A will makes a statement about what matters most in your life. By making a will, you ensure that your intentions are clearly expressed, and that they will be followed by those administering your estate. You should decide who will get your estate -- after all, you're the one that worked so hard for it. Unfortunately, about 70% of all Americans do not make a will, and therefore let their state decide how to distribute their assets.
After providing for family, friends, and others, many supporters of Scouting also include a meaningful gift to their local council to continue their lifetime support. Charitable bequests are a great way to provide for Scouting without giving up the assets during your lifetime. When the gift is distributed from your estate, your estate will receive an estate tax charitable deduction for the amount of your gift. Your gift may be a general purpose gift for Scouting or Endowment gift, and, of course, you can specify how the Council should use your gift.
Gifts in a will can be:
It is very important that your bequest be correctly stated in your will. The Sam Houston Area Council will be happy to provide you and your legal adviser with suggested terminology to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled. Attend a Complementary Wills and Trusts Seminar to learn more. You should also share your intent with the council, especially if your gift is to be used for a specific purpose by the Council.
This information will be confidential (unless you specify otherwise), and you will have the assurance that the use of your gift will be understood and agreed to by the Sam Houston Area Council. Also, if you share your plans with your local council, they will have the opportunity to thank you now for your thoughtfulness and generosity to Scouting. You may be eligible to become a member of the Scouting Heritage Society.
Some things to consider with bequests:
Many donors wish to support special interests or programs through their bequests. If the bequest specifically states a designated use, it is recommended that the specified purposes be described as broadly as possible in the donor's will. The Senior Development of Endowment and Capital should be consulted before a proposal to establish a designated bequest is made. Donors are encouraged to designate bequests to the Endowment of the Sam Houston Area Council.
These are intended for the general purposes of the Sam Houston Area Council and are of very special benefit because funds from undesignated gifts allow maximum flexibility in meeting SHAC's greatest needs. Undesignated bequests will be directed at the discretion of the Scout Executive/CEO in consultation with the Board of Directors.
Recommended form of bequest: Sample Codicil
"I give, bequeath and devise (percentage or dollar amount) to the Endowment of the Sam Houston Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, Houston, TX"
Please consult your attorney or tax advisor regarding any planned gift intentions. For more information about Planned Giving, attend one of the Complimentary Seminars, sign up for our monthly newsletter or contact Devin D. Koehler CFRE, Senior Development Director of Endowment at (713) 756-3321 or Devin.Koehler@shac.org.
The Sam Houston Area Council and the Endowment are tax exempt under Internal Revenue Service Code section 501 (c) (3) and are not classified as private foundations. Your bequest is deductible against federal estate tax to the fullest extent allowed by law.