Bequests and Memorial Giving

Bequests and Memorial Giving


Bequests are gifts that are given as part of a will, trust or estate plan. These can be assets such as stocks, bonds, jewelry, and cash, given to individuals or organizations.

One way to create a permanent endowment without tapping your current financial resources is to leave a bequest to create a named fund at Legacy Endowment Community Foundation. Doing so through your will or trust is a simple and tax-friendly way to support the causes, charities or community you love.

With a bit of thoughtful planning, you can make a significant impact by making arrangements for a charity or several charities to benefit from the assets and/or property you have accumulated during your lifetime. Charitable bequests of any amount are also exempt from federal estate taxes. If you have a taxable estate, the estate tax charitable deduction may offset or eliminate estate taxes, resulting in a larger inheritance for your heirs. A bequest can create a permanent endowment fund in your name, allowing you to support the causes you care about in perpetuity.

Types of Bequests

A specific bequest involves making a gift of a specific dollar amount or a specific asset, such as a piece of real estate, a vehicle, or other property. For example, you may wish to leave $10,000 or your home to Legacy Endowment. Another kind of specific bequest involves leaving a specific percentage of your overall estate to charity. For example, you may wish to leave 10% of your estate to Legacy Endowment. A residual bequest is a bequest that is made from the balance of an estate after the will or trust has distributed each of the specific bequests.

Charitable Options

No matter which type of bequest you choose, you have the option of establishing your own named fund or contributing to our permanent Community Fund endowment, both of which protect your charitable intent and give back to the community forever through the power of endowment. If outright, your bequest will be combined with gifts from other donors to help the community foundation meet regional needs in perpetuity. If restricted, your bequest will be used for the specific purpose you have stated in your will. You can designate a specific nonprofit(s), community, or area(s) of charitable interest to support through your own charitable fund. If a cause or organization ceases to exist, we will support similar causes or organizations in your name for generations to come.

Memorial Giving

Many people prefer to direct requests for donations to a specific fund at the community foundation in their obituaries in lieu of receiving flowers. The following is sample language that can be used for this purpose: In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the [Fund Name] at Legacy Endowment Community Foundation. Gifts can be made online at [click here for PayPal link] or by mailing a check payable to Legacy Endowment, 5256 S. Mission, Suite 1210, Bonsall, CA 92003.

Expert Advice

When considering planned giving options, Legacy Endowment can accept a variety of charitable gifts beyond cash. We recommend talking with a trusted advisor about your planned giving choices and we will be honored to work with you and your advisor to achieve a plan with details that fulfill and reflect your life values.

Bequest Guidelines


Donors may include a charitable bequest in their will to create or add to a fund at the Community Foundation. Charitable bequests provide important estate tax advantages, which should be discussed with a professional advisor.

Donors may bequeath a specific item or a specific amount of money for some charitable purpose. This is known as a “specific bequest.” A “residual bequest” refers to a donation that consists of the remainder of a donor’s assets after all expenses and other specific bequests have been paid out.

By including a charitable contribution in their will, donors can make a gift that is simple, yet potentially much larger than they could consider during their lifetime.

Charitable Bequest within a Will

Adding a charitable bequest to an existing will does not require rewriting your entire will. Charitable bequests may be added through an amendment to an existing will, known as a “codicil.”

Donors may include or add this language to their will at any time, although it is generally easier to discuss charitable objectives with the Community Foundation ahead of time. If a donor prefers to remain anonymous, he or she may conduct these discussions through an attorney, accountant or other advisor.

Leaving a Gift to an Existing Named Fund

Use the following language to contribute to an established fund at Legacy Endowment Community Foundation:

“I give ___________________________ (description of gift) to the Legacy Endowment Community Foundation, its successors or assigns, to the______________________ (name of Fund) consistent with the ‘Fund Agreement’ previously established at Legacy Endowment Community Foundation.”

Creating a New Fund

To establish a testamentary fund, donors may pre-sign a fund agreement expressing their desire for the use of gift. Two signed agreements should be forwarded to Legacy Endowment Community Foundation. One fully executed copy will be returned and the other kept in our file and activated when funds are received.

Using this approach, the suggested language to be used in a will is:

“I give ___________________________ (description of gift) to Legacy Endowment Community Foundation, its successors or assigns, to create the ________________ (name of Fund) consistent with the ‘Fund Agreement’ previously executed between myself and Legacy Endowment Community Foundation.”

Leave a Gift to the Community

Some donors prefer to have Legacy Endowment Community Foundation’s board of directors determine how best their gift can remain flexible and responsive to community needs over time. These grants, generated from undesignated funds, are used to meet the emerging needs of the people of Fallbrook, Bonsall, and surrounding regions.

In this situation, the suggested language to be used in a will is:

“I give _________________________ (description of gift) to Legacy Endowment Community Foundation, its successors or assigns, to be added to the Community Fund to be used for the highest and most urgent needs as determined by its Board of Directors.

Questions? You are invited to call us at 760-941-8646 for assistance at any time during your planning process to help with decisions and guidance.

Legacy Endowment is a North County San Diego regional resource for helping people create giving plans to benefit beloved charities, pet passions, community projects, or to distribute scholarships and advance special projects. We invite you to learn more about our highly personalized approach to planning your future charitable intentions. Together, we can create a lasting legacy customized to your wishes.⠀

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Mission Statement

Our mission is to improve the quality of life in our communities by empowering individuals, families, businesses and our charitable partners to realize their philanthropic dreams now and for future generations.