Remembering the Foundation or your Fund in your Will
Thank you so much for your interest in making a gift to the Community Foundation after you have passed away. There are many ways you can make such a donation, and you will need to consult with an attorney of your choosing to discuss the most appropriate way for you to achieve your estate planning goals. This letter only addresses how to make a gift to the Community Foundation by amending your Last Will and Testament that you already have in place.
Ways to Update your Will
To update an already existing Will, you can either execute a completely new Will or amend your current Will. If you want to execute a completely new Will, you will need to consult with your attorney of choice to determine whether additional sections of your Will need to be updated before you sign the new one because the new Will will revoke the existing one. To amend a Will that you have in place, you will sign a codicil, which is a legal document that adds, removes, or alters provisions to your existing Will. It does not revoke the existing Will, but just changes it to include the provisions listed in the codicil. To ensure that the codicil is effective and correct, you should consult with your attorney.
A codicil will be formatted similar to your Will. Generally, you will add a bequest to the section of your Will where you have included your other gifts. Click here to review a sample codicil making various gifts to the Community Foundation for your information.
Executing your Codicil
The codicil will need to be signed in the same way as your Will. You must say before at least two witnesses and a notary public that the document you are signing is the Codicil to your Last Will and Testament, that you have read the document, that you understand who are your natural heirs, and you understand how the Codicil to the Will gives away of your assets. You must then date and sign the Codicil. Two witnesses, at least 18 years of age (and not beneficiaries of your Will or the Codicil) must then sign as witnesses. Each witness should print their names and list their address below their names. You will also want to sign an affidavit swearing to all of the facts above and have the witnesses sign as well. A notary public should notarize all signatures to the affidavit, by signing, dating, and stamping it.
Note: All signatures MUST take place at the same time, and all persons, including yourself, MUST sign in the presence of each other. All witnesses should be unrelated parties and witnesses CANNOT be beneficiaries under the Will or Codicil. If the witness is a beneficiary, the Will/Codicil is still valid, but, the witness will be disinherited.
Once signed, the codicil should be kept with your existing Will, and it will be admitted into probate along with your Will upon your death.
Please note that the information contained in this Letter does not constitute legal advice. The information contained herein is intended for general informational purposes only and should be used only as a starting point for addressing your legal issues. It is not a substitute for an in-person consultation with an attorney licensed to practice law in Georgia, and you should not rely upon such information when making changes to your estate planning documents. We recommend the advice of an attorney be obtained before drafting any estate planning documents. Such advice will help assure compliance with Georgia law, and that your goals and intentions are met.
Again, we thank you for your interest in the Community Foundation. If you have any questions about becoming a donor or other ways you can make gifts to the Community Foundation, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to help in any way we can.