Leave a Legacy through Charitable Bequests to your Favourite Charity

leaving money to charity in your will

While most people think about amassing all the world's wealth for themselves, others want to make the world a better place and leave a legacy through charitable giving. At Food for Life Global, you have the opportunity to contribute to our cause to end child hunger across the globe through leaving money to charity in your Will.

For most people, the mention of a Will brings up scary thoughts of death. However, a Will can also help you leave a memorial behind after you have passed on. By distributing a part of your estate to charity, you ensure your legacy continues beyond your lifetime.

Many of our supporters make charitable gifts by naming Food for Life Global as a beneficiary in their Wills. The United States federal government encourages these gifts or bequests by allowing an unlimited estate tax charitable deduction.

Things to Consider When Making a Will:

  • List your assets
  • How to divide your estate
  • Who to appoint as executor

It's also vital to regularly review your Will to ensure that it reflects your current wishes and circumstances. For instance, you may need to change your Will if you have gotten married, divorced, moved house, or after a friend or family member's death.

Food for Life Global would advise anyone making or updating a Will to seek independent advice from a practicing solicitor or bank trust company.


What Are Charitable Bequests?

A charitable bequest involves a donation to a charity organization made through instructions in a Will. Generally, the gift comes from a part of the testator's estate, and the non-profit receives it after the bequeather's death. There are different types of charitable bequests, and donors must be specific about the details of their donations.


They must clearly define the exact destination of the gift, as some charities have different branches across the globe. As such, your endowment may go to the wrong destination if you do not accurately state the foundation. Furthermore, before the non-profit can receive your donation, your Will must go through the probation process in your state.


You can also donate any amount or percentage of your asset to a charity. For example, Food for Life Vrindavan allows donors to sponsor a child's education and medical care in India with as little as $350 a year.Individuals in better financial positions can also donate as much as $5,000 to the organization's cause to feed hungry children worldwide. Furthermore, you can make donations in cryptocurrency.


Types of Legacy

There are a few different kinds of ways to leave a legacy. Here are the most common:

Charitable Remainder Trust

This type of legacy is a tax-exempt irrevocable trust designed to reduce individuals' taxable income by first dispersing income to the trust's beneficiaries for a specified period and then donating the remainder to a designated charity. To learn more, visit here.

Residuary Bequest

A residuary bequest is a gift of the remainder of the estate after all other bequests have been made and debts and expenses cleared.
Pecuniary Bequest
A gift of a fixed sum of money in your Will is called a pecuniary bequest. The value of pecuniary legacies will decrease over time as the cost of living increases.
Specific Bequest
A particular named item left as a gift in your Will is known as a specific bequest – for example, a piece of jewelry or plot of land.
Contingent Bequest
A gift in your Will that depends upon the occurrence of an event that may or may not happen is known legally as a contingent bequest. An example is a bequest to a charity, which applies only if other beneficiaries named in the Will die before the testator (the person who made the Will).

Benefits of donating to charity in your Will

Charitable bequests are one of the most popular ways of giving to charity. One reason for this is the many benefits attached to them. Quickly, here are some advantages of a charitable bequest: 

  • Freedom from Federal Tax Constraints

One of the most vital advantages of giving to charity through a bequest is that there are no federal estate tax deductions made from the donations. As such, the non-profit has full control over the endowment and doesn't have to worry about losing a significant portion to tax payments. 

  • No Restrictions on What You Can Give

With charitable bequests, there's no designated amount you can or cannot give. As such, your financial position does not hinder you from donating, as you can still support a charitable cause in any little way you can. 

  • The Charity Organization Retains Full Control of the Donation

Bequests give a non-profit the complete freedom to decide how it'll spend the donation. While you may state the specific cause you want to support with your endowment, the charity can choose to follow your instruction or use it for a different philanthropic mission. 

  • Easy to Make a Donation

Unlike other charitable gifts, bequests are typically easy to set up. Generally, the necessary steps include deciding the charity you want to support, determining your overall estate value and the percentage you want to give, and setting up an appointment with your lawyer to oversee the entire process. In contrast, other forms of charitable giving would require you to appoint a trustee to manage assets or to submit annual compliance reports. 

