It’s a common misconception that only the wealthy leave gifts to charity when they pass away. The reality is anyone can leave a gift to charity. And anyone who doesn’t want the government to decide how their assets should be distributed upon their death should prepare a Will.
Including a charity in your Will or other estate plans is just as easy as providing for your loved ones. In fact, remembering the animals in your Will or other estate plans is actually a very simple process. It’s as easy as:
1) Including a few sentences in your Will to designate Street Paws, Inc. as one of your beneficiaries,
2) Completing a simple Change of Beneficiary Form to name Street Paws, Inc. as the recipient of all or a portion of the proceeds of your life insurance policy, IRA or retirement account, or
3) If you already have a Will, asking your attorney to prepare a short legal document (called a Codicil) that can add a Bequest to Street Paws, Inc. while leaving the rest of your Will unchanged.
Many people also mistakenly believe that they do not have enough assets, or their estates would be too small, to make a difference. Nothing could be farther from the truth. All donations, even a small one, can make a huge difference in the lives of homeless animals. Every dollar we receive helps us alleviate suffering and makes it possible for us to save innocent lives.
The truth is we depend on planned gifts to supplement the donations we receive during the year. In fact, it’s through the generosity and foresight of our supporters who have made these estate gifts that our Shelter for Life, as well as our many current programs, are possible.
Bequests through Wills and other estate gifts help to guarantee that our efforts on behalf of abused and abandoned animals will continue well into the future. Through a Bequest in your Will, you can designate a specific dollar amount, a set percentage of your estate or specific property to Street Paws, Inc.
And just as your donations to Street Paws, Inc. made during your lifetime may result in a tax deduction, your planned gift may provide a tax deduction for your estate and actually save your family money by reducing inheritance taxes. For supporters concerned that the value of their estate may change between the time they prepare their Will and their death, it may be more desirable to leave a percentage of their estate to their beneficiary through a Bequest. That way, a set percentage of your estate will then pass on to your designated beneficiary, rather than specific property or a specific amount of money. These “percentage” Bequests may also be appropriate for supporters who are concerned that their estate may be too small to remember the animals, in addition to all of their loved ones.
By setting up your Will with “percentage” Bequests, each of your loved ones and Street Paws, Inc. could receive whatever percentage of your estate you designate in your Will. Naming Street Paws, Inc. in your Will as the recipient of the “rest, residue and remainder” of your estate (called a Residual Bequest) is another alternative to consider. That would mean that Street Paws, Inc. would receive whatever assets were left over in your estate. By designating Street Paws, Inc. as your beneficiary in a Residual Bequest, you can remember all of your loved ones in your Will and Street Paws, Inc. would only receive the remaining assets in your estate after your surviving loved ones received their Bequests. There’s also an added benefit to naming Street Paws, Inc. in your Will as a beneficiary in a Residual Bequest: Should any of your loved ones die before you, you would not have to redo your Will – their share in your estate would automatically pass to Street Paws, Inc. and be used to aid homeless animals.
And there’s still one more benefit to remembering Street Paws, Inc. in your estate plans: Gratification in knowing that your concern for homeless animals will continue on beyond your own lifetime. Should you decide to include Street Paws, Inc. in your Will or other estate plans, please let us know. We would love to thank you for your thoughtfulness and include you in our Legacy of Life. Your gift may also be kept private, if you so desire. For more information on how you can leave a Legacy of Life for homeless animals, you may visit our website at www.streetpaws.org or call 678-994-6595.