Yes. Our Bequest Language is on this page.
A bequest is a gift that you make through a will or a revocable trust functioning as a will. A beneficiary designation is a gift you make by way of a contract. Life insurance policies, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and retirement plans are examples of assets that pass by contractual beneficiary designations. If you don’t name a beneficiary for one of these contracts, or if the beneficiary designation is to someone who has predeceased you or from whom you have since been divorced, then the assets will go to your probate estate and pass by bequest. Though probate isn’t as bad as it is sometimes said to be, it can add costs and delay to estate administration. Most people don’t like that, so it is important to complete and to regularly review your beneficiary designation forms. You can make a gift to charity via bequest or beneficiary designation form.
For all gifts of personal property worth more than $5,000, fair market value will be determined by an independent appraisal that you will obtain.
If the property is something we can use in furthering our tax-exempt purpose, you receive an income tax deduction equal to the appraised fair market value of the property, with no capital gains tax due on its transfer to us.
You can make a gift using property that you no longer need or are able to maintain—freeing yourself from additional bills and extra work.
For all gifts of real estate worth more than $5,000, fair market value will be determined by an independent appraisal that you will obtain.
-You receive an income tax deduction equal to the appraised fair market value of the property, with no capital gains tax due on the transfer to us.
-You remove a large taxable asset from your estate.
-You can take advantage of a variety of gift formats available for a donation of real estate, each offering unique planning benefits.
In many cases yes, and considerable tax benefits can result. However, giving closely held stock is more complicated than giving common stock. You will need to establish the fair market value of the stock, and we will look into its marketability and the likelihood that the company will redeem it. We stand ready to assist you if you are considering such a gift.
It is important that you contact us so that we can assist you with transfer instructions. If you own securities in a brokerage account, we can help you set up an electronic transfer of the shares to our brokerage account. If you possess actual stock certificates, we can tell you how to sign the certificates over to us and fill out a stock power form.
-First, you’ll receive a charitable income tax deduction equal to the fair market value of the shares, no matter what you originally paid for them.
-Second, you will pay no capital gains tax on the transfer. This combination of benefits makes giving appreciated securities a very rewarding charitable and financial plan.
You can give us a specific amount of money or an item of property, or give us a percentage of the balance remaining in your estate after taxes, expenses, and specific bequests have been paid. You can tell us to use your bequest for a particular program or activity here, or allow us to use it for the needs and opportunities that are most relevant to us when your gift is received.
The circumstances of our lives change constantly. If you already have a will, here are some everyday events that should nudge you to change it: marriage or re-marriage; divorce or the death of a spouse; a new baby, step-children or grandchildren; the death of named heirs; the sale of your house, a family business, or any asset that made up a large part of your estate; adjustments in distributions to your heirs to account for lifetime gifts to some of them, or the anticipated need of others for ongoing care after your death; your wish to add or change a charitable beneficiary.
An executor or personal representative is the person who will manage and distribute your estate in accordance with your will. An executor’s work will be monitored by the probate court. An executor does not need to be an expert in finances, probate law or taxes (they should hire experts in those fields to assist them). A good executor will be honest, organized and possess good common sense. Your executor should be willing and able to serve in this capacity, too. Most people will name an adult child, another close heir, or a financial advisor. If possible, name someone who lives nearby and who is familiar with your financial matters. That will make it easier to do chores like collecting mail, selling assets, and finding important records and papers.
A codicil is an amendment that makes one or more particular changes to a will, but otherwise leaves the document intact. A codicil thus saves the cost and complication of re-writing an entire will.
Download a sample codicil.
If the policy is paid-up (i.e., no more premiums are due), or you have made some premium payments but not all of them, the charitable deduction will be the lesser of the policy’s fair market value (which is approximately its cash surrender value) or the total of your net premium payments.
To qualify for a deduction, you must make us the irrevocable owners as well as beneficiary of the policy. If you name us beneficiary but retain ownership of the policy, the IRS holds that you have not made a completed gift and therefore cannot claim a deduction.
