Many charitably-minded people have arranged for a future gift to their favorite charity by remembering that organization in their will. By utilizing one of the creative alternatives outlined below, many people find that they can provide adequately for their family - and still include charity in their planning. If you are in the process of completing or updating your estate documents, and would like to consider CSF in your planning, you may find the information presented below to be helpful.
You can start today...
Without a will, there is no mechanism in place to make a bequest, so here are the steps you should take to make sure your wishes are granted.
Make sure you have an up-to-date will (or living trust) that reflects your charitable objectives. Without these documents, you surrender control of your property and assets to the courts.
Contact your financial advisor (a financial planner, lawyer or accountant) and ask for help in establishing a charitable gift.
Think beyond cash–you can leave stocks, real estate, insurance policies and personal property to CSF.
Make CSF a beneficiary of your life insurance, pension plan or IRA.
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.
Sample general bequest language: "I give, devise, and bequeath to the Chiari & Syringomyelia Foundation, Staten Island, New York, the sum of $_______ , from (a description of the account it is coming from) for the benefit of the Chiari & Syringomyelia Foundation and its general purposes."
Specific bequests are made when a particular item or property is bequeathed for a designated purpose. (i.e., instruments bequeathed to the local school district for use in music education; dollar funds to be used in the operation of a school or church.)
Sample specific bequest language: "I give, devise, and bequeath to the Chiari & Syringomyelia Foundation, Staten Island, New York, the (a description of a specific asset), for the benefit of the Chiari & Syringomyelia Foundation to be used for the following purpose: (state the purpose). If at any time in the judgment of the trustees of the Chiari & Syringomyelia Foundation it is impossible or impracticable to carry out exactly the designated purpose, they shall determine an alternative purpose closest to the 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.
Sample residuary bequest language: "All the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, I give to the Chiari & Syringomyelia Foundation, Staten Island, New York, 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.
Sample 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 Chiari & Syringomyelia Foundation, Staten Island, New York, for its general purposes."
The information above is general and is not intended to provide specific advice about the legal or tax implications of any specific planned giving vehicle.