- Michael Bloomberg
Legacy Giving is perhaps the best way to ensure the continued advancement of the causes you care about most. A Legacy Gift to BFHP not only provides essential financial support for our crucial and impactful programs, it sends a strong message to the future generations that will inherit the benefits of your generosity. It makes tangible and demonstrates your most deeply held values, and truly solidifies your legacy as a benefactor to those most in need.
Depending on your financial situation and philanthropic goals, your Legacy Gift could take on a variety of forms. We would like to help you navigate this decision by providing some helpful information about the different methods or “vehicles” that are at your disposal.
Along with the philanthropic benefits of Legacy Giving, there are also a variety of financial benefits you can enjoy by planning your Legacy Gift appropriately. All of the methods listed below will ensure a lasting legacy for you in BFHP history, so we have organized the various vehicles based on the potential benefit to you. Only you will know how to employ these strategies for your estate, but we are here to help you navigate.
What is your top priority in planning your estate?
- Keeping Things as Simple as Possible
- Reducing Tax Burden
- Ensuring Sufficient Inheritance for My Heirs
- Guaranteeing or Increasing My Current Income
- Maximizing My Impact to BFHP
- Charitable Bequest – if you don’t want to hire a lawyer or create a complex structure around your Legacy Gift, you can simply leave a Charitable Bequest. A Bequest can be a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of your estate, whichever you prefer. All you need to do is include the following language in your will or living trust:
- “I give $______ (or ______%) to Berkeley Food & Housing Project, a California nonprofit corporation, 3225 Adeline St., Berkeley, CA 94703 (Federal Tax ID #94-2979073) for use wherever it is needed most.”
- If you would like to restrict the funds to only go toward certain programs or areas, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you make sure your Bequest is worded properly to achieve your specific goals.
- Life Insurance – if you have a Life Insurance policy you purchased a long time ago that you no longer need, you can simply contact the provider and ask them to name BFHP as the beneficiary. You may also choose to give only a portion of your policy as a Legacy Gift, leaving the rest to your family/heirs.
- Appreciated Stock, Real Estate, or Other Assets – appreciated assets can actually cause a tax burden for your beneficiaries upon their inheritance. By naming BFHP as the beneficiary of assets like these, you avoid the potential capital gains, estate, and income taxes that could come with passing these on to an heir.
- Retirement Account Donation – retirement accounts come with all kinds of rules and restrictions, many of which can be alleviated by naming a charitable organization as a beneficiary. Depending on your circumstances, you could alleviate tax liability for yourself and your beneficiaries, fulfill required minimum distribution constraints, and avoid Medicare high-income surcharges.
- Beneficiary Disclaimers – it may be difficult to predict the future financial situations of your heirs, thus gauging their need for inheritance can be a challenge. One option to consider is including Beneficiary Disclaimers in your will. These allow each of your heirs to disclaim (transfer) all or a part of their inheritance to BFHP. This method ensures you are looking after the financial needs of your heirs while also empowering and inspiring them to make philanthropic decisions with their inheritance, if they are able.
- Charitable Remainder Trust – if you’d like to make sure you are providing an income for your beneficiaries while still leaving aside funds for a charitable organization, a Charitable Remainder Trust achieves this goal. You begin the process by starting the trust with whatever assets you choose. Then you can decide a beneficiary to receive regular income from the trust and a time period for this income to last, after which the remainder will go to the charitable cause.
- Charitable Gift Annuities – sometimes referred to as “Life Income Plans”, Charitable Gift Annuities allow you to transfer assets to an organization who then pays you a fixed income for life from those assets. There are potential tax benefits to this vehicle as well, including reduction in income and capital gains taxes, but the main benefit is ensuring a steady income for yourself while also benefiting the organization you wish to support.
- Charitable Remainder Trust – while often used to provide an income for someone else, you can also name yourself as the beneficiary of the income portion of a Charitable Remainder trust. You begin the process by starting the trust with whatever assets you choose. You can then receive a regular income from the trust and for a time period of your choosing, after which the remainder will go to the charitable cause.
- Life Insurance – if you have a life insurance policy you bought a long time ago that you no longer need, you can contact your provider and ask them to name a charitable organization as a full or partial beneficiary. You may even be able to donate a fully-paid policy now and enjoy a tax credit in return.
- Charitable Lead Trust – you can set up a trust that makes regular payments to a charity of your choosing for a period you choose, after which the remainder is distributed to your heirs. If set up properly, this provides robust support to the cause you care about, and could also reduce or eliminate estate and gift tax burdens for your beneficiaries.