is a Bequest?
A bequest is a method of making a
lasting gift to a cause or issue that you feel strongly about. It can make your
caring last for future generations.
In order to ensure that your gift
has lasting value it is important to structure the gift well. The following are
points to think about when making a bequest.
Immediate or long term benefit?
Bequests can either be for
immediate spending by an organisation or to create a
fund that will enable income to benefit your cause or issue for the long term.
If you wish the benefit to be long term consider whether the sum is sufficient
for this to add value after administration costs have been met.
a cause or an organisation
It is important to recognise that organisations will
come and go. If you name an organisation that no
longer exists at the time the bequest is realised
there may be issues in distributing your bequest. Naming a cause with a
preference for a particular organisation will allow
your wishes to be better honoured.
will the cause or organisation really need?
It is not unusual for organisations to have difficulty spending bequests that
have rigid stipulations attached, especially where the activity or project
stipulated does not fit with the operations of the organisation.
For example funds left for research in an organisation
that does not normally undertake such an activity may be difficult to spend.
allowances for changing social conditions
Social conditions at the time of
making a will may not be the same at the time a bequest is realised.
A good example is the existence of bequests to benefit orphanages which no
longer exist because of changing social conditions (it may have been better to
have made the bequest for disadvantaged children). It may be that an activity
becomes government funded and there is no longer a need for funding of a
community based charity. Naming the group that you wish to benefit will enable
the funds to be used most effectively.
writing a profile of your values and wishes
Such a document sitting alongside
your will can be used to guide those administering the bequest and allow them
to honour your wishes but allow a degree of
flexibility within your will.
about your dependents
Bequests can be overturned by
those who believe that they have a right to be provided for in your will.
Consider very carefully any decision to benefit a charity in preference to
dependents. Charities may prefer a smaller sum that will not be contested.
Extended litigation could eat up your bequest and actually cause your bequest
to become a cost rather than a benefit.
If you have a community
foundation in your area they are able to give advice on how to structure a
bequest to ensure that your wishes are honoured. Your
lawyer is also a good source of information in how to structure a bequest. Some
organisations seeking bequests will have a standard
format they will ask you to sign. It is wise to take professional advice before
signing such a document.
Mangatowai Community Trust
The Mangatowai Community Trust is an organization that is
willing to accept bequests which will be used for the on-going development and
expansion of the Trustís activities
If you would like more information about the Trust and the
range of activities it will become involved with you can check out the web site
or email the secretary at
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