Gifts by Will or Trust
YOUR SHARE IN THE FUTURE
|Progress is not automatic; the world grows better because people wish that it
should, and take the right steps to make it better.
— Jane Addams
Everyone has an estate and should have a plan for its ultimate use. The estate planned by a will or other instruments ensures that all property and funds will be distributed in accordance with the wishes of the individual; that the administration of the estate will be undertaken by those who have that person’s confidence; and that tax and other benefits provided by law will be fully realized.
Careful planning under tax laws designed to encourage philanthropy makes possible a significant contribution to the future of the National Association of Social Workers Foundation (NASW Foundation) and a perpetual recognition of a donor’s support.
The following are ways in which gifts can be made by will to benefit the NASW Foundation. The suggestions, however, are not all inclusive. Where tax benefits are mentioned, these relate only to Federal tax laws, but the laws of many states often make possible additional savings. Since individual circumstances control the most advantageous arrangement for each person, planning must be done in consultation with legal and other advisors.
GIFTS BY WILL
A bequest, or gift by will, is the method most frequently used to make a future gift to the NASW Foundation. Numerous members and friends have already informed the NASW Foundation of plans for gifts of this kind. Undoubtedly, many others have also made provision for the NASW Foundation through a thoughtfully drawn will. There is growing realization among donors that small as well as large bequests can make it possible for the NASW Foundation to meet increasing opportunities to make an impact. Whatever the size, each bequest is valued as a commitment to the future of the NASW Foundation.
Within the framework of a will there are several possibilities for making gifts. The simplest of these is the outright gift of specified funds or property. When an estate seems likely to exceed the requirements needed for family security, and the donor has a definite idea of the provision to be made for the NASW Foundation, a specific bequest may be well advised.
A bequest to the NASW Foundation of property not readily saleable usually results in a reduction of the taxable portion of an estate. Real estate, royalties from parents and copyrights, art objects, rare books, and securities all lend themselves to gifts by bequest.
The ultimate determination of whether to retain or sell property bequeathed to the NASW Foundation should be left to the NASW Foundation’s discretion to assure long-range usefulness.
Some donors prefer to provide for a charitable bequest on a residual basis, after specifying direct bequests which do not exhaust the full estate. In such a case, the NASW Foundation can be named as a residual beneficiary to receive whatever is left over, or some fractional amount of the remainder. A bequest of this type adjusts itself automatically to the size of the estate.
Various combinations of provisions similar to those described below are quite possible. A trust counselor or other financial advisor can help in estate planning, but wills should be drawn or modified only by an attorney. The NASW Foundation does not render financial or legal advice, but staff members are available to consult with a donor and advisors to assure that a gift will provide the greatest possible satisfaction and do the NASW Foundation the greatest possible good.
SUGGESTED FORMS AND COMMENTS ON GIFTS BY WILL
The following suggested forms are only examples. Many donors wisely prefer to have their bequests consist of a stated percentage of the net estate. Staff members in the NASW Foundation are available to consult with donors about bequests, but personal legal advice should always be secured.
I give to the NASW Foundation ($_______).
Endowment for General Purposes
I give to the NASW Foundation _____% of my estate (or $______).
The principal of this gift shall be held and may be commingled with other funds of the NASW Foundation for investment. The income may be expended for any purpose within the charitable corporate purposes of the NASW Foundation. (The following sentence is optional.) This gift is made in memory of _________ and shall be known as the ________Fund.
Endowments and Special Purpose Funds
I give to the NASW Foundation, ($_______) to establish the __________ [Memorial] Fund. [NOTE: If the fund is to be an endowment, please include the following sentence: The principal of this gift shall be held and may be commingled with other funds of the NASW Foundation for investment.] The (________) [“net income” if endowed OR “funds” if not endowed] shall be used to ([provide the _________Scholarship], [augment staff/researcher salaries], [support research in________], etc.). If it is found by the Board of Directors of the NASW Foundation that all or part of the income cannot be used to the best advantage for the above purpose, then all or any balance of the income not so expended may be used for any purpose approved by said Board of Directors which is within the charitable corporate purposes of the NASW Foundation.
