A Lasting Legacy - Making a Difference
Most of us, if given the chance, 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 a privileged few could create such legacies.
But today, with all the new tax-favored ways of giving, more of us can participate in this adventure and experience the intense joy that comes from being able to make a difference.
Giving can be satisfying and rewarding. And particularly so when donors combine it with their financial and estate planning. This process – often called planned giving – is becoming increasingly popular with donors - and for good reason. Often donors are able to do more for their favorite charities while enjoying greater tax and financial benefits.
As a planned giver, you may very well be able to save more on taxes, increase your retirement income, or provide more cost effective support for a dependent relative such as a child, grandchild, or an elderly parent. But you also have the opportunity to make your personal statement…. to make a larger gift that might otherwise be possible, to help shape our future, and leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.
The following are possible ideas and opportunities available to you in planned giving. Which specific plan is best for you will depend on your personal circumstances. Your financial advisor should always be consulted in the decision making process. Of course, we are willing and able to work with both you and your advisor to help ensure the intended result of your planned gift.
Wills and Living Trusts - Charitable bequests are made through wills or revocable living trusts and are a popular way to support The Salvation Army, or any other organization. Bequests are simple to arrange, offer flexibility, and can reduce estate taxes. Bequests can be made through a specific dollar amount, or a percentage of your estate. A will is essential to good estate planning. Without a will, state law decides how your assets will be distributed. Wills can also save taxes and administration expenses, leaving as much of your estate as possible intact.
Example bequest language - Please feel free to change the numbers or percentages as you desire.
1. Bequest of cash
"I bequeath the sum of $10,000 to The Salvation Army - Fox Cities of Appleton, WI."
2. Bequest of a percent of the estate
"I devise and bequeath 20% of the remainder and residue of property owned at my death, whether real or personal, and wherever located to The Salvation Army - Fox Cities of Appleton, WI"
3. Contingent Bequest
"If my brother John Doe survives me, I devise and bequeath 20% of the remainder and residue of property owned at my death, whether real or personal, and wherever located to John Doe. If John Doe does not survive me, then I devise and bequeath 20% of my residuary estate, whether real or personal property and wherever located to The Salvation Army - Fox Cities of Appleton, WI"
Charitable Gift Annuity - You can transfer cash or securities to The Salvation Army. In exchange, we agree to pay you and/or a loved one a fixed dollar amount for life. The amount you receive is determined by the size of the gift, your age and the age of any other beneficiary. You can receive an immediate charitable income tax deduction for part of the gift, reduce your capital gains tax liability, and often increase spendable income. What’s more, part of your annuity payments may be tax free, which increases your effective return.
Other plans that are available include: Annuity Trust, Unitrusts, Revocable Living Trust, and Gifts of Life Insurance and Gifts of Real Estate.
It is important to know that planned giving does not replace the need for annual donations, but rather enhances opportunities for you, The Salvation Army, and your community.