Power in Planning

why

Planned generosity provides a safety net for the vulnerable, a catalyst for innovation, a resource for education, and support for the arts for generations across North Alabama.

Include local charitable organizations in your estate plan to nurture the community that your children and grandchildren will inherit.

how

Your will has the power to provide for everything you care about most, including your community.

who

There is a rich network of nonprofit organizations serving the Greater Huntsville area. Their continued work tomorrow relies on the generosity of donors today.

what

Wills and Bequests

Beneficiary Designations

Life Insurance

WillPower is a North Alabama nonprofit collaborative effort designed to encourage charitable giving through will and estate planning.

The goal of planned giving is to help you plan your legacy in a way that benefits you, your family, and charity. There are several ways you can make these planned gifts to charity, while enjoying both tax and income benefits. And the benefits do not end there – there are over 1,500 nonprofit organizations and churches serving Madison County. A planned gift allows you to create your legacy while funding the mission of your favorite nonprofit organizations or causes forever.

Your will is a powerful, but often untapped, tool to create a legacy for the people and causes you care about.

63% of Americans make charitable donations

46% of Americans volunteer for causes they care about

Only 8% of Americans include a gift to charity in their estate plans

Source: World Giving Index

WillPower strives to build brighter futures by encouraging local donors to leave a portion of their estate to charity. And, it’s easier than you might think.

By making plans now, your gift has the exponential power to create a legacy with the people and community you love… even after you are gone.

Just imagine the difference your will power can make.

Information for Your Advisor

You have more power to make a difference than you realize. By giving even a small portion of your estate to charity, you can make a significant impact on the causes you care about and still support your family too. In short, you can do both. We can show you how to work with your financial advisor or attorney to discover the power in planning.

Create a Will

Everyone needs a will. No matter your age, you need to create a will to provide for yourself, your family, and your community. Leaving a charitable gift in a will can be as simple as adding a sentence or two about the organizations you want to benefit from your estate plan.

If you already have a will, you can review your will to make sure that it still reflects your wishes.

Copy and paste the content below to customize your request.

Dear (attorney’s name),
I would like to write/revise my will and include a donation to the following charities in my estate plan:
Charities in your list appear here ($ or % you wish to give)

Please contact me at your earliest convenience to schedule a time to discuss how best to include these charities in my plans.

Sincerely,
Your Name

Disclaimer: This is not a legal document. It does not replace a will or act as an addendum to a will, nor does it constitute a legal agreement with the attorney to whom it is sent. The form is intended to initiate a conversation with an attorney regarding the making of a charitable bequest. WillPower does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice

Provide for Family

Many people choose to leave everything they have to their family and loved ones. On the surface, it makes sense. However, the reality is that your estate may be taxed, perhaps more than you realize. Even if there is no estate tax due, there may be income tax that will be paid on certain assets flowing to your beneficiaries. A careful calculation can demonstrate that a small percentage of your estate left to charity still leaves enough for you to support your loved ones while reducing, and in some cases, even eliminating the taxes to be paid. A financial advisor can help make sense of this based on your particular situation.

Disclaimer: WillPower does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice.

Provide for Community

Wills are not just a legal way to distribute your personal assets, they can be a powerful tool for change in the community. Adding a charitable gift to your will is easier than you think. The majority of charitable gifts in wills are left by those of average means. You may be surprised to find that when all of your assets are considered, you too will have a tidy sum for support of both loved ones and the causes you care about.

We encourage you to involve your loved ones in your decision. Make the process about celebrating who you are, the values you hold, and the life you lead. Then you can simply add a clause or amend your will with the help of your attorney or update your beneficiary designation with the help of your financial advisor.

No matter the size of your estate, you can make a lasting impact on your community through a planned charitable donation.

Disclaimer: WillPower does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice.

Planned Gift 411

Wills and Bequests

A bequest through your will or an update to your beneficiary designation are two of the easiest ways for you to make a planned gift to support your favorite nonprofit organization. Many people want to give to charity but are unable to donate assets and property during their lifetime. Through a planned gift, you can retain ownership of your assets during your life while also benefiting nonprofit organizations by leaving a charitable gift at your passing.

The benefits:

The options:

How do I make a bequest?

A bequest is one of the easiest gifts to make. With the help of an advisor, you can include language in your will or trust specifying a gift be made to family, friends, or the nonprofit(s) of your choice as part of your estate plan.

In order to make a bequest, you should contact your attorney to help include a bequest(s) in your estate plans. We have provided some basic bequest language below to assist you when contacting your attorney.