Bequest to be Wholly Used for Special Purposes
I give to the NASW Foundation ($___). This gift shall be entered on the records of the NASW Foundation as the ________[Memorial] Fund and shall be used both as to principal and income for (here describe in broad general terms the desired purpose so that by inadvertence in choice of words, the wishes of the donor and the most advantageous uses by the NASW Foundation shall not be hindered.) If it is found by the Board of Directors of the NASW Foundation that all or part of this gift cannot be used to the best advantage for the above purpose, then all or any balance of this gift not so expended may be used for any purpose approved by said Board of Directors which is within the charitable corporate purposes of the NASW Foundation.
If any of the above-named beneficiaries predeceases me, then I give the amount or property that would otherwise have been given to that beneficiary absolutely, to the NASW Foundation.
I give all the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate to the NASW Foundation.
GENERAL COMMENTS ON GIFTS BY WILL
A saving clause should be incorporated into any bequest to NASW Foundation which is designated or restricted as to use. No one can anticipate, beyond a certain number of years, developments and opportunities that may occur and the associated adjustments which would be needed. The flexibility provided by a saving clause is especially desirable. Such a clause might read as follows:
In the event it is found by the Board of Directors of the NASW Foundation that all or part of the income (all or part of this gift) cannot be used to the best advantage for the above purpose, then all or any part of the income (all or any part of this gift) not so expended may be used for any purpose approved by said Board of Directors which is within the charitable corporate purposes of the NASW Foundation.
Real estate may be left to the NASW Foundation. But because the laws of various states differ, it is important that the applicable state laws be considered by an attorney.
Investment of Funds
The NASW Foundation, in accord with sound investment practices, may commingle its investments, allocating to individual funds a proper, fractional interest in the returns of the combined portfolio. Though not essential, it is highly desirable from NASW Foundation’s standpoint to include a sentence in gift statements which might read as follows: “The principal of this gift may be commingled with other funds of the NASW Foundation for investment.”
Gift of Securities
In making gifts of securities by will, special care should be taken to account for possible stock splits, changes in corporate name, mergers, or even a sale by the donor of specified securities. By careful wording, the donor and his legal advisor can avoid the failure of a gift through operation of such contingencies.
Changes in an existing will can be easily accomplished by an additional sentence or paragraph in an amendment known as a codicil. Such changes must, however, be completed with the same formality as the will itself. The forms suggested above may be used in either a will or a codicil.
Will Review and Revisions
As family, residence, or other circumstances change, it is always advisable to review and revise a will to reflect new situations. Many people undertake such a review on an annual basis. Review and revision ensure that estate plans will be properly carried out.
LIFE INCOME FUNDS (Charitable Remainder Trusts)
A will is basic to any well-planned estate. There are, however, other ways in which a donor may make what amounts to a bequest, through a gift during a lifetime. A carefully planned program of giving involving a combination of current gifts, gifts to Life Income Funds, and gifts by will can result in a more rewarding and substantial contribution than might otherwise be possible.
A Life Income Fund is an arrangement whereby a gift is made to the NASW Foundation in trust, either by will or during one’s lifetime, with the provision that income is to be paid to the donor or other persons for life. A variety of arrangements is possible, and plans can be made to suit individual situations. A Life Income Fund can be established through a single gift or entirely by will; additions to an existing Fund (other than an annuity trust) may be made during lifetime or by will.
A will should always be drawn by, or with the advice of, a lawyer. Suggestions in this piece do not diminish the need for legal counsel.
The NASW Foundation has been indebted to, and dependent upon, the generosity of members and friends who have aided in building its private resources. Each gift which augments permanent resources becomes a perpetual tribute to its giver and provides a means of sharing in lasting achievements. A gift to the NASW Foundation will help advance the social work profession and represent a noble expression of devotion to the enduring public good.
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