What is a charitable bequest?
In the estate planning process, you can designate a beneficiary to receive some portion of your assets in your will. This is a type of planned gift called a bequest.
Charitable bequests are specifically made to a charitable organization, like St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®. This type of bequest can be a transfer of cash, securities or other property made through your estate plans.
What are the common types of charitable bequests at St. Jude?
Residual: A gift to St. Jude made from the residue of the estate after all other wishes are fulfilled or a percentage of the estate.
Contingent: A gift to St. Jude only in the event that the designated beneficiaries (usually children or family members) are unable to accept the estate gift.
Perpetual: A series of gifts to St. Jude over a period of time.
Donors can name St. Jude in their will or trust, as the beneficiary of their life insurance, bank account, retirement assets, IRA, Payable on Death or Transfer on Death or establish a charitable gift annuity. Please see your legal and/or tax advisor for more information and to determine if a charitable bequest to or for St. Jude is right for you.
Learn more about making St. Jude part of your legacy plans.
A bequest — charitable or not — can be made for either:
- A specific dollar amount
- A percentage of your estate
- All or a portion of what is left after you have made bequests to your loved ones — often called a residuary bequest
To make a charitable bequest, first, make sure you’ve had your will or living trust probated. Without going through the probate process to get these documents legally approved, your assets will be divided and distributed according to the state law where you live. In that case, you wouldn’t be able to create a valid charitable bequest.
Once you’re through the probate process, you can establish the bequest through one of the following methods:
- Sign a new will or living trust instrument
- Add a codicil to your present will
- Make an amendment to your present trust instrument
There are numerous benefits to charitable bequests. They may owe their popularity to people finding them meaningful, flexible and simple to set up — and there are some tax perks.
A meaningful part of your legacy
A charitable bequest costs you nothing now yet gives you the satisfaction of knowing you have provided for a charity or nonprofit organization’s future. And they can be simple to establish relative to their potentially significant impact.
Flexible and simple setup
When you establish a charitable bequest, you retain control and use of your assets during your lifetime. You may modify your bequest if your circumstances change.
To get started, you can simply add a few lines of text to your probated will or living trust.
Charitable bequest tax deductions
Charitable bequests can be a great way to reduce federal estate taxes because there’s no limit to the value of charitable bequest assets that can be deducted from the total estate’s value. Also, the specific assets that are counted for the charitable deduction don’t have to be cash. You can include other assets like stocks, IRAs and real estate.
ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material is prepared and made available to you for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide or be relied upon for tax, legal or accounting advice. You should always consult a tax professional to determine your particular tax benefits that may result from any particular type of gift to charity.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
One in five children diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. won’t survive. St. Jude won’t stop until no child dies from cancer. With your support, we’ll be one step closer to that day. One cure closer. One child closer. Let’s cure childhood cancer. Together.
Tax ID Number:
We are a tax-exempt, charitable institution listed in the Federal Internal Revenue Service Publication #78, "Cumulative List of Organizations," revised IRS Code 501(c)(3).
"Residue" is a term to describe the portion of your estate that remains after all debts, expenses and specific bequests to others have first been fulfilled.
You could use language like this to add a residuary bequest benefiting St. Jude:
If you’d like to give a specific bequest to St. Jude, you can write something like this:
If you’d like to give a real estate bequest to St. Jude, you could use language like this:
Why donate to St. Jude?
Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — so they can focus on helping their child live.
When St. Jude opened in 1962, childhood cancer was considered largely incurable. Since then, St. Jude has helped push the overall survival rate from 20% to more than 80%, and we won't stop until no child dies from cancer.
Every child deserves a chance to live their best life and celebrate every moment. When you support St. Jude, you can help make cures possible for kids with cancer. Together, we can save more lives.
Our Gift Planning department has a representative in your area who can provide further information or help you prepare the right questions to ask your financial advisor to determine what type of planned gift may be right for you.
If you have made St. Jude part of your legacy through a bequest or will, please let us know so that we can honor your generosity and better plan for the future.
Email email@example.com, call (800) 395-1087, or fill out the form below, and a St. Jude representative will contact you.
Have you left St. Jude in your will or estate plan?
As an acknowledgment of your generosity when you give a gift to St. Jude through your will or estate plan, you become a member of the Danny Thomas – St. Jude Society, and we recognize your commitment to the mission of St. Jude in a variety of ways.
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