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Bequest Language

You should discuss these various strategies with an estate planning professional as you prepare to create or update your estate plans. Listed below are three common types of bequests made to nonprofits and the corresponding sample bequest language. Please feel free to change the amounts or percentages as you desire.


General bequest

This is an outright bequest and is usually a gift of a stated sum of money. It remains effective even if there is not sufficient cash to make the bequest; other estate assets must be sold to meet the bequest.

"I bequeath the sum of $150,000 to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) Corporation, tax ID number 77-0054631, of Simi Valley, CA."

Residuary bequest

This is an outright bequest of the "rest, residue and remainder" of your estate after all other bequests, debts and taxes have been paid. Divide your estate according to percentages of the residue to ensure that beneficiaries receive the proportions you desire.

"I devise and bequeath 40% of the remainder and residue of property owned at my death, whether real or personal, and wherever located to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) Corporation, tax ID number 77-0054631, of Simi Valley, CA."

Contingent bequest

This is a bequest made on the condition that a certain event must occur before distribution to the beneficiary. This bequest is specific in nature and is effective only if the condition is met.

"If my mother Mary Doe survives me, I devise and bequeath 30% of the remainder and residue of property owned at my death, whether real or personal, and wherever located to Mary Doe. If Mary Doe does not survive me, then I devise and bequeath 30% of my residuary estate, whether real or personal property and wherever located to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) Corporation, tax ID number 77-0054631, of Simi Valley, CA."
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