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Revocable Bequest Intentions

  • 1.  Revocable Bequest Intentions

    Posted 01-03-2022 02:54 PM
    Good afternoon and Happy New Year.

    When a not for profit is named in a bequest intention and both spouses have to be deceased before the organization receives anything it seems to me that booking such a bequest is much more questionable than if the bequest is based solely on the life of one specific person. In such a situation, should the intention even be booked, which spouse record should it be booked on (maybe split?)? If all booked on one of the records and that person dies I would think the bequest should then be moved to the living spouse's record. It seems that in shops I've been involved in the PG officer is hesitant to ask for copies of wills.

    Are there best practices on this?

    Rob Saunders
    UNC Greensboro

  • 2.  RE: Revocable Bequest Intentions

    Posted 01-03-2022 03:11 PM
    The bequest isn't necessarily less questionable, as much as it is likely to take longer to mature. In terms of how to manage this in your database, I'd record it on the alum spouse's record. If both are alums I'd record it on the younger person's record. To me, the issue of which record the gift should go to is a question of intent, and of what will help Advancement understand 
    the overall picture of this family's commitment. 

    From a CASE perspective, this should be counted in category C, revocable gifts. 

    Thank you,
    Isaac Shalev
    Data Strategy Expert
    Sage70, Inc.
    (917) 859-0151

    Schedule a 30-minute consultation now:

  • 3.  RE: Revocable Bequest Intentions

    Posted 01-03-2022 03:13 PM
    "Second to die" provisions are not uncommon.  The general practice is to ensure that both parties sign the intention document.

    In keeping with CASE Standards, you should use the age of the youngest of the two to determine whether you can count anything at all.  As a reminder, the new Standards indicate that the donor must achieve 65 by the end of the campaign period to count anything.

    As for which record to enter the bequest on, I'd go with the younger one of the two as that's the most likely person from whom you will realize the bequest.


    John H. Taylor
    John H. Taylor Consulting, LLC
    2604 Sevier St.
    Durham, NC   27705
    919.816.5903 (cell/text)

    Serving the Advancement Community Since 1987

  • 4.  RE: Revocable Bequest Intentions

    Posted 01-03-2022 03:26 PM
    Thanks a lot. So how important do you think it really is to get copies of wills if the donors signed the letter of intent?

  • 5.  RE: Revocable Bequest Intentions

    Posted 01-03-2022 03:49 PM
    It never hurts to ask.  And the PGOs can blame those crazy sticklers in Advancement Services if they are wanting to save face.

    John H. Taylor 
    919.816.5903 (Cell/Text)

    Big Ideas; Small Keyboard

  • 6.  RE: Revocable Bequest Intentions

    Posted 01-03-2022 04:00 PM
    Oh my goodness. I've been a crazy stickler for 21 years. Time for therapy.