10 Reasons Giving From Your Will Is a Good Idea

Make a Big Impact With a Future Gift

You know a will is vital when it comes to distributing your assets to the people and causes you care about, but did you know that creating one has personal benefits? This is particularly apparent when you use it to give a gift to an organization you love, such as WQED.

Here is how including a charitable gift in your will benefits you:

  1. It can lessen anxiety. Thinking and planning ahead can make it less daunting to talk about what happens when you are gone. How? It gives you reassurance that the people and causes close to your heart are taken care of.
  2. It can lend perspective. Taking stock of what is important can help you focus on your goals and be more aware of how you want to impact the world.
  3. It sets an example. Your gift can be an inspiration. Your story can have a ripple effect on your family members, friends or others you share it with.
  4. It just feels good. Giving makes you feel good. Really, it does. Research shows that the act of giving reduces stress-related activity in one area of the brain while increasing reward-related activity in another.
  5. It can be adjusted. A gift in your will is revocable, which means it can be changed at any time—that includes the amount, the assets and the area of purpose you are supporting. You are free to alter your plans as needed to reflect life’s changes.
  6. It reflects your personal legacy. A gift in your will is your opportunity to contribute to a cause that is meaningful to you and have it extend beyond your lifetime.
  7. It is versatile. Through your will, you can give a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate. You can support the organizations that are important to you and make sure that you have provided for your loved ones. Estate planning professionals often counsel their clients to have an annual or biannual estate plan “checkup” to ensure that the most recent version of their will reflects their wishes.
  8. It is likely to be the biggest gift you have ever given. The assets in your estate reflect a lifetime of your work and investments. Giving a gift through your will to a cause that you care about may be the largest high impact gift that you have ever made.
  9. It allows you to enjoy your assets today. Because the distribution of your assets occurs after your lifetime, you retain control of your assets.
  10. It makes a huge difference. When you give a gift in your will, you are making that organization part of your family. Your generosity is deeply felt.

Of course, family members are the first people to consider when drafting your will. Then, think about the nonprofits you want to support. Providing for institutions and causes you care about, such as WQED, is an excellent way to demonstrate your values, help you gain a better understanding of what is important to you and set an example for others to follow.

We Can Help

Every gift is meaningful and helps us continue our mission. Contact Jui Joshi, Director of Development, at (412) 622-1386 or jjoshi@wqed.org to discuss how your will can make a difference.

WQED has partnered with an online resource to provide our members with a free tool to write a legal will. If it is helpful in your planning process, please visit www.freewill.com/wqed.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to WQED a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I hereby give $x.xx to WQED Multimedia, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, incorporated in Pennsylvania with its headquarters at 4802 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to WQED or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to WQED as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to WQED as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity is a simple contract between you and WQED where you agree to make a gift to WQED and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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