Similarly, there is no deduction for taking out a new life insurance policy, even if you make us irrevocable owners. You can claim a deduction for gifts you make to us that offset our ongoing premium payments on the policy (since we are the owner, we pay the premiums).
We make that decision on a gift-by-gift basis. We look at actuarial factors, the size of the potential death benefit, and whether you want us to use your gift for long-term endowment or an immediate project.
Simply contact your IRA or retirement plan administrator and request a copy of the change of beneficiary form. Use the form to designate our organization to receive all, or a portion, or the remainder of your plan’s assets.
Both have distinct advantages. A gift of cash will produce a larger tax-free portion of the annuity. A gift of stock can increase your effective rate of return because of the reduced capital gains cost. Both assets produce the same annuity rate and charitable income tax deduction.
A charitable gift annuity can be set up for only one or two lives. This is typically a husband and wife, but it could be two siblings, two friends, etc. Generally, a child’s longer life expectancy will reduce the annuity payout rate to a level you would find unattractive.
Yes, you can. You can set a series of alternate start dates in your deferred gift annuity contract, then choose the one that best fits your evolving work, health, and family circumstances. Each start date will offer progressively higher payment rates. Your charitable deduction will be based on the earliest start date for which your annuity contract provides.
In most cases, yes. Remember that an asset like that may not be producing income, and so the unitrust’s beneficiaries may receive little or nothing until a sale and re-investment into income-producing assets.
It depends on the age(s) of any children you name as income beneficiaries. The charity’s remainder interest in the unitrust must be at least 10% of the value of the assets you donate to it. This value is calculated using the life expectancies of the income beneficiaries. The younger your children, the longer their life expectancies and the smaller the value of the charitable remainder. Even younger adult children may disqualify the trust.
-You will receive an immediate income tax deduction for your gift; pay no capital gains tax on the transfer of appreciated assets to the trust; and remove a large asset from your taxable estate.
-You and/or other beneficiaries receive stable, predictable income for life or a term of years.
-The difference between market value and the purchase price is your gift, for which you’ll receive a charitable deduction.
-You pay no capital gains tax on the donated portion of the property.
-With just one transaction, you can take cash out of an asset and make a significant gift to us.
-You can apply a lump-sum payment from us toward the price of another property or the entry fee for a retirement facility.
-You can use installment payments from us as supplemental retirement income.
It depends on the age(s) of any children you name as income beneficiaries. The charity’s remainder interest in the trust must be at least 10% of the value of the assets you donate to it. This value is calculated using the life expectancies of the income beneficiaries. Thus, the younger your children, the longer their life expectancies and the smaller the value of the charitable remainder. Even younger adult children may disqualify the trust.
The 10% target is more difficult to meet with an annuity trust than with a unitrust.
-Even though you haven’t moved out, you will receive an immediate charitable deduction based on the fair market value of the property (minus the present value of your future tenancy there).
-You pay no rent for your ongoing use of the property.
-You can make a significant gift with what may be the most valuable asset you own, without disturbing your living arrangements or your cash flow.
-Any capital improvements you make to the property will generate further charitable deductions.
-You can terminate your life estate at any time,accelerating the remainder to charity, and take an additional income tax deduction.
In many cases, you probably will not need a lawyer. However, your codicil must still be properly witnessed, signed, and notarized according to the laws of your state before being added to the will—otherwise, it will be deemed invalid.
We get it—life can change in an instant. That’s why, in many cases, it’s easy to change or even revoke a planned gift. However, some gifts — such as a Charitable Remainder Trust, are Irrevocable — they cannot be changed or revoked once you’ve made them. Always check with your financial advisor before committing to your gift.
Contributions to a donor advised fund are deductible subject to the same percentage limits as contributions to a public charity, that is, 50 percent of adjusted gross income for cash (temporarily increased to 60 percent through 2025), and 30 percent for appreciated property.
You claim the deduction for the year in which you make the contribution to the DAF, even though distributions from the fund to the ultimate charitable recipients may be delayed to later years.
Typically you can designate your children or other successor advisors to continue to advise distributions from the fund after your death.
