How do I get started with planning an estate
gift for animals?
estate planning starts with a good attorney.
Developing a plan will ensure that your wish
to make a difference for animals is met. A
plan will also allow your family to avoid
the delay, dissension and needless expense
that often occurs when a loved one passes
away without a will.
Q: Can an "average"
person leave a legacy?
Bequests are one of the simplest forms of
planned giving, and are a way to perpetuate
your lifetime commitment to animals. With
a bequest, you can make a gift that you may
not have afforded in cash during your lifetime.
Most people leave an estate when they die,
even though they may not have a great deal
of wealth. It's a wonderful way to make a
Is it important to designate specific instructions
in my will?
A: To ensure
that your wishes are met, you should state
your intentions in your will. Without a will,
one loses control over belongings after death.
Property and finances are settled according
to the state's decisions, despite the family's
Q: Are there advantages
for my heirs and me by making a bequest? If
so, what are they?
Tax deductions are a real benefit.* Your attorney
can guide you in selecting an estate gift
that will maximize your tax benefits and may
even be able to provide you with income during
your lifetime. You will also be eligible for
membership in the Wisconsin Humane Society's
Legacy Club where you will enjoy great
member benefits! You may also be interested
in the many naming
opportunities offered by WHS.
Q: Can funds from
a retirement plan or IRA be part of a bequest?
and the number of estates containing IRAs
and retirement plan assets is growing. They
are an attractive source of charitable bequests,
because WHS can receive the funds with no
tax liability and therefore can apply 100%
of those assets to help animals. By contrast,
family members who inherit IRAs and retirement
plan assets must pay income tax on them. By
the time taxes are paid, some family members
can receive as little as 15% of the retirement
Q: Is it possible
to make a gift for a specified purpose?
The Wisconsin Humane Society puts every gift
to work for animals, but if you have a fondness
for a particular program such as wildlife,
we would be delighted to apply your gift to
a specific purpose! We'd be happy to discuss
your special wishes.
Q: I'd like my family
name to be honored at the Wisconsin Humane
Society. How do I learn about naming opportunities?
A: The gift
of an estate is treasured at WHS as a significant
personal commitment to animals. It is our
pleasure to ensure your wishes are met by
offering an array of naming
opportunities throughout the Wisconsin
Humane Society building. Please contact our
Development Department at (414) 431-6162 for
Should I tell WHS about my estate plans?
It is incredibly helpful to WHS staff to be
able to plan for the future of our lifesaving
programs. If you have included WHS in your
estate plans, please let us know! We'd love
to be able to thank you during your lifetime.
you have ANY questions at all, please don't
hesitate to e-mail
or call our Development Office at (414) 431-6162.
part of this information is intended as legal
advice. Please consult with competent tax
and legal professionals to determine the best
giving strategies for your situation.