Understanding How to Leave a Legacy
This week’s disability blog has a special guest contributor, HDSA’s Maggie Haley, Assistant Director of Individual Giving. She discovered that it is Make-A-Will month and has advice on charitable giving:
As we mentioned in last week’s blog, Understanding How to Make a Will, there are so many reasons why making a will is important for each and every person. Did you know that you could also make a big impact on our world by choosing a charity as a designated beneficiary?
Just as you can designate your spouse or your children as beneficiaries of your assets in your will, you can also designate a portion or all your assets to a charity you care about.
Planned Giving involves integrating a charitable gift into your overall financial, tax, and estate planning objectives to maximize benefits for you and for the charity of your choice, like HDSA!
Making a Charitable Bequest
An easy way to leave a planned gift is called a bequest. A bequest is a gift that is made as part of a will or trust. Anyone can make a bequest—in any amount—to an individual or charity. Bequests are fully deductible for estate tax purposes and might place your estate in a lower tax bracket. You may bequest cash, property, or appreciated securities.
Bequests can also be very personal and specific according to the individual’s wishes. For example, a general donation bequest in your will to HDSA could say:
“Leave [dollar amount or percentage] to the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, a non-profit corporation having its principal office at 505 Eighth Avenue, Suite 902, New York, NY 10018, or its successor, to be used for general purposes of the organization.”
And if you wanted to designate assets to a specific program, all you have to do is be explicit in the language. For example:
“Leave [dollar amount or percentage] to the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, a non-profit corporation having its principal office at 505 Eighth Avenue, Suite 902, New York, NY 10018, or its successor, to be used to provide support for research and the HDSA Centers of Excellence Program.”
Leaving a Legacy
Overall, designating a portion of your assets to HDSA in your will, or another charity close to your heart, can help ensure that the organization has resources to continue providing its services for a lifetime. According to Giving USA, nationwide giving by bequest totaled an estimated $45.60 billion in 2022. Many people are choosing to leave a powerful charitable legacy that extends beyond their life on earth.
When making your will this Make-A-Will month, consider the impact that you can have on the next generation, especially within the HD community. It’s easy to make a bequest in your will, and the HDSA team is here to answer any questions you may have!
Find more information on the benefits of leaving charitable bequests in your will here.
To learn more about leaving a philanthropic legacy in your will, you can visit HDSA’s Planned Giving Page, or email our National Development Staff: Jamison Skala at firstname.lastname@example.org or Maggie Haley at email@example.com