Sample Bequest Language
Forms Of Bequest
1. Specific bequest
A. Sum of money
Example: "I give to the Health Care Foundation of St. John's Inc, the sum of $______________ to be used..... (see section on Purpose of Bequests)"
B. Particular property (ies) such as real estate, stocks, bonds, jewelry, work of art or other items. Unless property is useful to the Health Care Foundation, it will be sold, and the proceeds less any appraisal and selling costs, applied per the terms of the bequest.
Example: "I give the Health Care Foundation of St. John's (description of property) to be used for...."
2. Rest and residue of estate
The Health Care Foundation of St. John's is left a percentage of all of what remains of the estate after paying debt, taxes, expenses and other bequests.
Example: "I give the Health Care Foundation of St. John's all (or a stated percentage) of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate... to be used...."
3. Contingent bequest
This gift takes place only if certain individuals do not survive the donor.
Example: "If (name/s of primary beneficiary/ies) do/es not survive me, or shall die within ninety (90) days from the date of my death, or as a result of a common disaster, then I give to the Health Care Foundation of St. John's (describe amount of cash, property or percentage of residual estate) ... to be used...."
Purpose Of Bequest
Whatever the form of the bequest, it may be designated for unrestricted uses, for a restricted use, or to establish an endowment. Listed below are 'purpose' clauses that can be added to any of the examples of bequest language previously given.
1. Unrestricted Use
This type of bequest is often the most useful as it enables funds to be applied to the area of greatest need within health care.
Example: "to be used... for such purposes as established by the Board of Directors, in consultation with Corporate Leadership of Eastern Health as the area of greatest need."
2. Restricted Use
Example: "to be used for...(detailed description of the unit or program area that the donor wishes to support or the purpose the donor wants the bequest to accomplish)."
It is suggested that the donor consult with the Health Care Foundation to discuss needs in the chosen area to ensure that their intentions can be fulfilled.
3. Establish An Endowment
This directs that gifts be permanently invested with only the investment income used for charitable purposes. Gifts can be designated for the general endowment or used to create an individually named fund such as a scholarship, bursary, equipment or research fund. Please contact our office to determine the amounts required for an individually named Endowment Fund.
Example: "This gift (once amount is established) may be merged with any of the investment assets of the Health Care Foundation of St. John's, but it shall be entered in the records of the Health Care Foundation of St. John's as the (name requested by donor) (purpose) Fund. The income from the endowment shall be used to (support as directed)."
Power To Vary Provision
Due to rapid advances in health care and technology, as well as the consolidation of many health care organizations, a specific direction may become outdated. Therefore, it is recommended that the following paragraph be added if the bequest is either for a restricted use or to establish an endowment.
"If, in the opinion of the Board of Directors of the Health Care Foundation of St. John's, it should become impossible, inadvisable, or impractical to use this gift for the specified purpose(s), then the Board may in their discretion use the gift to the best advantage of the adult hospitals of St. John's, keeping in mind the original wishes of the donor. In any such alternative application, the support provided by this bequest shall be clearly identified with the name of (donor)."
In all such cases, every effort will be made to comply as closely as possible with the intent and spirit of the donor's wishes.
This summary is of a general nature only. It should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Readers should seek independent tax, legal, and financial advice and consult their own tax, legal and financial advisors with respect to individual circumstances.