There are many different ways to leave your own legacy. Your legacy gift can be designed to match your personal circumstances.
Your will is an important element in your estate plan that enables you to protect the people you love, create a lasting partnership with the charities that you care about, and help ensure the future of the Jewish community. You can create a permanent legacy by leaving a bequest of a specific amount of cash, a percentage of your estate, or the remainder of your estate. There's no limit on the amount you may set aside from your estateyou can make a gift as large or small as you'd like.
You may choose to make a gift of cash, securities, or other propertyand your estate will receive a tax deduction in the amount of your charitable bequest. A charitable bequest allows you to retain use and control over your assets during your lifetime.
A bequest is a legacy gift, distributed from the donor's estate after the end of his or her life. If not designated, it can be spent in the year that it matures. An endowment is a fund that is held in perpetuity, distributing a specified percentage annually to the designated purpose.
A bequest can be added to your new or existing will through a simple codicil that states your intention, and can be a percentage or fixed amount of your estate. You can use this sample bequest language, which you can use when meeting with your attorney. Find out more on charitable bequests here.
You can name the charity you care about most as the beneficiary of a new or existing life insurance policy, or transfer ownership of an existing policy to the charity.
A change in the beneficiary designation of an existing policy will allow you to make a legacy gift without any additional cost.
A gift of an existing policy could provide the policy owner with an additional charitable deduction. Find out more on life insurance here.
If you have accumulated substantial amounts in your retirement account and you are in the highest brackets for paying income and estate taxes, those taxes can exceed 70% of the amount in the plan. These are not ideal assets to bequeath to your heirs. Naming one or more charities as the after-death beneficiaries of your IRA or pension fund (by designating specific amounts or percentages) can save these taxes while supporting the causes closest to your heart.
With a quick update of your beneficiary designation form, you can direct funds to your favorite charity. Changing your beneficiary form often takes less than 5 minutes! Find out more on retirement plans here.
A charitable lead trust is both an income and wealth transfer vehicle, enabling you to transfer income-producing assets to the next generation at a significantly lower tax cost while meeting your philanthropic objectives. All trusts must be established with the help of an attorney. Find out more on charitable lead trusts here.
A charitable remainder trust is a creative way to create a lasting legacy in your name and receive income from the trust for life or for a specified number of years. Upon expiration of that term, the remainder of the trust goes to the Jewish communal organization of your choice to establish a permanent endowment.
Your charitable remainder trust can be designed as either an Annuity Trust, with a fixed annual payment to you, or as a Unitrust, in which case you are paid a percentage of the value of the assets. All trusts must be established with the help of an attorney. Find out more on charitable remainder trusts here.
What are the benefits to you?
This information is intended as an educational tool and to provide general information only; it should not be construed as legal or accounting advice. Individuals should consult with their own financial, legal, and accounting advisors to review any charitable estate planning options.