Although you do not get an itemized deduction for the present value of the residuum to the issuing charity, he distribution from your IRA is entirely excluded from income, as though you had an above the line deduction for the entire amount. And if you are age 73 or older, the entire amount of the distribution counts toward your required minimum distribution (RMD).
While it is true that payments from the annuity contract will be entirely ordinary income, with no allowance for recovery of your investment in the contract, the tax benefit at the front end will more than compensate.
No. A CRUT cannot be funded with mortgaged real estate. Your three best options are:
-Pay off the mortgage with other assets and fund the CRUT with the unencumbered real estate. You might mortgage some other piece of property instead, and then use some of the income from the CRUT to make the mortgage payments.
-Depending on our gift acceptance policies and state regulations, you might be able to fund a charitable gift annuity (CGA) with the value of the real estate net of the mortgage. However, this will trigger a bargain sale, causing you to recognize gain on a portion of the value of the property.
-You can gift us the property immediately or through a bequest. If the property is still encumbered at the time of the gift, this will trigger a bargain sale to the extent of the outstanding principal on the mortgage loan.
In some cases, yes. A transfer for that purpose would generally be considered an unrelated use, reducing your charitable deduction to your adjusted basis in the property. Be sure to consult with your advisors before making a gift decision.
Yes. To be deductible at fair market value, items of personal property must be related to the tax-exempt functions of our organization. In other words, we have to be able to use them. Property gifts that are unrelated to our mission may be deducted only at your cost basis. Discuss this carefully with your financial advisor or accountant.
In many cases, yes! Real estate is most often placed in a charitable remainder unitrust, which will pay income to you, your spouse, and/or other beneficiaries, and provide you with income and capital gains tax benefits.
Here are some questions we will need to answer before we can accept your gift offer:
-Can we use the property to help us carry out our mission?
-If not, is the property saleable within a reasonable period of time?
-If we keep the property, will the costs of adapting it to our use and maintaining it over the long-term be reasonable?
-Are there any mortgages or liens on the property?
-Does the property have any environmental issues that could be a liability for us?
You can, but your deduction will be limited to the current, depressed value of the stock. It is wiser planning to sell the stock, recognize the loss (which can offset realized gains and/or be carried forward indefinitely), and then get a second tax benefit by giving us the cash proceeds.
Yes, and we can coordinate the transfer with the administrators of your fund.
We take the mean of the high and low prices for the security on the day it came into our possession. If the high price was $80 per share and the low price was $70 on that day, your gift will be valued at $75 per share.
-You can make a gift that costs you nothing during your lifetime, and keeps your assets under your control.
-You can change your bequest if your circumstances change.
-Your bequest lets us know that you believe we will be doing good work, far into the future.
-You’ll feel good about doing good and building your legacy.
Some sixty percent of Americans die without a valid will. This is unfortunate in most cases, because state laws will take over and distribute your estate in accordance to a prescribed formula often in ways that you would not choose. You won’t be able to provide extra help to particular family members who may need it, or benefit friends who have been close to you. You won’t be able to help the charities that have meant much to you during your lifetime. And you’ll subject your loved ones to unnecessary pain and hardship as they attempt to sort out your affairs while also mourning your loss.
Some states allow individuals to compose their own will. If it is properly witnessed and signed, many probate courts will accept such a will.
However, most people have no idea how to get started with such a task. And will they adequately cover all the bases in a self-authored document?
A will is a very important legal document. Therefore, in the vast majority of cases, it is wise to take advantage of the expertise of a qualified attorney. A will is one of the least expensive legal documents, and a well-written document will save your heirs much both in dollars and hassle.
A revocable trust (revocable meaning that its terms can be changed during your lifetime) holds title to your property, then distributes it according to the terms of the trust after your death. The probate court does not review these distributions. In states where probate fees are expensive, a living trust can save costs that a will would incur. Also, if you own property in another state, consider a living trust instead of a will to avoid having to deal with two probate courts.
However, a revocable trust and a will are both subject to the same amounts of estate and inheritance taxes.
