a good way of insuring the flexibility you may want as part of your estate.

To help you and your attorney, samples of will or bequest language including End of Life Washington are included in the examples below. If you have questions about how EOLWA might help meet your estate planning needs, please contact us.

Sample Bequest Language

“UNRESTRICTED GIFT”

“I give, devise, and bequeath to End of Life Washington, a Washington nonprofit corporation, the sum of _________ Dollars ($____________).”

SPECIFIC PERCENTAGE

“I give, devise, and bequeath to End of Life Washington of Federal Way, a Washington nonprofit corporation, an amount equal to _____________ percent (_______%) of the value of my estate at the time of my death.”

RESIDUAL BEQUEST

“I give, devise, and bequeath all of the residue of my estate, both real and personal, to End of Life Washington, a Washington nonprofit corporation.”

CONTINGENT BEQUEST

“If the above named beneficiaries should predecease me, then I hereby give and bequeath all of my property and estate to End of Life Washington, a Washington State nonprofit corporation.”

RESTRICTED GIFTS

“I give and bequeath _______________ [describe bequest] to End of Life Washington, a Washington State nonprofit corporation, (“EOLWA”) for its charitable purposes as defined in and subject to the provisions of EOLWA’s Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws as they exist on this date or as they may hereafter be amended (the “Governing Instruments”).”

To indicate a name and purpose of the fund to be established by the bequest, please choose one of the following: (a), (b), (c), or (d).

(A) UNRESTRICTED

“This bequest shall be used to create a component fund to be known as the ___________________ Fund. This Fund shall be used for such of EOLWA’s charitable purposes as the End of Life Washington’s Board may from time to time determine.”

(B) FIELD OF INTEREST

“This bequest shall be used to create a component fund to be known as the __________________ Fund. It is my/our desire that distributions from this Fund be used for the support of _______________ [name particular charitable purpose].”

(C) DESIGNATED AGENCIES OR INSTITUTIONS

“This bequest shall be used to create a component fund to be known as the __________________ Fund. It is my/our desire that distributions from this Fund be used for the support of _______________ [insert name of particular charitable agency or agencies to be supported] for the purpose of _________________ [describe particular purpose, if any].”

(D) ADVISED

“This bequest shall be used to create a component fund to be known as the __________________ Fund. Distributions may be recommended and made from the Fund subject to the approval of End of Life Washington’s Board, (the “Board”) for charitable purposes consistent with those specified in the Governing Instruments as the Board may determine after taking into consideration any suggestions from time to time made to the Foundation by _______________. It is understood that no successor advisors shall be named by the designated advisors listed above.”

All assets of the Fund shall be assets of the Foundation and not a separate trust. The Fund shall be held and administered subject to the provisions of the Governing Instruments, including those provisions that may permit EOLWA’s Board to amend, modify or vary any of the purposes, directions, restrictions or conditions set forth herein.

To be included with options (c) and (d):

It is agreed that ________% of the distributions from the Fund may be used for such of the EOLWA’s charitable purposes as the EOLWA’s Board, in its discretion, may determine.

These examples are for demonstration purposes. Be sure to consult with your professional advisor for guidance relevant to your situation.

Have you already remembered us in your will? If so, let us know!

Bequests

Make Your Mark on the Future

Your legacy can be a powerful force for good. By choosing to include End of Life Washington in your planned giving, you’re not just making a donation; you’re ensuring that compassion, dignity, and respect continue to be available for all at the end of life. To learn more about how your planned gift can make a difference, please contact us. Together, we can create a legacy that reflects your commitment to care and compassion.

Ready to take the next step? Contact our dedicated development staff today to discuss how your gift can leave a lasting legacy.

Frequently Asked Questions about Planned Giving

Q: What is planned giving and how does it benefit me?

Planned giving allows you to integrate charitable contributions into your financial, tax, and estate planning goals. It offers the opportunity to support End of Life Washington in a significant way while potentially providing financial benefits to you and your heirs.

Q: Can I specify how my gift is used?

Yes, you can direct your gift to support specific programs or services. We recommend discussing your wishes with us to ensure we can meet your intentions and honor your legacy.

Q: Are there any tax benefits to planned giving?

Many forms of planned giving provide significant tax advantages, including reductions in income taxes, estate taxes, and capital gains taxes, depending on the structure of your gift.

Q: How do I include End of Life Washington in my will?

Including EOLWA in your will or living trust can be as simple as adding a few sentences.We can provide sample bequest language for you and your attorney to consider.

Q: What information do I need to provide to designate EOLWA as a beneficiary?

You will need our legal name, address, and possibly our tax identification number. We can provide this information to ensure your gift is properly directed to us.

Q: Can I donate a portion of my retirement assets or life insurance policy?

Yes, you can designate End of Life Washington as a beneficiary for a portion or all of your retirement assets or life insurance policy. This is a flexible way to support our mission while also adapting to your changing financial needs.

Q: What is the minimum gift I can include in my planned giving?

There is no minimum gift requirement. Gifts of all sizes are deeply appreciated and make a significant impact on our ability to support those at the end of life.

Q: Can I change my mind about my planned gift?

Yes, most planned gifts, especially bequests and beneficiary designations, are revocable, allowing you flexibility to change your plans as your circumstances or wishes evolve.

Q: Do I need to inform End of Life Washington if I have included you in my estate plans?

While not required, informing us allows us to thank you and recognize your generosity, as well as ensure that we can follow through with your wishes regarding the use of your gift.

Q: How does ‘planned giving’ support End of Life Washington?

Planned gifts provide a substantial foundation for our work, helping to ensure we can continue our mission into the future. Your legacy gift supports everything from daily operations to long-term projects and services.

Q: Who should I consult before making a planned gift?

It’s important to consult with your financial planner, tax advisor, or attorney to understand how a planned gift fits into your overall estate and financial planning.

Q: Can I make a planned gift in memory or honor of someone?

Yes, making a gift in honor or memory of a loved one is a wonderful way to create a lasting tribute while supporting the values and mission of End of Life Washington.