Q. Can an average person leave a bequest?
A. Definitely! Although very large gifts receive the most publicity, you can leave a gift of any amount. Thousands of Americans have given bequests through their wills, or have left a life insurance policy or a retirement plan to a nonprofit organization. All gifts are meaningful and greatly appreciated by the charities that receive them.
Q. Do I have to rewrite my will to leave a gift to charity?
A. Fortunately, no, you do not need to re-think your entire estate plan in order to leave something to charity. You can simply ask your attorney to amend your will with a codicil so your favorite nonprofit organization(s) will be remembered.
Q. What if I am not sure how much money will be left to give?
A.There are many ways to include a bequest through your estate plan. You can leave a specific dollar amount, or you can name a percentage of your estate that will go to a charity. You can also leave specific assets, such as a certificate of deposit, securities, real estate, or some or all of your retirement plan assets. It is also easy to name a charity to receive a life insurance policy that your family may no longer need.
Q. Are there tax advantages to giving a particular kind of legacy gift?
A. If you leave a tax-deferred retirement plan, such as an IRA, to an heir, they will have to pay income tax on the funds they receive. However, if you leave retirement assets to a charity, the funds will pass to the organization tax-free and leave other assets for your heirs.
Q. Can I make a charitable gift that also provides financial security for my future?
A. Yes! You may want to speak with a professional advisor about setting up a charitable remainder trust or a charitable gift annuity that will provide an immediate tax deduction and income to you, and will benefit a charity upon your death.
Q. Who should I talk to about a legacy gift?
A. You should contact your attorney or financial advisor, a trust officer at your bank, or a development representative from your favorite charity.
For help connecting with an advisor, attorney, or development representative in Southeast Michigan, please contact us today.
Did you know...that the Speakers Bureau will help educate civic groups, board members, development/stewardship committees and donor groups about the importance of leaving a gift to charity through estate planning?
May is LEAVE A LEGACY Month
Development Day June 7, 2023 - Save the date!