  • You Can Make Memorial Donations

With charitable bequests, your endowment doesn't have to be in your name. You can give charity gifts in memory of someone else, maybe a deceased family member or loved one. Furthermore, you can also donate an endowment to honor inspiring individuals who are still alive.  Several charities, like Food for Life, accept memorial donations. There are no restrictions on how much donors can give, and you could also decide to make it a one-time gift or a regular occurrence. 

How to Leave a Legacy 

Most people want to give to charity through bequests but do not know how to carry out the process. Briefly, here's a step-by-step guide on giving to a charity and leaving a legacy for yourself: 

  • Decide the Nonprofit You Want to Support 

The first step in leaving a legacy is to decide which organization will receive your donation. Generally, most people give gifts to traditional philanthropic institutions like charities for children, women, or the underprivileged. 

However, there are other organizations that are not conventional charity foundations that could benefit from your endowment. Examples of these institutions include churches, universities, museums, high schools, and historical societies. 

You can choose the organization you want to support based on your passions. For example, if you've had a long-time interest in ending child hunger, you can donate to food non-profits like ours. 

  • Decide the Type of Bequest to Give

There are several types of bequest available to you like we mentioned before. As such, you have flexibility in deciding how to give. You can choose to donate a specific bequest, which sets aside a designated amount to give to charity. 

Or, you could choose a contingent bequest, which involves giving your estate to charity if the heirs named in your Will are no longer alive. Other options like pecuniary bequest also exist for you.

  • Book an Appointment With Your Attorney 

After deciding the charity to support and what to give, you'll need to sit down with your lawyer to discuss the estate planning process and how to state your intentions in your Will. 

Most charities also have a planned giving officer you can consult about your decision. These individuals can also guide you on how to make donations to their respective organizations.

Tax Deductions while leaving money to charity in Will

Bequests are one of the popular methods people use to make charity donations. A study on federal estate tax returns on charitable bequests highlighted the significant contribution these forms of endowments make to charitable giving in the United States. However, individuals who want to give to philanthropic causes often worry about the tax consequences of charitable gifts. 

Fortunately, inheritances and bequests are tax-free. But some estates may be eligible for estate taxes. For example, the IRS does not exempt inheritances or charitable gifts worth over $11.58 million from federal estate taxes. However, this colossal figure exempts most individuals in the United States from tax deductions on endowments. 

Furthermore, inherited estates that generate income are eligible for income tax deductions. A charitable remainder trust is an excellent example of taxable inheritances. 


Your estate plans are critical legal documents that your attorney should prepare. Please consult your attorney and financial advisors for professional advice. If you wish to add a charitable bequest to your Will, you'll first need to decide the type of endowment you want to give.


Then, you'll need to choose a non-profit and a charitable cause to support. List out the philanthropic projects you're passionate about and decide on a charity based on your options. If you'd like to support the mission to end child hunger, you can donate your charitable gift to Food for Life Global.


You can ensure future generations learn about the values that Food for Life Global stands for with a gift through your estate plan. Food for Life Global's Legacy Society welcomes donations of any size and recognizes donors of all ages who name Food for Life Global in their estate plan.


You are invited to join with a gift that:

  • Helps preserve peace and prosperity for all people through the distribution of healthy plant-based meals to hungry children across the world
  • Organize and sponsor emergency vegan relief efforts by Food for Life Volunteers
  • Makes a more significant philanthropic impact than you thought possible while also reducing your tax burden
  • Makes a more significant philanthropic impact than you thought possible while also reducing your tax burden
  • Costs little or nothing during your lifetime
  • Uses assets that you may no longer need, including life insurance, IRAs or 401Ks, real estate, the principal of your donor-advised fund, or a percentage of your estate (for sample language to consider in your Will or Trust, click here)
  • May not require you to re-write your Will by using a Codicil

To join the Food for Life Global's Legacy Society, please complete this Letter of Intent so that we may honor your wishes and plan for the future.

Contact Us
For advice on leave a legacy (Bequests), reach out to The National Committee on leave a legacy
Support the important work of Food for Life Global to serve its international network of over 200 affiliates in 60 countries.
Food for Life Global is a 501(c) (3) charitable organization, EIN 36-4887167. All donations are deemed tax-deductible absent any limitations on deductibility applicable to a particular taxpayer. No goods or services were provided in exchange for your contribution.
Food For Life Global’s primary mission is to bring about peace and prosperity in the world through the liberal distribution of pure plant-based meals prepared with loving intention.