One of the most important papers you will ever sign is your Will. You will need to protect it and to make sure that this statement of your best intentions toward those you care the most about will do the job that it was designed to do. Periodically (every 5 to 7 years) you should review it to determine if it makes sense in light of changing family and financial circumstances. When you do, keep these questions in mind:
There is a seventh question about your Will we need to ask: Does it leave a bequest to charity?
Many people believe that a Will should be the last true reflection of that person’s life. It is also the last opportunity to remember those favorite charities which captured your interests, which you truly enjoyed supporting with contributions of time, talent and treasures.
There are a number of ways you can make a charitable bequest:
1) Make a cash gift. You may simply state that you wish to leave a specific cash amount or a certain percentage of your entire estate to one or more charities. It could also be the amount left after all other beneficiaries have received their bequests - the residue of your estate.
2) Make a gift of property, such as stocks, real estate and/or the whole or partial interest in a life insurance policy. The most tax-savvy gift may be one from the decedent’s IRA.
3) Make a gift in trust. Properly drawn trusts are so flexible they can do just about anything you would like to accomplish. A trust arrangement allows you to design a charitable gift in a wide variety of ways. You can often give the same gift twice - to your heirs and to Janaka and the future of Ananda - through the use of trusts.
As with gifts made during your lifetime, the emotional satisfaction of helping others do things which are important to you also is not the only benefit. There are tax advantages to charitable giving as well.
Contact Parvati Hansen at the Janaka Foundation office:
By phone: 530-478-7695
We look forward to serving you.