Frequently Asked Questions

What is an estate?

Estate is simply a word describing any property, money, or belongings you have at the time of your death. 

Must I have an estate in order to leave a gift?

Most people have an estate, even if they are not wealthy. Anyone can leave a gift to a charitable organization, as well as to their family.

What is a bequest?

A bequest is a gift left in a will, passed on to another. Something that is bequeathed; a legacy.


How do I leave a gift to a cause I care about?

Most people give by leaving a charitable gift in a will or a trust, or by naming a charity as beneficiary of an insurance policy or a retirement plan such as an IRA. They set aside a certain dollar amount or leave a percentage of their estate. Any assets remaining after their family has been provided for are a good source for a charitable gift. Some people donate something they own, like a car, a collection of coins or other valuables, or their home. Others leave a paid-up life insurance policy, retirement account, or other financial investment. Since you arrange these types of gifts as part of your will or estate plan, they are often referred to as planned gifts.

Do I tell my beneficiary organization that I've left a gift to them in my will?

That is up to you. Charitable organizations do prefer that you let them know about gifts in advance. This way they can recognize your generosity and possibly use your support to encourage others to do the same. LEAVE A LEGACY┬« Humboldt  has prepared a convenient Declaration of Intent  that you can download and print. 

Who can help me in making a gift?

A professional advisor can get you started off on the right foot. Advisors such as a financial planner, an attorney, or an accountant will be able to advise you on the various ways in which you can make a gift. You should also touch base with the development office of the charitable organization in which you intend to support. Your final will or estate plan should be prepared by an attorney, according to the laws of the state where you reside.

Can I leave a gift in memory of a person or for a specific purpose?

A charitable gift is a wonderful way to recognize someone who made a difference in your life. You also may want to give to a specific cause like medical research or a scholarship fund. This kind of memorial gift can be specified in your will. Consult your professional advisors and the charities you are considering, for specific details on how to arrange this type of gift.

Why should I leave a legacy?

As the name says, you truly will LEAVE A LEGACY® by supporting organizations through a will or estate. Your generosity could play a major role in the development and growth of an organization for years to come.


Start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can

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