Learn How a Bequest in Your Will Works
Make sure your wishes are carried out precisely the way you envisioned. The following are three simple steps for setting up a bequest.
1. How do you want to give?
Pick from one of these four options.
- A specific bequest gives us a particular asset, such as shares of stock. If you disposed of the asset before your death, we won’t receive your intended gift because we cannot claim any other asset.
- 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 us.
- A residuary bequest gives the “rest, residue and remainder” of your estate, or, more commonly, a percentage of the residue after all other bequests, debts and taxes have been paid.
- A contingent bequest requires a certain event to occur before the gift can happen. For example, you could bequeath funds to a family member provided that person survives you; if not, the funds would then go to .
2. How would you like to use your gift?
Choose from one of these three options.
- An unrestricted bequest allows us to use the assets in the most beneficial way.
- A restricted bequest allows you to specify how we are to use the funds. Contact us in advance to be certain your intent can be fulfilled.
- An endowed bequest allows you to restrict the principal of your gift so we can use only a small portion each year, typically allowing the fund to last forever.
3. Meet with your estate planning attorney.
Whether you need to create a will or simply update an old document, you’ll want to seek the help of an estate planning attorney.