Determining the distribution of your estate is done by drawing up a will in the presence of a notary. There are two ways to leave a gift to an effective organisation through your will:
- A bequest makes the organisation (co-)heir to (a part of) the inheritance. The size of this depends on the total size of the estate and the number of heirs. Children can always claim their legitimate share.
- A bequest gives the organisation a fixed amount of money or an asset, such as a house.
It is wise to arrange these matters properly with a notary.
Unfortunately, at present there is little to no information from notary’s offices about effectively altruistic organisations. In their waiting rooms, you can usually find a Charity Guide from their own organisation or magazine about deeds and inheritance. Information about effective altruistic organisations is nowhere to be found there. You must find that information elsewhere – on our site, for example.
Think long term
Suppose you want to leave some of your estate to an effectively altruistic organisation. How will you know if that organisation is still effective after your death? In the best case, it may be that the original problem has already been solved by that time. For example, a vaccine has been developed for malaria.
Some other possibilities are that the organisation has more money than it can effectively use, that the situation has changed or the approach has become outdated. In that case, the organisation no longer meets the criteria for effectiveness. That is why it is important to assess which organisation is future-proof when making a legacy. Naming an Effective Altruism Fund is then worth considering. They determine at least annually what the most effective organisations are so you can be assured your gift will go to an effective intervention.
The reserve list
It is also good to indicate in your will what should happen if an organisation no longer exists or is no longer an ANBI in the future. In that case, you can mention other organisations that will take its place. For example, other effective philanthropic funds or organisations.
We are happy to help if you want more information, advice or help with providing information to the notary.
Our contact person is Andrea de Wildt, chair of Stichting Effectief Doneren. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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