Name changes and Bequests
I once met with someone at the Public Trust office who told me that the Public Trust is still administering bequests that were made many, many years ago for charities and causes that no longer exist. Have you ever wondered if any of your loyal supporters have made bequests for something quite specific which you will stop doing at some point in the future? Have you changed your name in recent years or amalgamated with your national body? Have you deregistered your charity to join forces with others? Did you ever consider bequests in your strategic planning decisions?
I don't know the actual answer to these questions, but I suggest that it's something you might want to think about.
My recommendation is that from time to time you communicate directly with your donors, especially when the organisation is undergoing a major change in direction or focus, to advise them that any bequests may need to be updated to reflect these changes. Advise them of the change, and suggest that they advise you of their bequest pledge so that you can keep them updated; and of course so that you can celebrate their commitment to you, while they are still alive.