DONATING IN YOUR LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT


The Opossum Society of California, doing business as (dba), The Opossum Society of the United States has been incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit charity since 1988.  We are able to act hands-on locally to rehabilitate orphaned and injured opossums and present education programs.  We also act nationally in creating and updating training manuals and education literature available for a nominal fee to our nation’s Virginia opossum rehabilitators.  Through our website, we answer the general public’s questions about opossums.  We also advocate for opossums by addressing issues of abuse, misinformation or misunderstanding involving local, county or state governments.  None of our volunteers get paid, all the money goes to opossum care, housing and development of education material.  We believe we have, are and will be helping opossums and you can also help with a donation.

When you make a will, your objective is trying to ensure that your wishes will be followed after you die. Having a written will, or even better, a Living Trust can also help lessen the confusion and even the heartache for your loved ones in their time of grief. If you don’t make a will, part or all of your estate may end up going to people you never intended to benefit because it will be the state laws that dictate how your estate is to be distributed and what they will charge to administer.

Of course, you can bequeath whatever you want to just about anyone or anything – including leaving a gift to a charitable organization that you would like to support after you’re gone. While we don’t want to think of losing any opossum-lovers from this world, considering the Opossum Society in your will continues, or even begins your legacy of helping opossums.   There are a few things to keep in mind when including a gift to a charity or other nonprofit organization in your last will and testament and Living Trust.

If you choose to leave a gift to a good cause and have yet to create your will, then the process to include a gift to a charity is relatively straight forward. You must take the time to obtain the official name of the charity, their address, and registered charity number so you can provide your estate planning attorney or other professional with the correct information when it comes time to draft your will and Living Trust.  We are incorporated as The Opossum Society of California, doing business as (dba) The Opossum Society of the United States.  Our California Corporation number is C1612847.  Our Federal EIN number is 33-0310580.  Our address is P.O. Box 16724, Irvine, CA 92623.

If you want to leave a gift to charity but have already made a will, there are a couple of easy ways to make changes. However, the simplest way is to write a new will. Once written, your new will makes any other wills you may have created in the past null and void. In fact, most new wills will clearly state that you are revoking any previously written wills. If you prefer not create an entirely new will, then you have the option of a codicil.

A codicil is a document that is used to make changes to a will that has already been created. Executed by you, a codicil will allow you to modify, delete, or revoke anything you choose in your will. It can be a simple way to make minor amendments such as changing the amount of a gift of money or leaving a gift to a specific charity. If you are making more significant changes to your will such as changes in beneficiaries or executors, you might be better served by creating a new will. If you’re unsure, then speak to an estate planning attorney.

A codicil is a rather straightforward document in which to make minor changes. However, canceling an existing will with a codicil may require additional documentation. When you cancel a will that contains a codicil, the codicil does not get cancelled automatically, so when you write a new will it may create inconsistencies and additional legal problems. To avoid this, make sure that any new will you create clearly states that you are revoking all other wills and codicils previously made.

Leaving a gift to charity can be the perfect opportunity to reflect on what has been important in your life and what you would like to see supported in the future.  Consider the Opossum Society of California (OSUS) when writing out your Last Will and Testament and Living Trust.