Responding to a Bequest Notification

How you respond to a family member’s or advisor’s notice informing you about an estate gift indicates to them the importance your nonprofit attaches to such gifts and their overall management. Respond promptly and provide any requested information. Take advantage of this opportunity to tell advisors of the services your nonprofit can provide to future clients, such as providing sample bequest language and preparing illustrations for life income gifts.

Documents to have at-the-ready

  • Initial response to attorney or personal representative
      • Ask if there are loved ones you can be in touch with
      • Specify the proper contact person at your organization
      • Provide tax identification number
      • Request copy of will or living trust
      • Condolence letter for family or friends (you can gently ask if they would like to share information about the deceased loved one and their connection with the non-profit)
    • Thank you letter to be used upon receipt of the final gift
      • Indicate that it is standard to publish bequest donor names to avoid unpleasant surprises down the road
      • Let them know how the gift will being used

Download and read our most current white paper "Will to Succeed" to learn more about keys to effective bequest administration and stewardship.

Download Will to Succeed