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Gifts That Cost You Nothing Now

Gifts in a Will and Gifts by Beneficiary Designation are two easy ways to make gifts that will have an impact on animals in need for generations to come — and they don’t cost anything now.

Gifts in a Will

A gift in your will is one of the easiest ways to create your legacy of rescuing pets in need and connecting them with families who love them.

  • ✓ No cost: Costs you nothing now to give in this way;
  • ✓ Flexible: You can alter your gift or change your mind at any time and for any reason;
  • ✓ Lasting impact: Your gift will create your legacy of impacting homeless animals.

4 simple ‘no-cost-now’ ways to give in your will

  1. General gift in your will
    Leaves a gift of a stated sum of money in your will or living trust. For example, you might decide to leave each of your grandchildren $10,000. It’s considered to be ‘general’ because it doesn’t specify from where the money comes.
  2. Residual gift in your will
    Leaves what is left over after all other debts, taxes, and other expenses have been paid.
  3. Specific gift in your will
    Leaves a specific dollar amount, percentage, fraction, or specific items (collections, art, books, jewelry, and so on).
  4. Contingent gift in your will
    Leaves a stated amount or share only if a spouse, family member or other heir/beneficiary does not live longer than you. In other words, your gift is contingent upon whether or not they survive after you.

You can mix these no-cost ways together. For example, you might consider leaving a specific percentage (such as 50%) of the residual to Seattle Humane contingent upon the survival of your spouse.

Gifts by Beneficiary Designation

It’s easy to put your bank accounts, retirement funds, savings bonds, and more to ensure every animal gets a chance — and it costs nothing now.

By naming Seattle Humane as a beneficiary of these assets, you create a better future for animals. The impact your gift makes through Seattle Humane becomes your personal legacy to the world.

Potential benefits of gifts by beneficiary designation:

  • Reduce or eliminate taxes on retirement assets;
  • Reduce or avoid probate fees;
  • No cost to you now to give;
  • Create your legacy with Seattle Humane.

To name Seattle Humane as a beneficiary of your retirement plan, contact your bank or insurance company to see whether a change of beneficiary form must be completed.  


How to change a beneficiary designation

  1. Login to your account or request a Change of Beneficiary Form from your custodian (the business holding your money or assets).
  2. Follow the links to change your beneficiary or fill out the form.
  3. Be sure to use our legal name: The Humane Society for Seattle/King County.
  4. Include our tax identification number: 91-0282060.
  5. Save or submit your information online or return your Change of Beneficiary Form.

Types of Gifts



Bank accounts, CDs, brokerage accounts, and commercial annuities

This is one of the easiest gifts to give and one of the most useful in accomplishing what you want – helping animals in need. The next time you visit your bank, you can name The Humane Society for Seattle/King County (Tax ID: 91-0282060) as the beneficiary of a checking or savings bank account, a certificate of deposit (CD), or a brokerage account. When you do, you’ll take a powerful step toward rescuing pets in need and connecting them with families who love them for generations to come.



Retirement Funds Gift

You can simply name Seattle Humane as a beneficiary of your retirement plan to help animals get the care they need.



Savings Bonds

If you have bonds that have stopped earning interest and you plan to redeem them, you might owe income tax on the appreciation. That could result in your heirs receiving only a fraction of the value of the bonds in which you invested. Because Seattle Humane is a tax-exempt institution, naming us as a beneficiary means that 100% of your gift will go toward helping animals in need.



Donor-Advised Fund Residuals

What remains in a donor-advised fund is governed by the contract you completed when you created your fund. When you name Seattle Humane as a “successor” of your account or a portion of your account value, more animals in need will be connected to the people who love them.


To support our mission of connecting pets with loving families, please contact Jessie Swisher Spiers, Chief Advancement Officer, at (425) 649-7552 or [email protected]attlehumane.org

Complimentary Planning Resources

Learn more about easy ways to leave a legacy with our free guides!


I'm Here To Help!

Sarah Freeman
Senior Major and Planned Giving Officer
(425) 373-5387
[email protected]

The content found on this site is general in nature and intended to be used for informational purposes only. It should not be relied upon as legal, tax, accounting or other professional advice. To determine how a gift or estate planning decision might affect your particular circumstances, it is expressly recommended that you consult an attorney, financial advisor or other qualified professional.