Sample Bequest Language

One of the most commonly used methods used to create a legacy gift for a charitable organization is through a bequest, which is a provision in your will that provides for gifts to your favorite causes. There are several types of bequests, and they are described below. Your estate planning attorney can help you in developing the bequest language that accomplishes your goal. Before meeting with your attorney, consider the following:

  • What organizations do you want to support with a legacy gift from your estate?
  • Are there specific programs or projects in those organizations to which you want to direct your gift?
  • Have you spoken to the staff in these organizations about your intended gift? While not mandatory, they can help provide information about where your gift will have the biggest impact. Also, they will want to keep you up to date on the programs that are most dear to you.

General Support Bequests are legacies left to certain people or causes that come from the general value of the estate, and are made by designating a specific dollar amount, a particular asset or a fixed percentage of your estate to the cause of your choice without further restriction as to use.

"I give, devise, and bequeath to Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation, located in Detroit, Michigan (EIN 32-0087353), the sum of $________(or ______% of my estate or a description of the specific asset), for the benefit of Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation and its general purposes."

Restricted Gift Bequests are made when a particular item or property is bequeathed for a designated purpose. (i.e., instruments bequeathed to the local school district for use in music education; artwork left to a museum; or funds to be used to maintain gardens at a church.)

"I give, devise, and bequeath to Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation, located in Detroit, Michigan (EIN 32-0087353), the sum of $_______ (or _____% of my estate or a description of a specific asset), to be used for the following purpose: (state the purpose). If at any time in the judgment of the trustees of Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation it is impossible or impracticable to carry out exactly the designated purpose, they shall determine an alternative purpose closest to the designated purpose."

Residuary Bequests are made when you intend to leave the residue portion of your assets after bequests and other terms of the will have been satisfied. A Residuary Bequest can be for General Support or a Restricted Gift.

"All the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, I devise to Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation, located in Detroit, Michigan (EIN 32-0087353), for its general purposes [or, for the following purpose: (state the purpose)]."

Contingency Bequests allow you to leave a portion of your estate to a particular charity if your named beneficiary does not survive you.

"All the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, I devise 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 Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation, located in Detroit, Michigan (EIN 32-0087353), for its general purposes [or, for the following purpose: (state the purpose)]."

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 3901 Beaubien Street Mailslot #257, Detroit, MI 48201, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to the Foundation or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the gift tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the Foundation as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the Foundation as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and the Foundation where you agree to make a gift to the Foundation and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.