Here are five of the best planned giving options for your consideration.
Gifts Through Your Will
We can be named as a beneficiary in your will in any number of ways.
An outright bequest will allow you to specify an outright gift of cash, securities, real estate, or tangible personal property. A residual bequest provides that, after specific bequests are made to named individuals, we receive the amount remaining in the estate. A contingent bequest means that we will receive certain assets only if a named individual does not survive you. A testamentary trust can provide income for life to another person or persons with the principal ultimately passing to us.
If you already have a valid, up-to-date will, you can have your attorney prepare a codicil to your will naming us beneficiary without having to rewrite your entire will.
Gifts of Life Insurance
This can be done either by purchasing a new life insurance policy or by contributing a policy that you currently own.
We can be designated as the beneficiary of the policy, while you retain the right to change the beneficiary at a later date, and otherwise retain ownership of the policy. In this instance, no current tax deduction is available to you since you would still be the owner of the policy. However, at the time of your death, your estate would receive a charitable deduction when the proceeds of the policy are paid to us.
To receive a current income-tax deduction, you would need to designate us as both the owner and the beneficiary of the insurance policy. When such a gift is made, the deduction will be equal to the cash value of the policy at the time of the gift. Many donors decide to continue to pay the premiums on the policy after the gift is made, in which case the additional premium payments are tax deductible the following year.
Charitable Lead Trusts
The creation of a charitable lead trust allows you to pass significant assets on to younger family members with little or no gift or estate tax payable. You transfer assets to a trustee who would then make annual payments to us for a specified number of years, after which time the assets remaining in the trust would go to individuals of your choice. For individuals in high estate- and gift-tax brackets, this trust offers the opportunity to transfer substantial assets to younger generations, completely or significantly free of transfer taxes.
Charitable Remainder Unitrusts
A charitable remainder unitrust allows you to make a substantial gift to us and yet continue to receive income from the assets contributed. With the unitrust, you receive a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust’s assets annually, as those assets are revalued annually. The fixed percentage paid out must be at least five percent. Upon the creation of the unitrust, you receive a substantial federal income-tax deduction based upon the age of the beneficiary(ies), the rate of return specified in the trust, and other factors. The older the beneficiary(ies), the higher the charitable deduction.
Another benefit of the unitrust is that you generally incur no capital gain on the transfer of appreciated assets to fund the trust.
Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts
Annuity trusts are very similar to unitrusts except that, with an annuity trust, the life income beneficiary(ies) receive a fixed dollar amount annually rather than a fixed percentage of assets in the trust. This form of trust is appropriate for those who prefer a fixed annual income, unaffected by changes in the stock market, interest rates, and the like.
As with the unitrust, the annuity trust provides a substantial federal income-tax charitable contribution deduction. Also, you generally incur no capital gain on the transfer of appreciated assets to fund the trust.
Donors should check with their own accountants, attorneys, or tax advisors for additional information on how general rules apply to their particular situation. We would be pleased to meet with you, or to help provide you with more information. Please call SEA’s Development Office at (800) 552-3633, ext. 520 for more information.