Welcome to Legacy
Inside This Issue

Former Planned Giving Officer Continues Mission with Gift Annuity
Talking Finances with Parents
What If You Died Without a Will?
Homework Before Meeting with an Attorney

Mission Statement

The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization led by volunteers and guided by its Congressional Charter and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross Movement, will provide relief to victims of disaster and help prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.

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What If You Died Without a Will?

What would happen if you died without a will? There's an old saying that "the state has made your will" — if you haven't done it yourself. This means that your estate may pass to beneficiaries according to the "intestacy" laws of the state in which you reside at death. Here is an example of an intestate's will that several states have "drafted" for people who die there. Exact treatment would depend on where you are living at death; a state-by-state analysis can be found at:

Intestate's Last Will and Testament

Being of sound mind and memory, I, Will Less, do hereby publish this as my Last Will and Testament:

FIRST — I give my wife only one-half of my possessions, and I give my children the remaining one-half.

SECOND — Should my wife remarry, her second husband shall be entitled to one-half of everything my wife possesses, including her inheritance from me. Should my children need some of this share for their support, the second husband shall not be bound to spend any of his share on my children's behalf.

THIRD — I specifically disinherit all the worthwhile causes and institutions that I have supported all my life.

FOURTH — Under existing tax law, there are certain legitimate avenues open to me to reduce death taxes. Since I prefer to have my money used for governmental purposes rather than for the benefit of my wife and children, I direct that no effort be made to reduce taxes.

FIFTH — I appoint my wife to handle my estate, but as a safeguard, I direct that she give a Performance Bond to guarantee that she does everything exactly as she should.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand to this my last Will and Testament this ______ day of ____________ 20____.

Few of us would deliberately choose a will like this one. It's important to note that the intestate's will cannot provide for worthwhile institutions such as the American Red Cross. Please call us if you would like more information on will planning, including how to plan a satisfying bequest to the Red Cross.

If you would like more detailed information on any of the topics discussed, visit our website,

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© Copyright 2005 The American National Red Cross. All Rights Reserved.

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The articles in the issues of the Legacy newsletters are for general illustration purposes only. Information, Gift annuity and tax rates were current as of the time of publication. There can be no guarantee that such information will continue to be accurate in the future. Interested Donors should check with the Gift Planning Office for current rates and deduction amounts before completing their gifts. Calculations of tax deductions will vary based on applicable federal discount rates, which change on a monthly basis. The American National Red Cross is not engaged in rendering legal or tax advisory service. For advice or assistance in specific cases, the services of an attorney or other professional advisor should be obtained. Certain links in this site connect to other Web sites maintained by third parties over whom the American National Red Cross has no control. American National Red Cross makes no representations as to the accuracy or any other aspect of information contained in other Web sites.