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National Wills Week

Charitable bequests have been included in Wills for centuries.  They are a way of keeping your ideals, your compassion and your vision alive for years, even generations, to come. Ensuring that you have a valid Will is the best way to take care of your loved ones and ensure that the possessions you have spent a lifetime gathering, are rightfully distributed according to your last wishes.

Bequests make good gifts in these times because:

  • Assets remain in the donor’s control during lifetime
  • They can be modified to address changing circumstances
  • They can be directed to a particular cause or purpose; and
  • Under current law, a donation to a charity such as St Luke’s Combined Hospices, is not subject to donations tax or estate duty but the deduction for income tax purposes is limited to 10% of taxable income

The benefits of charitable bequests
A deduction for estate duty purposes is allowed in respect of the value of property bequeathed to a public benefit organisation exempt from tax in terms of the Income Tax Act, (qualifying PBO).  This means if you bequeath your entire estate to such a qualifying PBO, no estate duty will be levied.

A charitable bequest is simply a distribution from your deceased estate to a charitable organisation by a bequest in your Will, such as money, stock, bonds, property or jewellery.

How to make a charitable bequest
A charitable bequest can be made by bequeathing an amount to a charitable organisation of choice or to a charitable trust created in terms of your Will.  The charitable organisation must however be qualifying PBOs.

A bequest to a charity will qualify as a deduction for estate duty purposes provided it is made to a qualifying PBO, such as St Luke’s Hospice.  Bequests to a charitable trust created in terms of your Will may also qualify for said deduction provided certain criteria are met.

You can bequeath an amount in cash, either a fixed amount or calculated as a percentage of your residual estate, or you can bequeath a specific asset, such as a piece of land of valuable collector’s items or even a combination of these.

You are entitled to attach certain conditions to such a bequest, but do consider how these conditions are phrased to ensure your chosen charity is not prevented from making optimal use of your legacy gift.

There are several ways to provide for gifts in your Will and this largely depends on your personal choice and preference.  The charitable bequest should be properly provided for in your Will to ensure unfettered use of your legacy with minimum cost implications.  Also make sure to use the correct wording in naming the charity to ensure that the correct charity ultimately benefits from your bequest.

We do advise all potential bequest donors to consult a professional to draw up or amend their Will to ensure that the entire document is valid.  Your attorney, financial adviser or banker can arrange to have your Will drawn up for you, often at no charge.

Review and update your Will regularly. Having a legal Will gives you peace of mind.

Who benefits?
All bequests to St Luke’s Hospice are prioritised to accommodate the wishes of our benefactor’s specific instructions.  Should there be no specific intent indicated in the Will, and then the bequest will be held in trust by the St Luke’s Hospice Foundation Fund for investment purposes and drawing on the annual interest to sustain our activities.

Your Legacy
“If you have created a gift, let us know.  If you haven’t it’s not too late.”
Too often when we learn about a bequest, it’s too late to say ‘thank you’.

Every legacy is important to us – large and small – as they all help to sustain St Luke’s Hospice into the future so that patients and their families may continue to receive compassionate care. Legacies are used wisely to ensure the greatest possible impact and invested for future and for capital projects; unless a specific intent is requested by our bequest donors.

Please let us know if you are planning a gift to St Luke’s Hospice through a bequest in your Will.
Knowing your intentions helps us to plan ahead, and also gives us the opportunity to thank you personally and perhaps decide together how your special gift will be used.

All correspondence will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Bequest Coordinator – Carol-Ann Brand at St Luke’s Hospice on (021)797-5335 or email carol-ann@stlukes.co.za.

(Source: Tom Ahern/Richard Radcliffe/Mastermind)

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