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National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Leaving NAMI a Bequest

The life of a twin brother informs my mind and heart as I ponder why it is that the mentally ill pile up on our streets and the streets of the world. Richard was a freshman at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, beginning his study of the one hundred great books, when he was drafted into the army and sent to the battlefields of World War II. I was never to see him well again.

As children, we had screamed in hallways when they had tried to put us in separate classes.

--Elizabeth, generous supporter of NAMI

Even biology eventually separated Elizabeth from her twin brother Richard. While he struggled with schizophrenia in hospitals that broke her heart. Elizabeth wrote, taught, and established programs to serve the needs of elderly and low-income residents in Washington, D.C.

In her will, Elizabeth made her final gesture of love and commitment with a gift to NAMI, the existence of which, she wrote, "bears witness to the fact that nothing that can be envisioned is impossible. This organization has already been effective and has the potential of giving leadership for radical change."

NAMI deeply appreciates the generous gestures of Elizabeth and the many other NAMI members who have expressed their faith in our mission and work through their bequests. For those wishing to make similar gifts, the options are many--but sometimes seem daunting. A simple bequest or trust, however, is neither limited to the very wealthy nor complicated to implement.

Your will is an important part of an effective estate plan. It directs--clearly and specifically--how you want to transfer your assets to those people and charitable organizations you care about. It is important to consult an attorney when drafting your will. Each state has unique requirements only professionals are aware of.

Sample Language

Once you’ve determined that you would like to make a bequest to NAMI, the following sample charitable bequest language can be used in your will or revocable living trust:

An Unrestricted Bequest:
"I give, devise and bequeath to NAMI (federal tax ID number 43-1201653), located at 3803 N. Fairfax Dr., Ste. 100 Arlington, VA 22203, the sum of $_____ or ____% or real or personal property herein described, to be used for the general purpose of the organization, at the discretion of its Board of Directors."

A Restricted Bequest: (to support a particular program or area of interest to you)
"I give, devise and bequeath to NAMI (federal tax ID number 43-1201653), located at 3803 N. Fairfax Dr., Ste. 100 Arlington, VA 22203, the sum of $_____ or ____% or real or personal property herein described, to be used for the purpose of _____________."

A Residuary Bequest: (which leaves any remaining assets from your estate after all other obligations have been met)
"I give, devise and bequeath to NAMI (federal tax ID number 43-1201653), located at 3803 N. Fairfax Dr., Ste. 100 Arlington, VA 22203, all the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, of every kind of description, wherever situated and whether now owned or hereafter acquired, including any property with respect to which I may have power of appointment."

Elizabeth wrote, "Change is not dependent on our gathering more statistics or reading more learned journals or in absorbing new findings, as important as they are. Our failure is in not letting what we see and hear every day sink into our hearts. The task before us is no lesser than the education of our emotions."

If you have remembered NAMI in a similar way, please notify NAMI's Office of Development.  It will give us an opportunity to welcome you to the NAMI Iris Circle, a select group of NAMI supporters who are committed to ensuring NAMI's ability to serve generations to come.

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