We probably have a will -- even if it not really up to date. We've taken care of our families and maybe made a few donation bequests, too.
When you list your family heirs, you might want to rank them. Do you then leave a chunk to spouse and chunks for the kids? What if you have a smaller estate and you chose the wrong amounts? Here's an idea -- choose percentage for your family, like maybe 80% and allot the percentages. So maybe hubby gets 50% and your 2 kids get 25% each, for example.
Here comes the fun part, yes fun. Make list of all the things you belong to (like a church, a club, an auxiliary) and things you might support like charitable groups (SPCA, Mustard Seed, perhaps the auxiliary?) Underline the ones that really need and would appreciate even a small amount. You've got 20% of your estate -- in my example -- so now you divide the winners into percentages.
This method will give you confidence. Many of us seem to go sentimental as we get longer in the tooth and many alter our wills at the last moment, when we may not quite be as sensible. Having a "percentage will" as suggested, should allow you to be satisfied and solid and less likely to shock your family when it's too late.
Did I mention that the Auxiliary has charitable status and has very few expenses so devote most of your generosity to hospital amenities and equipment?
As you all know, you can take out a life insurance policy, pay the premiums, name a benefactor, and that benefactor will receive the policy amount on your demise. You could do the same thing, naming the Auxiliary benefactor, so when you start pushing up daisies, the Auxiliary will receive the amount of the policy. This might be smart for your taxes and your estate. Check with your lawyer.
Let's imagine you wish to leave a charitable bequest. Perhaps you have a giant bank account (lucky you!) and your Executor just writes a cheque. But in the real world, you probably have your money tied up in some kind of portfolio, which would have to be sold and then the charity will get the cheque. There is a way that is tidy and beneficial to avoid all this paperwork. You can leave all or part of your portfolio directly to a charity.