-You can make a gift using an asset that you may have overlooked: paid-up policies whose coverage your family no longer needs.
-You can create a gift that will benefit us in the future, at little cost to yourself today.
-If you donate a policy during your lifetime, you receive an immediate income tax deduction for its current value.
Simply contact your life insurance company and request a change of beneficiary/ownership form. Designate us as the new owner and beneficiary of your policy.
-You escape the income and estate taxes that will both be levied on the remaining balance of your retirement plan if you leave it to heirs.
-You can give us the most disadvantageously taxed asset in your estate, and leave more favorably taxed property to your heirs.
-You can continue to take withdrawals from your plan during your lifetime.
-You can change the beneficiary if your or your family’s circumstances change.
-You can use it to convert highly appreciated but low-yielding assets into a lifetime income stream at greatly reduced capital gains cost, while also securing an immediate income tax deduction.
-You will frequently receive a higher payment rate from a gift annuity than from any other life-income gift.
-Your payments will be safe, stable and predictable.
-Part of your annuity payments will come to you tax-free. If you funded your annuity with appreciated assets, another portion of your payments will be taxed at low capital gains rates. Only the remaining balance of the payments will be taxed as ordinary income.
No, a gift annuity is a contract between us, providing for our payments to you in return for your gift to us. Your lifetime payments are one of our general obligations, fully backed by all of our assets.
-By deferring the start of payments, you receive a higher annuity rate and a larger charitable deduction than an annuity paying you immediately could offer.
-If you are a younger donor in high-earnings years, a deferred gift annuity addresses two of your planning needs: a large income tax deduction today, and additional retirement income tomorrow.
-You can plan the payments from your deferred annuity to begin when you will need them, such as retirement or when your grandchildren will start needing help with tuition.
-You can establish a series of deferred annuities over several years, all scheduled to begin paying you when you retire, and paid for with funds you have already set aside for retirement saving.
-You will receive an immediate income tax deduction for your gift, while also removing a large asset from your taxable estate.
-If you fund your unitrust with appreciated property, you pay no capital gains tax on the transfer, and a portion of the income stream will be taxed at the lower, capital gains rate.
-You can use this most-flexible gift plan to hold temporarily illiquid assets; to invest first for growth and then for income with no reduction for capital gains tax; and to address short-term family obligations without making long-term commitments of capital.
You can fund it today with assets such as shares in a family business or a piece of investment real estate and take a charitable deduction; and then when a pre-determined event, such as the sale of the asset occurs, you can flip the unitrust, at no capital gains cost, into investments that generate lifetime income for you and your beneficiaries.
A financial institution, an advisor, or you, yourself, may serve.
Debt should be paid off before the gift is complete. If we accept property subject to a mortgage, the IRS considers that a taxable benefit to you, even if you retain responsibility for the debt. Placing debt encumbered property in a charitable remainder trust will disqualify the trust.
A financial institution, an advisor, or you, yourself, may serve.
Typically, they would be invested in a balanced portfolio that is designed to produce both income and growth over the term of the trust. Annuity trusts are also well suited to accept transfers of long-term, tax-free bonds and pass tax-free income through to the beneficiaries.
Your planned gift is a significant addition to our long-term financial strength and our ability to meet the challenges and opportunities the future will bring. However, today’s efforts are supported through annual gifts, and we greatly appreciate and encourage any annual support you may want to consider.
Absolutely. While we always recommend our supporters have a lawyer review any estate plan documents, we know that for many folks, an online will planner will suffice. It’s certainly better than having no will at all—and you can always hire a lawyer to check it over, just to be sure.
No. Our costs are covered by the gift component of the gift annuity transaction.
You get an immediate deduction for the present value of the remainder after your death to the sponsoring charity, and because that value is calculated with reference to an ordinary income interest in the trust rather than a fixed annuity or unitrust percentage, the deduction tends to be larger.
On the downside, distributions from the fund are taxed entirely as ordinary income.
You get to work with the management of your favored charity in setting long term goals for the organization, and you derive the satisfaction of knowing that your gift today will continue to support those goals far into the future.