Difference Between Bequest and Donation

By: | Updated: Oct-16, 2022
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Bequest and donation are two different words that are very similar in meaning. These two words can be used interchangeably. However, there is a slight difference between these two words that you need to know if you are planning to write a letter.

Summary Table

Bequest Donation
An act of giving someone their assets after they die An act of giving someone (whether individual or group) for the purpose of charity
The assets can only be given after the previous owner dies The assets can be given even when the previous owner is still alive

Difference Between Bequest and Donation


A bequest is a type of gift that a person makes when he or she is not expected to live for a longer period. A bequest is usually made in the form of property. It can also be in the form of money, real estate, or other assets.

A donation is a type of gift that a person makes to a charity or other entity when they want to, whether they’re still alive or after they die. This donation can be made by way of cash, assets, real estate, securities, or other assets.

Difference Between Bequest and Donation

The main difference between a bequest and a donation is that a bequest is made by the donor, while a donation is made by the donee.

A bequest is a gift given to the person who gives it. This can also be called inheritance or legacy. In this case, the gift does not have to be used for a specific purpose. For example, you can leave money to your grandchild when you die, so that he or she can live comfortably without having to work for a long time. You can also leave some of your assets in trust so that your grandchild gets them at his or her death.

A donation is a gift given to another person, who uses it for some purpose or other. It may be used for philanthropic purposes or in furtherance of any cause that one believes in.

It may also be used for charity work, educational purposes, and social services among others. The donee usually uses the donated assets only by the intentions of the donor who gave them to him or her.

This can include using these assets in furtherance of one’s cause and goals as well as doing charitable work with these assets after they are no longer needed by the donee.

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