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Leaving a Legacy: Wills & Bequests

 
Many people are familiar with using a will to care for family and take care of personal obligations after their death. Wills can also be used to support nonprofit organizations by including a provision known as a charitable bequest. 
 
We are grateful to those individuals who have opted to support home health and hospice care through their will. If you would like to learn more about leaving a legacy, please contact Jane Woodbury, vice president of fund development, at 888-663-3688, ext. 1360. Individuals who let us know about their plans are recognized during their lifetime with membership in the Caring Bequest Society.
 
The following are some of the most common questions and answers about making a charitable gift through a will or other part of an estate plan. Always feel free to contact us for personalized assistance.
 

How Do I Make A Bequest?

Your lawyer can provide counsel to help you create a valid will that reflects your goals and wishes, including supporting charity.
 

I Already Have A Will. Do I Need To Create A New One To Include A Bequest? 

You can change your existing will at any time with a document known as a “codicil.” This allows you to add a bequest or make other changes to your will without starting from scratch.
 

Are There Different Types Of Bequests?

There are four types:
  • General — A donor gives a stated amount of money to a nonprofit.
  • Specific or designated — A donor leaves a specific item/property or designates a project or program.
  • Residual — A donor leaves all or portions of the estate after other provisions have been satisfied.
  • Contingent — A donor leaves all or a portion of the estate if his or her primary instructions cannot be satisfied.
 

What Are Some Suggested Steps For Making A Bequest?

Your legal counsel can provide guidance. We generally recommend:
  • Naming VNA Care Network, VNA Hospice & Palliative Care, or VNA of Boston as the designated organization. All are 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations. 
  • Make the gift unrestricted (this is preferred because it gives us flexibility to respond to the health care challenges and needs of the future) or specify a certain area, such as hospice, hospice residence, or home health care.
  • Specify the amount or percentage of the gift.
  • If you choose, notify us of your bequest so we recognize you during your lifetime. 
 

Are There Other Ways I Can Leave A Legacy Through My Estate Plans?

Yes. Some trusts, retirement accounts, and life insurance policies allow for charitable beneficiaries. Please contact us for additional information. 
 

How do you recognize donors during their lifetime?

The Caring Bequest Society honors individuals who include a gift to VNA Care Network, VNA Hospice & Palliative Care, or VNA of Boston in their estate plans. Society members enjoy recognition in our publications, invitations to special functions, and regular updates on our work.
 

How Can I Learn More Or Tell You About My Bequest?

Please contact Jane Woodbury, vice president of fund development, at 888-663-3688, ext. 1360.
 
This information is intended for educational purposes only. For legal, tax, or financial advice, please contact your professional advisor.
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