If you are considering making an outright bequest to (nonprofit), we recommend the following language:

Bequest of a Specific Dollar Amount

I hereby give, devise and bequeath _________ and No/100 dollars ($DOLLARS) to (nonprofit), a nonprofit organization located at (address) Federal Tax ID # (EIN #), for (nonprofit)’s general use and purpose.

Bequest of Specific Personal Property

I hereby give, devise and bequeath DESCRIPTION OF PROPERTY to (nonprofit), a nonprofit organization located at (address) Federal Tax ID # (EIN #), for (nonprofit)’s general use and purpose.

Bequest of Specific Real Estate

I hereby give, devise and bequeath all of the right, title and interest in and to the real estate located at ADDRESS OR DESCRIPTION OF PROPERTY to (nonprofit), a nonprofit organization located at (address) Federal Tax ID # (EIN #), for (nonprofit)’s general use and purpose.

If you are considering making a bequest of a percentage of your estate to (nonprofit), we recommend the following language:

I hereby give, devise and bequeath ____ percent (___%) of my total estate, determined as of the date of my death, to (nonprofit), a nonprofit organization located at (address) Federal Tax ID # (EIN #), for (nonprofit)’s general use and purpose.

I hereby give, devise and bequeath to (nonprofit), a nonprofit organization located at (address), Federal Tax ID #(EIN #), ALL OR A PERCENTAGE of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate to be used for (nonprofit)’s general use and purpose.

If (primary beneficiary) does not survive me, then I hereby give, devise and bequeath to (nonprofit), a nonprofit organization located at (address), Federal Tax ID #(EIN #), DESCRIPTION OF PROPERTY to be used for (nonprofit)’s general use and purpose.

If you are considering a bequest but would like to ensure that your bequest will be used for a specific purpose, please let us know. We would be happy to work with you and your attorney to help you identify ways to give and meet your charitable objectives. We will also work with you and your attorney to craft language to accomplish your goals.

If you are making a restricted bequest, we recommend that your attorney include the following provision to give (nonprofit) flexibility should it no longer be possible for (nonprofit) to use your gift as you originally intended:

If, in the judgment of the Board of Directors of (nonprofit), it shall become impossible for (nonprofit) to use this bequest to accomplish the specific purposes of this bequest, (nonprofit) may use the income and principal of this gift for such purpose or purposes as the Board determines is most closely related to the restricted purpose of my bequest.

Disclaimer: WillPower does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice.

Beneficiary Designation

If you are considering a planned gift to a nonprofit organization in your estate plan, one simple solution is to name that organization as a beneficiary or partial beneficiary of your retirement accounts. This allows you to leave other less-taxed assets to your family and loved ones. You may also want to consider naming a nonprofit organization as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy or other financial accounts.

There are three simple steps to making a beneficiary gift to a nonprofit:

  1. Request a “change of beneficiary” form from your financial services provider.
  2. List as beneficiary(ies) the nonprofit(s) you wish to include.
  3. Notify the nonprofit(s) so they can thank you or include you in their legacy society.

Life Insurance

Life insurance is one of the best ways to create a meaningful legacy. It exists to be an easy way to provide for the people – or causes – that mean the most to you. A gift of life insurance can support your favorite nonprofit’s mission while often creating tax benefits.

Do you have several life insurance policies? If so, consider how, when and why you acquired those policies.

  • Did you originally purchase a policy when your children were young but now they are adults?
  • Did you buy a policy that your spouse could use to pay off mortgage debt but now you no longer own that home or are living debt free?
  • Do you or your spouse own life insurance that was originally purchased by an employer?

You might own more insurance than you need.

How to use your policies for good:

Old or unnecessary life insurance policies can be an excellent way to achieve your charitable goals.

The benefits:

  • When you make a gift of your life insurance policy, you may receive an income tax deduction this year.
  • If you want to make annual gifts to help pay the premiums to maintain your policy, you will receive an income tax deduction for each of your gifts.

The options:

  • You can give your unneeded policy to support the work of a nonprofit.
  • You can name a nonprofit as a beneficiary of a policy you still want to hold on to.
  • You can transfer your policy into a charitable remainder trust or other instrument and receive income and tax benefits based on its value.

There are three simple steps to making a nonprofit beneficiary of your life insurance policy:

  1. Request a “change of beneficiary” form from your life insurance policy provider.
  2. List as beneficiary(ies) the nonprofit(s) you wish to include as partial or total beneficiary.
  3. Notify the nonprofit(s) so they can work with your insurer to ensure your gift arrives as expected and thank you or include you in their legacy society.

Disclaimer: WillPower does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice.