A Bequest to Save Taxes
Thomas was a widower who had a great love for his favorite Free Methodist ministry. As an individual who had directly benefited from its work, Thomas wanted to thank the ministry with a gift from his estate.
Thomas told his attorney that he wished to make a bequest to his favorite ministry. Thomas' estate included some stocks, real estate and an IRA. Thomas' attorney recommended that he give the appreciated stock and real estate to his children and leave his IRA to ministry.
Thomas: My attorney told me that if I gave the stock and real estate to my children, these assets would receive a step-up in basis at my death. My children could then sell them without paying tax. However, if I gave my children my IRA, the IRA would be subject to estate and income tax. After paying all of these taxes, very little would be left for my family. By giving the IRA to ministry, I could make a nice gift and avoid any additional tax for my estate and children.
Thomas contacted his IRA custodian to obtain a beneficiary designation form. He filled out the form and designated The Free Methodist Foundation (for the benefit of his favorite ministry) as the 100% recipient of his IRA account. Thomas' attorney then specified in Thomas' will the bequest of his other assets to his children.
Thomas: I was so impressed with my attorney's advice that I named him executor of my will!
Thomas called and notified us of his bequest. Thomas was pleased that because our organization was a tax exempt institution, it would receive the full amount of the IRA value when he passed away, creating a legacy for the future.
You also may want to make it easy and convenient to have a bequest included in your will. The language below shows how a bequest can very easily be included in your will.
You might find it helpful to select the "print" button below and print this page. Please feel free to give this information to your attorney. If he or she has any questions, please contact us.
*Please note: The name and image above is representative of a typical donor and may or may not be an actual donor to our organization. Since your benefits may be different, you may want to click here to view a color example of your benefits.
Example bequest language - Please feel free to change the numbers or percentages as you desire.
1. Bequest of cash
"I bequeath the sum of $10,000 to FM Financial of Spring Arbor, MI, for the benefit of (insert name of your ministry of choice)."
2. Bequest of a percent of the estate
"I devise and bequeath 20% of the remainder and residue of property owned at my death, whether real or personal, and wherever located to FM Financial, Spring Arbor, MI, for the benefit of (insert name of your ministry of choice)."
3. Contingent Bequest
"If my brother John Doe survives me, I devise and bequeath 20% of the remainder and residue of property owned at my death, whether real or personal, and wherever located to John Doe. If John Doe does not survive me, then I devise and bequeath 20% of my residuary estate, whether real or personal property and wherever located to FM Financial, Spring Arbor, MI, for the benefit of (insert name of your ministry of choice)."