- Only 30 percent of Americans die with a will.
- Only 6 percent of Americans include charitable bequests in their will.
- It can be simple to create a will and leave a legacy by contributing to an organization like Soulforce that means a great deal to you.
- Enormous personal satisfaction can result from leaving a legacy.
- A gift to Soulforce does not have to be large to make a difference.
Thank you for your interest in exploring how to support the work of Soulforce through your will. We are glad that you are considering leaving a legacy to Soulforce. Remembering Soulforce in your estate plan will enable you to support the ongoing ministry of Soulforce for many years to come.
Please consider why making a will is so important: The estates of persons who die intestate (without a will) are disbursed according to state laws, which generally only recognize blood ties. It is important to your family and friends and to your church and the other charitable organizations that you have supported throughout your life that you create a will that allocates your property when you die to those persons and institutions that you hold dear. Something this important to your community should be important to you also. And given that the probate laws of most states discriminate against persons in same-gender relationships, it is particularly important for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in relationships to create wills to protect their partners.
Below is some information to help you include Soulforce in your estate. We recommend that you obtain the professional advice of a financial planner and/or an attorney who specializes in estate planning before finalizing your plans.
Leaving a Bequest to Soulforce
A bequest in your will allows you to pass any amount you wish to Soulforce free of estate tax. Bequests can take various forms. You can give cash or specific property, a dollar amount or a percentage of your estate, with restrictions or without. To make a bequest to Soulforce, please include the following information in your will: Soulforce, Inc., P.O. Box 2499 Abilene, Texas 79604.
The following examples of several types of bequests are included for your consideration in preparing your will:
A general bequest is one of the most popular ways to make a planned gift. Through a general bequest you simply leave a specified dollar amount to the designated charity.
"I give _____ (insert dollar amount) to Soulforce as an unrestricted gift."
Percentage of Estate/Residuary Bequest
Giving a percentage of your estate or a residuary bequest is used to give the charitable organization all or a portion of your property, after all debts, taxes, expenses and all other bequests have been paid.
"I give ___% of my estate to Soulforce after all debts, taxes, expenses and all other bequests have been paid as an unrestricted gift."
"I give the remainder of the property I own at death to Soulforce after all debts, taxes, expenses and all other bequests have been paid as an unrestricted gift."
A specific bequest is another popular type of charitable bequest. With this bequest, you designate that a charitable organization is to receive a specific piece of property.
"I give _________ (insert description of real or personal property) to Soulforce as an unrestricted gift."
When writing a will, it is important to plan for the situation where the beneficiary of a bequest dies before you or disclaims the property. Consider naming a charitable organization as the alternate or contingent beneficiary. This will ensure that the property will pass to the designated charity rather than to unintended beneficiaries.
"If ______ (insert name) predeceases me or disclaims any interest in (describe property), I give such property to Soulforce as an unrestricted gift."
The samples of bequest provisions suggested above are designed to provide unrestricted gifts. You may prefer, however, to restrict your bequest for a specific purpose. For example, if you wish to memorialize a family member or an honored colleague, you can establish a named fund that will provide support for a program or ministry of Soulforce in which you or the honored person were particularly interested.
A restricted bequest usually should be made in the broadest terms possible consistent with your interests. This guards against the possibility that the purpose of the gift has become obsolete at the time of your death.
"I give ____ (insert dollar amount) to Soulforce. This gift shall be held as a permanent endowment to be known as the ‘ _________ (insert person’s name) Fund.’ Only the income from which may be used to support the ____________ (insert purpose for which the gift is to be used). If the Board of Directors of Soulforce determines that it is not feasible or economical or proper to use the income of the fund for the purpose stated above, the income of the fund may be used for such purposes of Soulforce as the Board of Directors of Soulforce directs."
For more information about estate giving, contact Cindi Love at firstname.lastname@example.org.