A will is the most common arrangement for distributing assets. A bequest to a charity is specified in a will or as a remainder interest in a revocable trust.  Benefactors may bequeath a specific amount or a percentage of the "residue" (the amount that remains after paying all inheritances, debts and costs). There are special arrangements, or testamentary trusts, established by will that can provide financial benefits to family members and later become gifts to charity.

People enjoy making charitable gifts to causes in which they believe, and a bequest can be a continuation of the charitable support they provide during their lifetimes.

Considerations and Benefits of Bequests

Many people are familiar with bequests to charity made by will but are uninformed about the benefits of other charitable planned giving options:

  • Bequests often are the first step in developing other charitable gift plans
  • A bequest can form the basis of a memorial gift
  • Funds received through a bequest will ultimately contribute to the growth of the Oakland Family Services Endowment Fund

Who Might Be Interested In Giving Through a Bequest?

  • Donors who believe they need to control all of their assets to maintain their standard of living
  • Younger donors who are unsure of future needs and typically leave a percentage of the estate or residue to charity when they execute a will
  • Donors who have a long history of gift giving to a charity but are not able to give a large gift
  • Donors with assets and no heirs

The information presented is for educational purposes and should not be considered as tax or legal advice. Donors should consult with their professional advisors.

For more information call the Oakland Family Services Development Department at (248) 858-7766 ext. 1203 or email