Legacy Fund: Bequest

A bequest through a will or revocable trust is the most common way for donors to leave a charitable legacy. A bequest offers several benefits to donors, such as:

  • It is not payable until death, so it does not affect your assets or cash flow during your lifetime.
  • It is revocable—you can change the provisions in your will or trust at any time.
  • It is private—your will is not filed or made public until your death.

A bequest to a Legacy Fund at NVCF offers the added benefits of flexibility and durability.

Flexibility: A Personalized Approach to Giving Back

Flexibility means we will work with you to create language for your estate planning documents that speaks to your personal passions and interest areas.  So if you care deeply about children, or education, or animal welfare, or open spaces, we can craft a plan that addresses these areas as broadly or narrowly as you like, and is reflective of your values.  In recent years, we’ve worked with donors (and their estate planning attorneys) to develop customized Legacy Funds that make yearly distributions to a range of different causes in Napa Valley, including:

  • Trails, culverts and benches in Napa’s Allston Park
  • The health and well-being of Napa County residents
  • College and vocational school tuition for veterans and their children
  • Programs that help at-risk youth be successful in school and attend college
  • Nonprofit projects that enhance the quality of life for all in Napa County.

Durability: A Vigilant Partner Promoting Your Interests

Durability means that we will be here, many years from now, to distribute the dollars from your Legacy Fund to the most relevant, impactful and well-run charitable programs in Napa County that work on the issues you care about.  Our duty is to carry out your instructions; to make decisions that are anchored to the bequest language we receive in your will or trust; and to be the champion of your intentions over time.  If you name specific nonprofits in your estate planning documents, we will continue to support them unless they cease to exist, or no longer operate programs that match your interest areas.  This doesn’t happen often, but it can certainly occur when you look 30 to 50 years down the road, particularly because many nonprofits have less than 6 months of working capital in reserves.

To create a Legacy Fund that reflects your hopes and intentions, our staff will work closely with you, and your estate planning attorney, to develop language for your will or trust.  If you’ve already got a will or revocable trust, your attorney can make amendments without rewriting the entire document.  (He or she can prepare a simple document, called a codicil, which adds a new bequest to us while reaffirming the other terms of your will. Similarly, an attorney can prepare an amendment to a revocable trust to add a Legacy Fund at Napa Valley Community Foundation as a beneficiary.)

To see sample bequest language, please click here.

Looking for something you can’t find? Email or call our staff to talk about legacy giving at NVCF.


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