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“When can we come back to volunteer? We - me and the kids - want to give back to the shelter because you have helped us so much.

Tabitha, guest in 2009

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Planned Giving & Bequests

A bequest in your will or trust can be tailored to complement your financial goals and support Portland Homeless Family Solutions. It is the simplest way to make a significant gift to Portland Homeless Family Solutions without affecting your assets during your lifetime.

A bequest is when you provide now for a future gift to Portland Homeless Family Solutions by including a bequest provision in your will or revocable trust. You can specify for what purposes the gift can be used.

If you decide to include a gift for Portland Homeless Family Solutions in a bequest intention, please notify us so that we can thank you and make sure that we have a clear understanding of your plans. Your notification will be treated confidentially, if you so desire.

Benefits of making a bequest:

  • Your assets remain in your control during your lifetime.
  • You can modify your bequest if your financial situation changes.
  • You can designate your bequest to a particular purpose, please contact us to ensure that your gift can be used as intended.
  • Making a charitable bequest can result in significant estate tax savings.

Important factors to consider when making a bequest:

  • How your gift will be used: You may choose to designate a particular program or department as beneficiary of your gift, or you may allow your gift to be used at the discretion of Portland Homeless Family Solutions. By leaving your gift undesignated, it will be used in the area of greatest need.
  • What form your gift should take: You may choose to designate a specific sum from your estate (e.g. $50,000), or you may choose to leave a percentage of your estate (e.g. 5 percent). Additionally, you can give specific assets through a bequest, including securities, real estate (such as a residence or office building), or tangible personal property (such as artwork, antiques, royalties, or copyrights).
  • Priority of your gift: You can decide whether Portland Homeless Family Solutions will benefit outright through your will or revocable trust, or only after other conditions are met, such as the distribution of bequests to heirs and other loved ones.
  • Will your gift be permanent? You have the option of “endowing” your gift to provide lasting financial resources. Because we never spend the principal of an endowed gift, there will always be income to support our programs and projects.

Frequently asked questions about bequests

Will my gift be tax deductible?
Historically, bequests have been deductible for federal estate tax purposes. In addition, the gift is usually exempt from state inheritance taxes.

What if I’ve already written my will or trust?
You can amend a will or trust to make a gift without rewriting the entire document. Your attorney can prepare the simple statement, called a codicil, which adds a new provision while reaffirming the other terms of your will. Similarly, he or she can prepare an amendment to your revocable trust to add Portland Homeless Family Solutions as a beneficiary.

What’s the difference between a will and a trust?
    A will serves as an instruction manual to your survivors about how you want your property distributed. It’s a revocable document that only takes affect after your death.
    A revocable trust (also called a living trust) is a legal entity that can hold assets during your lifetime, then transfers ownership of them—or benefit from them—upon your death. Unlike a will, assets that pass through a trust will not be subject to the probate process.
    There is no difference between wills and revocable trusts in the way transfers from them are taxed. In some states, however, the probate and distribution process is simpler with a revocable trust. Your advisers can help you choose which vehicle will work best for you.

A bequest is for you if…

  • You want to help ensure the future viability and strength of Portland Homeless Family Solutions.
  • Long-term planning is more important to you than an immediate income-tax deduction.
  • You want the flexibility of a gift commitment that doesn’t affect your current finances.

Sample bequest language

A general bequest: “I give the sum of __________ dollars ($______.00) to Portland Homeless Family Solutions, of Portland, Oregon, for the general purpose and use of the [Name of Program].”

A residuary bequest: “I give _______ percent (__%) of the residue of my estate to Portland Homeless Family Solutions, of Portland, Oregon, for the general purpose and use of the [Name of Program}.”

Gift for preferred purpose: “I give ______________ to Portland Homeless Family Solutions, of Portland, Oregon, in support of the [Name of Program]. It is my wish that this gift be specifically used to support [describe specific intent here]. If it becomes inappropriate or impossible to accomplish the purpose of the gift as described herein, then the Executive Director of Portland Homeless Family Solutions may designate this bequest to be used for the benefit of a substantially similar purpose.”

This information is not intended to be legal or tax advice. Please contact your attorney if you are considering this type of gift.




Portland Homeless Family Solutions     1838 S.W. Jefferson     Portland OR 97201     503.915.8306