Wamego Community Foundation
Wamego Community Foundation
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Phone: (785) 477-3277
Email: wcf@thewcf.org
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Donations Through Donor Estate Planning

Charitable Bequests

In simple, understandable terms, a charitable bequest is a distribution made from a deceased person’s estate to one or more beneficiaries, including charitable organizations, pursuant to instructions and direction set forth in the deceased’s last will and testament and trust documents if a trust has also been created by the deceased. There are different kinds of bequests which may be included in various types of testamentary documents, including the will of the deceased. For each such bequest, very clear and exact language is required to direct the precise distribution of assets that is to be made upon the passing of the deceased.  Such language is absolutely necessary in order to accurately and successfully comply with the final wishes and bequests as set forth in the deceased’s will. For any charitable bequest to be carried out in accordance with an individual’s instructions, it is also absolutely necessary to name and identify each recipient of a bequest and the property subject to the bequest with utmost accuracy. As an example, a general bequest to a "foundation", instead of naming a specific community foundation, could very well result in the bequest going to a different local community foundation than that intended by the deceased. Therefore, for bequests by will or trust to the Wamego Foundation, it is critical that the full name be used in such a bequest, i.e. “to the Wamego Community Foundation" in order to assure that an individual’s final testamentary wishes be realized. Donors should also feel free to contact the Manhattan Foundation or the Wamego Foundation to confirm the specific, legal name of those charitable organizations and charitable funds the donor wishes to make bequests to by a will or trust which becomes effective on the donor’s demise. Each of these Foundations are more than happy and willing to assist donors in finding the legal names and addresses of the organizations to whom they desire to make final bequests.

Various Examples of Testamentary Bequest Language

General Bequests are legacies left by testamentary disposition to specifically named individuals, causes and organizations, and usually consist of property which is included as part of the general assets of an  estate.  Such bequests are customarily made by designating a specific dollar amount, a particular asset or a fixed percentage of an estate to an individual, organization or cause of the deceased’s choice.  The following language is representative of that often used for general bequests: 

"I give, devise, and bequeath to the Wamego Community Foundation, a Kansas not for profit corporation formed and registered in the State of Kansas and headquartered in the City of Wamego, Kansas, the sum of $________(or insert a description of a specific asset or designate a specified percentage of the estate) to be used for its general purposes." 

Specific Bequests are made when the deceased expressly desires and directs that a particular asset, item or other designated and specifically described property is bequeathed by the deceased for a specific purpose as directed and designated by  the deceased’s will or trust.  The following language illustrates the type of language that is typically used for specific bequests:  

"I give, devise, and bequeath to the Wamego Community Foundation, a Kansas not for profit corporation formed and registered in the State Kansas and headquartered in the City of Wamego, KS, the sum of $_______ (or insert a description of a specific asset or designate a specified percentage of the estate), which is expressly directed to be added to a permanent endowment fund held by the Wamego Community Foundation for the benefit of [INSERT NAME OF CHARITY]. If at any time in the sole judgment of the Board of Directors of the Wamego Community Foundation, in consultation with the governing board of the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation, it is or has become impossible, impracticable or not feasible to carry out the designated purpose of this gift and bequest, then the Board of Directors of the Wamego Community Foundation shall determine an alternative purpose for the use of such gift and bequest as shall most closely approximate the original designated purpose and intent for the use of such gift and which is closest to the original purpose of such gift and bequest as hereinabove set forth and designated by this instrument.”  

Residuary Bequests are made when the deceased desires and expressly intends to leave all the remainder and residue portion of the deceased’s estate to the beneficiary named to receive such remainder and residue following disposition, satisfaction and distribution of all other property and assets bequeathed by the  terms of deceased’s will.   The following is a representative of residuary bequest language often used in a will or trust:

"All the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, I bequeath and give to the Wamego Community Foundation, a Kansas not for profit corporation formed and registered in the State of Kansas and which is  headquartered in the City of Wamego, KS, to be used for its general purposes." 

Contingency Bequests permit the will or trust of the deceased to leave a portion of the deceased’s estate to a particular designated named charity in the event a certain named beneficiary (or if more than one, certain named beneficiaries) do not outlive and survive the deceased. The following language is one example of contingency bequest language which may be used in a will or trust:  

"I devise and bequeath the residue of the property, real and personal and wherever situated, owned by me at my death, to (name of beneficiary), if (she/he) survives me. If (name of beneficiary) does not survive me, I devise and bequeath my residuary estate to the Wamego Community Foundation, a Kansas not for profit corporation formed and registered in the State of Kansas and headquartered in the City of Wamego, Kansas, to be used for its general purposes." 

Beneficiary language and designations are also customarily and often used in life insurance policies, for signatories on checking and savings accounts and for retirement plans, as examples.  Beneficiary designations also represent simple, straight forward and meaningful ways to make and execute planned gifts to the Wamego Foundation.  Such use of beneficiary designations permits the donor to list and include the Wamego Foundation along with other beneficiaries that the donor would like to benefit from the proceeds of the insurance policy, account or plan.  An Individual can name the Wamego Foundation as the sole beneficiary thereunder or include it among the listing of numerous beneficiaries. The donor can also direct that the Wamego Foundation is to receive a designated percentage or a specific dollar amount of the proceeds payable under the policy or from an account or plan. A donor simply needs to request the policy administrator, the account depository or the plan administrator, for the beneficiary designation form each of them customarily uses and provides if the donor wishes to utilize this form of gift giving mechanism.

Donors are strongly advised and encouraged to always check with their attorneys prior to making and finalizing any such beneficiary designations. 

If a donor has any questions or desires to receive additional information, please contact the Wamego Foundation at 785-477-3277, and the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation at 785-587-8995. 

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