Most of us, if given the change, would like to leave some kind of lasting legacy to show that our lives have made a difference in society. That in some way, we have contributed to an important work or cause that will benefit the lives of others for generations to come. In the past, only the privileged few could create such legacies. But today, with the tax-favored ways of giving, many more of us can participate in this adventure and experience the intense joy that comes from being able to make a difference.
On this page we will highlight some of the opportunities available to you in planned giving – to give you food for thought. What specific plan is best for you will depend on your personal circumstances. Your tax and financial advisers should always be consulted in the decision-making process. Of course, we are willing and able to work with both you and your advisers to help ensure the intended result of your planned gift.
Cash is the most popular- and simplest- way to make a gift. Your gift is immediately available to support our programs, and every dollar you give is deductible in the year your make your gift. If you give at year’s end, make sure your gift is completed by December 31st. A check mailed by December 31st is considered a completed gift, even though we may not receive or deposit your check until after year’s end. Similarly, a gift made to Brother Rice High School can be made by credit card as a completed gift before the year end, although you may not necessarily pay the given amount until after January 1st.
Gifts of long-term appreciated securities are the most popular type of outright property gift. These securities are often individual stocks, but may include bonds or shares of mutual funds. Outright gifts of securities can be made quickly and easily and can enable you to do more with your gift because of the tax benefits. For appreciate property held long-term, the full fair market value of securities given to charity is generally deductible. For example, if you give stock that is now worth $10,000, you can deduct this full amount on your income tax return.
Many of our friends have life insurance policies that are no longer needed for their security or that of their families. A good example might be a policy acquired to assure a child’s education, when the child is now out of school. When an existing policy is given to us, the owner can deduct, as a charitable contribution, the current value of the policy (or the net cost of the policy if this is less than current value). Of course, future premium payments are also deductible after ownership has been transferred to charity.
In addition to outright transfers of cash or property, gifts can be made with a right to retain income. Such arrangements – often called life income gift plans – are becoming increasingly popular with donors because both donor and charity can benefit. Under a well-planned life income arrangement, you often can increase your spendable income, reduce taxes and, at the same time, make a gift that will have a substantial impact on our future. You benefit now and we benefit later, after you have enjoyed all of your financial and tax benefits.
One method of making a gift with a retained right to income is a so-called charitable remainder trust. A charitable remainder trust will provide:
Subject to AGI limitations, our tax laws allow an immediate income tax deduction for a gift to a charitable remainder trust, even though income is to be paid to the donor (and/or other beneficiaries) for life. The exact amount of the charitable deduction depends on: (1) the value of the property transferred to the trust; (2) the amount of income benefits that are payable each year to individual beneficiaries; (3) the approximate length of time the income benefits will be paid; and (4) the interest rates prevailing at the time the gift is made.
Despite the tax and financial benefits of a charitable remainder trust, you should consider such a trust only if it fits in with your broad estate, tax and financial plans. While
the charitable remainder trust is the most flexible of the life income plans, there are other life income plans worth
A gift annuity is an agreement between you and our organization under which we agree to pay you fixed payments for your life(and/or the life of your beneficiary). The
amount of the annuity is based on the age of the annuitant(s) and the amount of the gift. The gift annuity is a very popular life income plan for several reasons: It requires only a modest contribution and you can fund it with cash or marketable securities. You can receive an immediate income tax charitable deduction for the gift (subject to AGI limitations), spread out any capital gains tax liability, and often increase your spendable income. What’s more, part of your annuity payments may be deductible as well.
The most popular planned gift is the simple charitable bequest. Bequests are popular because they give you the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy. When you make a charitable bequest, you retain full use of your property during life, so there is no disruption of your lifestyle, and no immediate out-of-pocket costs. You simply direct that part of your estate go to your favorite charity(ies). That’s one reason why it’s so important that you have a will. A will gives you the opportunity to direct the use of your “social capital” through bequests; without a will, the government may very well make that decision for you. Since a charitable bequest can take many forms, you have organization the beneficiary of a retirement plan can provide income tax relief for your heirs in addition to other potential estate tax savings.
We will be happy to discuss with you the best way to include us in your plans. Whether you make a bequest to us under your will or include us as a beneficiary inane of your other plans, keep in mind these arrangemetns are revocable, which means you can maintain control over your assets and make changes in your beneficiary designations should circumstances so dictate. While tax savings are usually confined to estate taxes, the potential savings can be tremendous in view of the severity of the estate tax.
But, more importantly, you have the opportunity to direct your hard-earned assets to a charitable cause that you know can make a difference in the quality of life in our society.
More and more astute donors use retirement account assets in their charitable gift planning. The reason is that retirement account assets left to family members (other than your spouse) may be subject to higher taxation than other types of assets. By using retirement account assets to fund your charitable bequest (and leaving different assets to family members) you may be able to reduce taxes that otherwise would be imposed on those assets and leave more to your intended beneficiaries.