How to Leave Money to a Charity in Your Will

As you prepare your estate plan, you may want to consider leaving a portion of your savings or assets to a beloved charity or two. Depending on where your heart lies, you could look at different animal rights shelters, Greenpeace institutions, educational outreach programs, medical research centers or soup kitchens for the hungry. You simply can’t miss a deserving and honorable charity to help out.

Contrary to what some people may think, leaving money to a charity in your will is quite easy. There are several ways that you actually can do it. However, different states have different rules and regulations when it comes to such matters. As a result, you will need to choose a method with the fewest taxes and the least number of complications. You can also work with a qualified attorney if you are uncertain about what to do.

How to Leave Money to a Charity in Your Will


Bequests are an easy and direct way to make a charitable gift. It is also quite flexible. In most cases, you can adjust the size of your gift or even change the recipient at any time you want. A bequest also allows you to stipulate the amount of money to be used towards specific projects. If you intend to include a bequest in your will, you should speak with your preferred charity beforehand to clarify your goals and objectives.

When you make a bequest, you will reduce the size of your estate. As a result, the amount of money subject to taxes will also reduce, which is a very good incentive for most people. However, you will not be allowed to claim a tax deduction on your gift. It will only take effect after your death.

In most cases, your donation will either be taken off the value of your entire estate before the inheritance tax is calculated, or reduced if it’s more than 10% of estate.

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