LEAVE A LEGACY® - Thomas Jefferson Area
... a program encouraging charitable gift planning

Thomas Jefferson
Area Chapter

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Frequently asked questions
     and answers
          about leaving a gift.

Do I have to include my wish to leave a gift to a specific organization in my will?
To be certain that a group or organization receives the gift, you should state your intention in your will. Without a will, you lose control over your belongings after death. Your property and finances are settled according to state laws, whether or not they coincide with yours or your family's wishes.

Must I have an estate in order to leave a gift?
An estate is simply a word used to describe any property, money or personal belongings you may have at the time of your death. Most people leave an estate when they die, even though they may not have a great deal of wealth. Anyone can arrange to leave a charitable gift from their estate at their death.

How do I leave a gift for an organization?
It's easy. Most commonly a gift is given through a will. Many people set aside a certain dollar amount. Others leave a percentage of their estate, or any assets left over after providing for their family. Some people give a charity their home or other real estate holdings. Others leave a paid up life insurance policy or other financial investment.

Who can help me arrange for a gift?
All you need to do is contact a professional such as a financial planner, lawyer, accountant or insurance agent to discuss leaving a gift. A professional can tell you about the tax benefits of planned gifts. You may also call the organization or group you wish to ask for assistance.

How do I leave a gift in memory of a person for a specified purpose?
A gift is a wonderful way to recognize someone who has made a difference in your life. You may also want to give a gift to a specific cause or to a new building. This kind of memorial gift can be arranged in your will, the same way you would leave a personal gift from your estate. All you need to do is make it clear that the gift is given in memory of a particular person or for a specific use.

Do I inform the charity I've left the gift?
Charities often like to be aware in advance of such a gift so they can recognize your generosity. They can also tell you about specific opportunities for giving. Whether or not you let the organization know of your plans is a personal decision for you to make.

For more information, please contact us.