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Making a gift through your will

A bequest is a gift made through your will that provides continuing support to National Stroke Association. In addition to helping National Stroke Association continue its vital work, a bequest to National Stroke Association offers tax advantages: Charitable gifts made through your will are tax deductible for estate tax purposes, lessening the overall tax burden, and a charitable bequest may place your estate in a lower tax bracket.

The Importance of Your Will
The most obvious benefit of having a Will is that it allows you to direct how your assets will be distributed upon your death. And when you create your Will, you will designate your personal representative the Will’s executor who will be responsible for overseeing that your wishes are carried out. Without a Will, your assets are distributed based upon the laws of your state, not by you. A court-appointed administrator will oversee the distribution of your assets, rather than a trusted individual selected by you. And without a Will, you are unable to make charitable bequests to the causes you supported during your lifetime.

Generally, bequests fall into one of three categories:

  1. A specific bequest is a gift of a specific item or a specified amount. An example of a specific bequest would be stipulating in your will that your crystal glassware and serving pieces be given to your daughter Susan upon your death.

  2. Like its name implies, a percentage bequest stipulates that a certain percentage of your estate or an asset be distributed in a specified way. For example, you might specify in your will that your home be sold upon your death, then 25 percent of the total sale proceeds be distributed to each of your four children.

  3. A residual bequest is a gift of the remainder of your estate, or a portion of your estate, after other bequests have been distributed. For example, you might stipulate that 10 percent of the residue of your estate be given to your alma mater, and that the remainder (90 percent) of the residual be given to National Stroke Association.

The following are examples of how you might word a bequest to National Stroke Association in your will:

For a specific bequest:

    “I give and bequeath to National Stroke Association, a 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt charitable organization, the sum of $_____.”

For a residual bequest:

    “I give and bequeath to National Stroke Association, a 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt charitable organization, all (or a percentage) of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, both real and personal.”

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