Remembering REAL in Your Will
If you would like to ensure that the work of your local environmental organization, REAL, can continue to benefit future generations, a bequest is a simple option. A bequest is a powerful statement of your beliefs that will cost you nothing in your lifetime.
You just need to make a simple stipulation in your will expressing your wishes. This can be done the next time you review your will with your lawyer, who can help you find right words to ensure the money goes exactly where you intended.
A bequest does not need to be all or nothing. There are various possibilities for donating a portion of your estate to REAL after you have looked after your friends and family. Our thanks to colleague Green Community, Peterborough Greenup, for the examples below:
Specific Amount Request: The donor designate REAL to receive a specific dollar amount. The estate receives a charitable estate tax deduction for the whole amount.
Sample language: “I give to REAL, a Canadian registered charity, in Smiths Falls, Ontario, twenty-five percent (25%) of my estate for its general endowment or for other general purposes.”
Percentage of the Estate Residue. After making specific bequests to family and friends, the donor’s estate is divided among others or charities, that may include REAL.
Sample language: “All the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, of whatsoever kind and wheresoever situate, shall be distributed as follows fifty percent (50%) to REAL, a Canadian registered charity, in Smiths Falls, Ontario, for its general purposes and fifty percent (50%) to My Church, in Smiths Falls, Ontario.”
Residue of the Estate for a Specific Purpose: The donor, after providing several specific bequests to family and friends for specific amounts, leaves 100 percent of the residue to REAL for a designated purpose.
Sample language: “All the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, of whatsoever kind and wheresoever situate, shall be distributed to REAL, a Canadian registered charity, in Smiths Falls, Ontario, to be used to support the Well Aware Program.”
Bequest of Retirement Plan Assets. All retirement plan programs require a primary beneficiary be named when the plan is established. This beneficiary can be changed at any time and may include a charity. Therefore, you might consider naming REAL as a beneficiary of all or a portion of your retirement plan assets.
You are not obligated to inform REAL of your bequest plans. But if you choose to share your plans with us, we can either recognize your generosity now or respect your wishes to remain anonymous.
Note: The above is intended to provide general information, not professional advice. Please consult your own lawyer or other professional advisors.