Charitable Bequests

How to Make a Charitable Bequest/Gift by Will

A charitable bequest is simply a distribution from your estate to a charitable organization through your last will and testament. Making a gift by will is easy. What follows are guidelines and suggestions for naming The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) to receive a gift from you through your Last Will and Testament. Here you will find basic information about different kinds of estate gifts, including sample language you may use in your legal documents. Most of this information may be used to make a gift through a family trust, a life insurance policy, or an individual retirement account. Your gift can be made as a percentage of your estate. Or you can make a specific bequest by giving a certain amount of cash, securities or property. After your lifetime, CAST receives your gift. Because you are not actually making a gift until after your lifetime, if your circumstances should change, you can change your mind at any time.

You are encouraged to let CAST know that you have included a gift in your estate plans. Your example may encourage others to join suit and provide for the future of CAST.

Do you have an estate?

Your estate is the sum of your assets, including property you own, insurance policies, retirement accounts, cash on hand, etc. Wealthy people may have very large estates, but even people who aren't wealthy often have the resources to make a charitable bequest. If every adult in America made a will and included a bequest of just $100, billions of dollars would flow to charitable causes every year.

Do you have a will?

Without a will, there is no mechanism in place to make a bequest, so if you do not currently have a will your first step to make sure your wishes are granted should be to set up an appointment with your financial analyst or attorney. These professionals will help sensitively guide you through the process.

Charitable Tax Status

CAST is an IRS-qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Copies of our tax-exempt status letters are available upon request, as is a completed IRS Form W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification. CAST’s tax-exempt federal identification number is 23-718-6154. For estate tax purposes, bequests, legacies, devises, or transfers to CAST are deductible as they accord with the provision of the Internal Revenue Code Section 2055(a) and related regulations.

Sample Bequest Language

Below, we have listed some of the more common kinds of bequests, and some bequest language. We always recommend that you carefully review the terms of your will with a professional trained in handling trusts and estates.

General Bequests are legacies left to certain people or causes that come from the general value of the estate, and are made by designating a specific dollar amount, a particular asset or a fixed percentage of your estate to the cause of your choice.

General bequest language:

"I give, devise, and bequeath to The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (tax identification number 23-718-6154), a charitable corporation organized under Iowa law now maintaining its headquarters at 4420 West Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa, the sum of $________(or a description of the specific asset), for the benefit of The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology and its general purposes."

Specific Bequests are made when a particular item or property is bequeathed for a designated purpose.

Specific bequest language:

"I give, devise, and bequeath to The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (tax identification number 23-718-6154), a charitable corporation organized under Iowa law now maintaining its headquarters at 4420 West Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa, the sum of $_______ (or a description of a specific asset), for the benefit of The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology to be used for the following purpose: (state the purpose). If at any time in the judgment of the trustees of The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology it is impossible or impracticable to carry out exactly the designated purpose, they shall determine an alternative purpose closest to the designated purpose."

Residuary Bequests are made when you intend to leave the residue portion of your assets after other terms of the will have been satisfied.

Residuary bequest language:

"All the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, I give to The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (tax identification number 23-718-6154), a charitable corporation organized under Iowa law now maintaining its headquarters at 4420 West Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa, for its general purposes."

Contingency Bequests allow you to leave a portion of your estate to a particular charity if your named beneficiary does not survive you.

Contingency bequest language:

"I devise and bequeath the residue of the property, real and personal and wherever situated, owned by me at my death, to (name of beneficiary), if (she/he) survives me. If (name of beneficiary) does not survive me, I devise and bequeath my residuary estate to The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (tax identification number 23-718-6154), a charitable corporation organized under Iowa law now maintaining its headquarters at 4420 West Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa, for its general purposes."

For more information, contact our membership department at 515-292-2125 ext 224.