Charitable Bequests

A will/trust are some of the most important documents you will ever execute, they are also the most popular ways to make a future charitable gift. It is with good reason because without a will/trust, your estate will be distributed according to a formula devised by the state in which you live, regardless of your wishes. Executing a will/trust does not need to be complicated or costly, but the rewards are significant – both in personal satisfaction and in peace of mind. 

A will/trust is a way to control the following:

  • the distribution of your estate to your heirs.

  • who carries out the distribution of your estate.

  • advantageous income continuation and tax planning arrangements.

  • planned bequests that carry on the personal and charitable giving that was important to you during your lifetime or that allows you to memorialize a special person in your life.

Adding a bequest to the Upstate Foundation* need not require rewriting your entire will. Rather, with the assistance of your attorney, you can make an amendment to your current will (called a "codicil").

Ways to make a charitable bequest

  1. Cash bequest designates a certain amount to be left to the Foundation.

  2. Specific bequest designates certain assets which you have chosen to leave to the Foundation, such as a number of your shares of stocks and bonds.

  3. Residual bequest gives to the Foundation all or part of what is remaining after debts, taxes, expenses and specific or cash bequests are paid.

  4. Contingent bequest passes specific assets to the Foundation only if a certain event occurs, such as a beneficiary predeceasing you.

For example:

  1. Give and bequeath to The Upstate Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation at 750 East Adams Street, Syracuse, NY 13210 for its general purposes/OR for the benefit of [name of the endowment or division of your choice] the sum of $100,000/500 shares of my [company ] stock, OR

  2. Portion of my residuary estate, equal to________ percent thereof, OR

    All the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, OR

  3. I give and bequeath the residue and remainder of my estate at my death to my wife (husband), [name of spouse], if she (he) survives me. If my wife (husband) does not survive me, I give and bequeath my residuary estate to The Upstate Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation at 750 East Adams Street, Syracuse, NY 13210 for its general purposes.

Designate a bequest for a memorial fund

  1. I give and bequeath to The Upstate Foundation, Inc, a not-for-profit corporation at 750 East Adams Street, Syracuse, NY 13210 the sum of $ ___________ [ or percent of my residuary estate ] to be known as ‘the [ name ] Memorial Fund’ to be used by the Foundation for its general purposes OR for the benefit of [name of the endowment or division of your choice.

Willing to give… with other gifts

You can designate The Upstate Foundation, Inc. as a beneficiary upon your death in ways other than your will/trust and make a meaningful bequest, with significant tax savings, through:

  • A gift of life insurance whereby you name the Foundation as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or you assign the policy to the Foundation while contributing a (tax deductible) annual gift equal to the cost of subsequent premiums. In addition, there may be a deductible contribution for the value of the policy being given to the Foundation where the ownership of the policy is assigned to the Foundation.

  • A gift of a retirement plan, such as an IRA, pension or a 401(k) plan that names the Foundation as beneficiary (with spouse’s consent if applicable). This type of gift can save both income and estate taxes that would be owed by a person otherwise receiving the death benefit of the plan.

  • A gift through a charitable remainder trust which allows you to receive income each year through your lifetime and make a substantial gift at death. These trusts can also be arranged to provide income for beneficiaries you name until their deaths, at which point the assets of the trust that generated the income would become a gift to the Foundation.

Key information

The Upstate Foundation would be pleased to send you additional information on how to make a bequest in your will/trust. The Foundation can also give you information about the advantages of making planned gifts and assist you in the process of estate planning.

The Foundation encourages you to consult your attorney or financial advisor when developing your will or other planned gifts to ensure that you and your family receive the most advantageous financial and tax benefits. A listing of attorneys and financial advisors who specialize in estate planning can be available upon request.

If you are naming the Upstate Foundation as a recipient of a legacy gift, here is useful information:

Legal name: The Upstate Foundation, Inc.
Address: Upstate Foundation, 750 East Adams Street, Syracuse, New York 13210
Phone:  315-464-4416
Fax: 315-464-7873
Tax ID: 16-1068101