There are a number of different ways to make a gift or “bequest” in your will.
What is a Bequest?
In its simplest form, it is an asset (property, real estate, money or anything of value) that is given by an individual to an organization through the medium of a will or an attachment to a will. This is called a “codicil”.
It is desirable for you to have a proper will drawn up with the assistance of a solicitor or lawyer. It is of course possible to make a will without legal advice, but incorrect or ambiguous wording, or inappropriate arrangements for the witnessing of the document, may later cause difficulties for your intended beneficiaries.
Bequests of Specific Sums
Some donors choose to make a bequest in the form of a specific sum. However, the value of such a gift can be seriously eroded by inflation over the years, so it is important that bequests of this kind be reviewed regularly.
All necessary provisions for close relatives and friends, the remaining (residuary) moneys and/or assets pass to the organizations and/or individuals that you have nominated as residuary beneficiaries. In drafting your will simply nominate your residuary beneficiaries, in your preferred order, and then allocate to each a proportion of your residuary estate. By setting out your wishes in this way, you ensure that your most important beneficiaries will always receive the greatest share of your residuary estate, no matter how much its contents may fluctuate over your lifetime. From the point of view of a not-for-profit organization, a Residuary Bequest is a particularly helpful form of legacy, as it does not depend on your estate being of any set value or size variables that can change with time and circumstances.
Should you wish your partner or a relative to have the use of property and/or invested capital for his or her lifetime, but with those moneys and/or assets eventually passing to the Joan Mantle Music Trust, you can make what is known as a Contingency Bequest. To make a bequest of this kind, you would include in your will a legacy in favour of a specified individual, while at the same time nominating the Joan Mantle Music Trust to receive, upon his or her death, any property and any moneys then remaining from this legacy.
Drafting a Bequest Clause
The following clauses are intended as a guide if you are considering including the Joan Mantle Music Trust in your will, or if you are planning to add a codicil to an existing will. These clauses are not, however, intended to be used in lieu of legal advice, and we advise you to consult your own solicitor to ensure that the wording of your bequest is appropriate for the gift you wish to make, and for your personal circumstances, particularly if you wish to make a Contingency Bequest. We also recommend that your solicitor peruse this brochure.
Clauses appropriate to the types of bequest identified
“In relation to a Residuary Bequest, I give and bequeath to the Joan Mantle Music Trust, c/o the Rainbow District School Board, 69 Young Street, Sudbury, Ontario P3E 3G5, 30 per cent of my residuary estate, free from all duties. In relation to gifts of cash, shares, property or other assets, I give and bequeath to the Joan Mantle Music Trust the following items:
“In relation to a gift of a sum of money, I give and bequeath to the Joan Mantle Music Trust, c/o the Rainbow District School Board, 69 Young Street, Sudbury, Ontario P3E 3G5, the sum of $____ free from all duties.”