The most common form of legacy gift is a bequest from a Will or Trust. A bequest is a section of your will or living trust that directs a gift from your estate to the person or institution of your choice.

  • Bequests may be a fixed amount (e.g. $20,000), a percentage (such as 10%), or a remainder after all other specific bequests have been distributed
  • Specific property such as real estate may also be used in a charitable bequest

Sample language to add a bequest to a Will or Trust

General Bequest: “I give to Just in Time for Foster Youth, a California nonprofit corporation, Tax ID #20-5448416, <the sum of $____________> to be used in furtherance of its exempt charitable purposes.”

Residual or Proportional Bequest: Substitute “<xx percent> or <all of the residue of my estate.>”

Bequest of Property: Substitute “<all of my interest in the following described property ______________________________________>”

Click here to download a complimentary Estate Planning Guide.

When you make a bequest, please fill out our Letter of Intent form by clicking the button below. Once filled out, right-click and save; then email to


When Don Patterson first read an article about Just in Time for Foster Youth, he knew right away that this mission spoke to his heart.

He, too, had spent time in foster care as a child and, even after a 30-year thriving career as a faculty member at Grossmont College, he still remembered vividly the challenges of growing up apart from one’s family.

When Don met JIT staff member, Virgo, for coffee, he frequently expressed gratitude for the work we do for our “foster brothers and sisters.” When Don visited our JIT headquarters, he was surprised and pleased that we made the effort to decorate our space like we would a home – with photos of our JIT family, inspirational sayings, a welcoming kitchen, and comfy spots to hang out and reflect.

As his partner, Enrique tells us, “Don always believed that any youth should have the opportunity to develop his/her potential in this life. He was an excellent role model and succeeded in education and the arts.”

Don always sent his annual check to Just in Time at the end of the year once he figured out how
much was in his savings. But Don also gave careful thought to his legacy, and he created an estate plan with JIT as one of his beneficiaries. We were very saddened to hear about Don’s sudden passing as he was a special man and a good friend to JIT. We’ll be forever grateful for his commitment to helping other foster youth succeed, both during and beyond his lifetime


Take Advantage of Favorable Tax Strategies with a Legacy Gift from a Retirement Account

  • When deciding which assets to leave to heirs and which assets to leave to causes you care about such as Just in Time, choose to make bequests to nonprofits from retirement plans such as an IRA. Retirement plan gifts are taxable to heirs, but not to charities
  • Bequests from IRAs are one of the easiest legacy gifts to set up: all it takes is a simple change of beneficiary form – your financial advisor or IRA administrator can direct you to an online form

Save Taxes on Gifts You Make Today

Known as the Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) or Charitable IRA Rollover, gifts to Just in Time made directly from an Individual Retirement Account are a win-win-win!

  • Avoid income taxes – even for those who don’t itemize
  • Distributions may count towards the Required Minimum Distribution for investors over age 72
  • Invest in the lives of transition age foster youth

 Click here to download an easy QCD request form to share with your Financial Advisor or Retirement Plan Custodian/Administrator


Gifts From Retirement Accounts Are Easy to Make

  • Funds must come from a traditional IRA account, Inherited IRA, Simple IRA (inactive), or an inactive SEP
  • Your gift must go directly to Just in Time
  • Your IRA administrator can process the transfer for you
  • For more information, see our IRA Frequently Asked Questions


  • An asset you no longer need can make a wonderful gift
  • Many people hold paid-up life insurance policies that they no longer need to protect their family
  • Ownership may be transferred to Just in Time, who will utilize the value to support our life-affirming services
  • Receive an income tax deduction equal to the cash surrender value of the policy


If you own real estate, consider gifting it to Just in Time when you no longer need it. In addition to avoiding the hassle of a sale, gifting real estate such as your residence or rental property may provide significant tax and other benefits.

There are multiple ways to invest in the futures of young people leaving the foster care system with a gift of real estate:

  • Make a specific bequest in a will or trust
  • Avoid paying capital gains on appreciated property by gifting it to Just in Time, who will sell it and invest the proceeds to brighten the lives of hundreds of transition age foster youth
  • Create a life estate: transfer a future interest in your home now, receive a sizable immediate tax deduction, and continue to use and enjoy the home during your lifetime. A future gift with immediate benefits!


Charitable Remainder Trusts, Charitable Annuity Trusts, and Charitable Gift Annuities each allow donors to make a gift of cash or appreciated property in exchange for payments for their lifetime or a term of years.

  • Avoid capital gains on the sale of your appreciated assets
  • Receive an immediate charitable income tax deduction for the charitable portion of the contribution
  • Establish a future legacy gift to Just in Time

For more information on any of the options above,
please contact:

Click here to download a complimentary Estate Planning Guide.

This information is intended to be educational in nature and does not serve as professional tax, legal, or accounting advice. For specific advice about any of these concepts, please consult your qualified professional advisor(s).

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Co-authored by Just in Time staff with lived experience, this book is sparking the nationwide conversation around a new, youth-led mental model for young people leaving foster care.



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