How do I contribute to my favorite charity?
- You can arrange for a gift in several ways, including a will. Many people set aside a certain dollar amount. Others leave a percentage of their estate, or any assets left over after their family has been financially provided for. Some people give a charity something they own, like a car or a home. Others leave a paid life insurance policy or other financial investments.
Do I tell the charity I’ve left a gift?
- Charities often like to know in advance so they can recognize your generosity. Whether you let the organization know of your plans, is your decision.
How do I make sure that my gift goes to the organization of my choice?
- You should state your intentions in your estate plan and will, prepared by an attorney. Without this planning, your property and finances are distributed according to state laws, whether or not they coincide with your wishes.
I’m not a wealthy person with an “estate” can I leave a gift?
- An estate is simply a word used to describe any property, money or personal belongings that you may have at the time of your death. Most people leave an estate when they die, even though they may not have a great deal of wealth. Even an individual with a small estate can arrange to leave a charitable gift.
Do I have to rewrite my will to leave a gift to charity?
- 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.
What if I am not sure how much money will be left to give?
- 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.
Are there tax advantages to giving a particular kind of legacy gift?
- 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.