The Mayne Island Conservancy is very excited to have recently received a wonderful bequest, which we’d like to share with you, but first, what exactly is a bequest?
A bequest is a gift made as part of a will or trust to an individual or to a non-profit organization, trust, or foundation with charitable status. A bequest is a gift, but a gift is not necessarily a bequest. A bequest can be in the form of stocks, bonds, cash, jewelry, artifacts, or property.
The Conservancy has received a very generous bequest of land on Mayne Island that the landholders would like to be kept as green space for future generations to enjoy. Their wish is to help increase publicly accessible space, as we lose more and more property both locally and around the world to development. Under the guidance of lawyers from both parties, the wording of the bequest was worked out with the donors and the Conservancy, accompanied by a “Letter of Wishes” from the property owners, which lays out their vision for the land.
It is often many years before a bequest is realized, and over the years, the charitable organization, its staff, and directors will inevitably go through changes. When the time comes for a bequest to take effect, the executor of the will may request assurances from the charity (for example, the Conservancy) that its mandate and resources enable it to commit to fulfilling the landholder’s vision. This ensures that the new ownership of the property is in keeping with the owners’ wishes.
Needless to say, we are thrilled with this bequest. Perhaps reading about it here in the Oystercatcher will inspire you to think about including the Conservancy in your will. You can do this with the help of your lawyer, with or without input from the Conservancy, but we encourage anyone thinking about a bequest to let us know, so that we can confirm whether or not we can honour your wishes to the fullest. Find out more about bequests here.