Bequests are known as revocable planned gifts, in that they can be updated and changed. Because the gift has yet to occur, there is no charitable income tax deduction. However, your estate receives a charitable deduction, thereby lowering the total amount that may become subject to federal and possibly state estate taxes.
Another revocable planned gift is a Designation Upon Death, which enables a donor to pass on life insurance, and retirement, brokerage and banking accounts and other assets through a beneficiary form. Like bequests, you can name a charity as a 100 percent or partial beneficiary. These provisions are also revocable, and are only deductible as a charitable gift from your estate. Designations upon death are also separate from your will and not part of probate, so distributions are made much sooner to the beneficiaries.