Leave a Gift in Your Will
We hope you’ll consider a gift to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest in your will or living trust. Called a charitable bequest, this type gift offers these main benefits:
- Simplicity – Just a few sentences in your will or trust are all that is needed.
- Flexibility – Because you are not actually making a gift until after your lifetime, you can change your mind at any time.
- Versatility – You can structure the bequest to leave a specific item, or amount of money, make the gift contingent on certain events or leave a percentage of your estate to us.
- Tax Relief - If your estate is subject to estate tax, your gift is entitled to an estate tax charitable deduction for the gift’s full value.
How it Works
In general, a charitable bequest works for anyone who would like to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest in the future. Because you can change your mind at any time and make your gift in relative proportion to bequests to family and friends, this type of gift has universal appeal. To make a charitable bequest, you need a current will or revocable living trust. Your gift can be made as a percentage of your estate. Or you can make a specific bequest by giving a certain amount of cash, securities or property. After your lifetime, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest receives your gift.
Profile of a Giver
- You want to support Big Brothers Big Sisters after your lifetime.
- You have a will or living trust, or are ready to create one.
- You are young or old, wealthy or middle class.
- You want to make a charitable gift while ensuring family is taken care of first.
- You want to maintain the flexibility to change your mind at any time.
- You want estate tax relief.
Putting Your Family First
When planning a future gift, it’s sometimes difficult to determine what size donation will make sense. Emergencies happen and you need to make sure your family is financially taken care of first. Including a bequest of a percentage of your estate ensures that your gift will remain proportionate no matter how your estate’s value fluctuates over the years.
A Case Study
Mike and Robin both in their late-fifties recently celebrated the birth of their first grandchild. The couple wanted to include their grandson in their wills, so they set up a meeting with their estate planning attorney.
During the meeting, the attorney asked whether Mike and Robin, who gave money each year to several charities, wanted to include a charity in their plans. The attorney explained to the couple that they could change their minds at any time if their circumstances changed and the gift was no longer possible. The attorney also described how Mike and Robin could leave a percentage of their estate to family, friends, and charity, so that the gift amounts remain proportional as their estate’s value fluctuates over the years.
Mike and Robin decided to include a charitable bequest of 5% of their estate to a qualified charitable organization. They called the organization to share their plans, so the organization could express their gratitude and keep them informed of its accomplishments. Someday in the future, Mike and Robin’s thoughtful planning will provide a generous gift in support of the organization’s charitable mission.
How to Make Your Gift
1. Choose what to give
Pick from one of these four options:
- A residuary bequest gives a percentage of the residue of your estate after all other bequest, debits and taxes have been paid.
- A specific bequest gives Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest a particular piece of property. (Note: If you disposed of the property before your death, we won’t receive your intended gift because we cannot claim any other property.)
- A general bequest gives us a stated sum of money. If there is insufficient cash in your estate to cover the bequest, other assets will be sold for cash to honor your wishes for BBBSCM/MW.
- A contingent bequest requires a certain event to occur before the gift can happen. For example, you bequeath funds to a family member provided that person survives you; if not, the funds would then go to BBBSCM/MW.
2. Decide how you would like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest to use your gift.
Choose from one of the following options:
- An unrestricted bequest allows BBBSCM/MW to use the assets in the most beneficial way.
- A restricted bequest allows you to specify how BBBSCM/MW may use the funds. Contact us in advance to be certain your intent can be fulfilled.
- An endowment bequest allows you to designate the purpose of your gift. Your gift is invested with and becomes part of our endowment and distribution is made each year. Because the principal remains intact, the fund will support our mission in perpetuity.
3. Meet with your estate planning attorney
Whether you need to create a will or trust, or simply update an old document, you’ll want to seek the help of an estate planning attorney.
4. Let us know your plans
Please contact Harold Pinkham, Director of Advancement, at 508-752-7868 ext. 12 to let us know when you have made plans for such a gift. We would love the opportunity to thank you for your generosity. We are happy to honor requests regarding anonymity.
Does Your Will Need Updating?
Creating a will and estate plan is a good first step in protecting the people who are most important to you and the assets you’ve worked so hard to accumulate. But even the best will can become obsolete over the course of time.
Consider the many life events that can impact a will and other arrangements:
- moving to another state
- changes in the value of your assets such as an inheritance
- a change in marital status
- birth of a grandchild
- a change in the real estate you own
- new tax laws
- changes in your charitable goals
If you need to update your will, there is no substitute for using a qualified attorney with estate planning experience in your state. A knowledgeable attorney can make sure that your revisions are properly recorded, which can reduce expenses and help heirs receive their inheritances sooner.
For more information about wills and how to include the children of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/ Metrowest in your plans, please contact Harold Pinkham, Director of Advancement, at 508-752-7868 ext. 12