The video below gives a brief explanation of the differences between using a will or a trust for making a planned gift.
If you have named The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or one of its institutions as a beneficiary in your will, trust, or other legal instrument please notify us here.
A will has often been described as a road map that gives direction in transferring an asset from one person to another or to a charity. A carefully prepared will is the easiest way to ensure that your heirs are provided for in the way that you intend. It is also one of the simplest ways to make a gift while keeping all your assets available during life in the event your circumstances and needs change. LDS Philanthropies professionals will be happy to work with your professional advisors as they prepare your will and any related documents.
The typical donor:
- Wants to complete a gift while keeping assets available during life.
- Has assets beyond those intended for heirs.
- Wants to memorialize a family member.
- Wishes to start a family legacy of giving.
- Owns assets not suitable as a gift to heirs.
Gift features and benefits:
- Asset values removed from estate
- Allows full use of assets during life
- Flexible and revocable
- Can be a specific property or a percentage of your estate
- Can take effect only after children receive assets
How Do I Make a Gift Using a Will?
The process of making a gift through your will helps you focus attention on the future for both you and your loved ones. A will is often used in combination with charitable trusts, life insurance trusts, family partnerships, or other planning vehicles. Wills can be very complex and should be completed only with help from your legal and financial advisors. LDS Philanthropies' staff of professionals will work in partnership with your advisors to achieve your goals. They can provide such information as the correct legal names of Church entities or the best charitable tools to help you reach your objectives. As we work together, you can be assured that your bequests will be part of a carefully structured plan to provide security for you and your heirs and to help build the kingdom in the way you wish.
Other Facts You Should Know about Wills
Specific bequests are the most common bequests. You leave a specific amount of money, a specific asset, or a specific percentage of your estate to the Church or one of its institutions.
Residual bequests are made to the Church or one of its institutions only after all debts, expenses, taxes, and other bequests have been paid.
Contingent bequests enable you to contribute even if you currently are most concerned with providing for your family, but you anticipate the day when your life's circumstances will allow you to help the Church or one of its institutions. The contingent bequest takes effect only when all other bequests fail (for example, "If my child should predecease me then I leave my entire estate to . . .").
The testator is the one who makes a will.
The executor or personal representative is named in a will to carry out the wishes of the testator. The executor files the will, gathers the assets of the estate, collects income, pays taxes, and distributes the proceeds with the permission of the probate court.
The probate court (or district court) is the state court in which the decedent's will is filed and which oversees the administration of the estate. A will is usually required to be filed in the probate court located in the county of the decedent's permanent residence.
A beneficiary is a recipient selected by the maker of a will to receive property. A beneficiary should not act as a witness to the decedent's will or the bequest to that beneficiary may be voided. A witness to the will participates in the proper execution of a will and observes that the testator is of sound mind and is not acting under duress, undue influence, or fraud.