Gifts through a Will or Living Trust
Including GGO in your final giving plans is one of the most powerful statements you can make about your love of animals. Remembering GGO in your will, trust or other estate plans allows us to help pets in need through our various animal welfare programs – from providing food to pets in shelters and rescue groups, providing vaccines, funding emergency pet medical grants, funding spay/neuter programs, transporting pets from high-kill areas to ones with a shortage of adoptable pets, and more.
A charitable bequest is a gift to charity made at death through a will or trust. You can make a bequest of any size and direct the gift to support a specific program. You can also keep it unrestricted, which will allow GGO to direct your gift to where it is most needed.
Many people support GGO in this way, and are honored as a GreaterGood Guardian Lifetime Member. For some, this is their first gift to GGO, but for others, this is a continuation of giving.
Bequests are a vital source of support for GGO. GGO particularly values unrestricted gifts, which can be used by the Executive Director to support priority needs, and when great need arises due to disasters and other unforeseen events.
6 Steps to Creating a Charitable Bequest to Greater Good Charities
- Determine the Greater Good Charities programs you wish to support and the property you expect to be available for those gifts
- Consult with an attorney who regularly prepares wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents.
- Contact our Director of Donor Engagement to discuss your planned gift to Greater Good Charities. She can help make sure your gift will be used for your chosen purpose, or help you select how the funds can be used to make a difference in the lives of pets in need.
- Ask our Director of Donor Engagement to provide you with sample bequest language to share with your attorney.
- Provide our Director of Donor Engagement with a copy of the relevant provision from your will or trust benefiting Greater Good Charities. This information will be kept on file and remain confidential.
- Receive a certificate of recognition welcoming you into the GreaterGood Guardian Lifetime Club for your intended legacy gift. Planned gifts may remain anonymous by request.
Bequests already received by Greater Good Charities help save the lives of countless pets every day. Your legacy of kindness will live on with the countless lives of pets helped by the programs we run – from providing food to increasing their chances of finding their forever homes. Your bequest can continue this vital work and leave a lasting legacy in your name.
If you want to make a difference with a gift in your will or trust, we invite you to contact Greater Good Charities’ Director of Donor Engagement for a confidential consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-268-5408.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a will or trust? If you want to control the disposition of your property at death, you need to have a will or a trust to direct how and to whom your property is to be distributed. In your will, you can also name a person or company to administer your estate and someone to serve as a guardian of minor children. If you do not have a will, state law determines to whom your property is given – with no provisions for gifts to friends or charities.
A gift in your will can be:
- A specific dollar amount or a specific asset.
- All or a percentage of the “residue” of your assets (what is left after you have made other gifts).
- Unrestricted or Restricted (used for a particular purpose).
- Structured to provide lifetime income to family before the gift is available for use by GGO.
- Contingent (gift is made only if specific conditions occur, e.g., your spouse has died before you).
- Revocable (Can be changed by you at any time).
How does Greater Good Charities use bequests? GGO uses gifts from estates as the donor directs. Often bequests are made to establish a named endowment in honor of the donor or others. Endowments are permanent funds designed to provide a perpetual source of annual support for a designated purpose, such as program support, operations, staffing, infrastructure improvements and facility upgrades. Bequests can also be designated for current use, which makes the entire gift available for use immediately.
Can I get tax benefits from making a bequest to Greater Good Charities? Charitable gifts from estates present a variety of tax planning opportunities. But unlike charitable gifts made during your lifetime, you do not receive a current charitable income tax deduction. However, if your estate is subject to estate tax, a bequest to GGO entitles your estate to an estate tax charitable deduction for the amount donated, and reduces the amount of tax your estate must pay. Note also that if you make a gift by naming GGO as a beneficiary of your retirement plan or IRA, there are income tax benefits. Please advise with your financial planner or attorney for your individual planned giving.
Ready to Get Started?
You can keep the good growing with your charitable bequest. Greater Good Charities will work directly with you and your legal counsel to set up a bequest that you can feel good about. When you set up a bequest with us, you can choose to give to the programs you care most about— whether that’s animal welfare, girls’ education, conservation, or one of our other areas of expertise. You can also give directly to Greater Good Charities’ general fund and help where it’s most needed.
Have questions or concerns? We’re here to help! Contact us today to learn more.