The Community Foundation has created a special designation – the Legacy Society – for donors who have included the Foundation in their estate plans with a planned gift and who are creating a legacy of philanthropy that will continue to support our community in perpetuity.
Getting Started Is Easy
You can create the framework now for giving to your favorite causes after you are gone by filling out a simple legacy fund agreement. Once established, that agreement can easily be updated throughout your lifetime to reflect your changing interests – at no charge. You can work with your legal and/or financial advisors to determine which asset you plan to give to once your estate is settled.
Including a gift in your will or estate plans allows you to feel good about your contribution now while parting with your assets after your lifetime. When planning a gift through your will, it is sometimes difficult to determine what size donation will make sense. You need to make sure your family is financially taken care of first, and emergencies do happen. Making a bequest of a percentage of your estate ensures that your gift will remain proportionate no matter how your estate’s value fluctuates over the years.
The official bequest language is very simple: “I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to [my fund] at the Community Foundation of Huntsville/Madison County [particular asset/fixed dollar amount/percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose.” Your legacy fund with the Foundation will spell out the exact details of your plans for giving. There are many reasons to give through a bequest:
- Because you are not actually making a gift until after your lifetime, you can change your mind at any time.
- You can structure the bequest to leave a specific item or amount of money, make the gift contingent on certain events, or leave a percentage of your estate to us.
- Tax Relief.
- Your estate is entitled to an estate tax charitable deduction for the gift’s full value.
Retirement Plan Assets
When you name your fund at the Foundation as the beneficiary of all or part of your retirement plan assets, such as a 401k, you don’t part with a single penny today – and you protect your estate from taxes later. If a charitable organization like the Foundation receives your retirement funds as a gift, income taxes are eliminated. If, instead, you leave these assets to your family, up to 35 percent of their value could be eroded by income taxes. So instead of supporting your community, you will be “donating” to the IRS.
Your life insurance policy can become a charitable asset when you name your fund at the Foundation as the beneficiary of all or a portion of the policy’s death benefit. It’s a simple and generous way to fund the causes that are important to you.