Donors may bequeath a specific item or a specific amount of money for some charitable purpose. This is known as a “specific bequest.” A “residual bequest” refers to a donation that consists of the remainder of a donor’s assets after all expenses and other specific bequests have been paid out.
By including a charitable contribution in their will, donors can make a gift that is simple, yet potentially much larger than they could consider during their lifetime.
Adding a charitable bequest to an existing will does not require rewriting your entire will. Charitable bequests may be added through an amendment to an existing will, known as a “codicil.”
Donors may include or add this language to their will at any time, although it is generally easier to discuss charitable objectives with the Community Foundation ahead of time. If a donor prefers to remain anonymous, he or she may conduct these discussions through an attorney, accountant or other advisor.
Use the following language to contribute to an established fund at Berks County Community Foundation:
“I give ___________________________ (description of gift) to Berks County Community Foundation, its successors or assigns, to the______________________ (name of Fund) consistent with the ‘Fund Agreement’ previously established at the Community Foundation.”
To establish a testamentary fund at the Community Foundation, donors may pre-sign a fund agreement expressing their desire for the use of gift. Two signed agreements should be forwarded to the Community Foundation. One fully executed copy will be returned and the other kept in our file and activated when funds are received.
Using this approach, the suggested language to be used in a will is:
“I give ___________________________ (description of gift) to Berks County Community Foundation, its successors or assigns, to create the ________________ (name of Fund) consistent with the ‘Fund Agreement’ previously executed between myself and the Community Foundation.”
Some donors prefer to have the Community Foundation’s board of directors determine how best their gift can remain flexible and responsive to community needs over time. These grants, generated from undesignated funds, are used to meet the emerging needs of the people of Berks County.
In this situation, the suggested language to be used in a will is:
“I give _________________________ (description of gift) to Berks County Community Foundation, its successors or assigns, to be added to the Fund for Berks County.”