What is a Bequest?
Updated: Dec 20, 2018
A bequest is a gift made through a Last Will and Testament. Your personal property can include things like your money, jewelry, or furniture. The beneficiary of the bequest (who is benefiting or receiving the bequest) can be an individual (such as a family member or friend) or an organization (such as a charity or for-profit business). There are generally five types of bequests:
Pecuniary: A gift of a fixed amount of money.
Specific: A gift of a designated or specific item. At times, such as when the item is given to an organization, the item is sold and the proceeds given to the beneficiary.
Residuary: A gift of all or a portion of the remaining estate assets after all other bequests have been made and debts and taxes paid.
Contingent: A gift made on the condition of a certain event that may or may not happen. If the condition is not met, the gift will fail and not be made to the beneficiary.
Charitable: A gift made serving a religious, scientific, political, educational, or general social purpose. A charitable bequest can reduce the estate taxes owed at your death.
Bequests are common ways to leave a lasting legacy to your family or charity. Our experienced estate planning attorneys would be happy to help you create a Last Will and Testament that reflects your wishes and leaves a legacy.