Our values are our most important legacy! The most important legacy that you can leave will be how the next generation respects life. Your gift to the Vitae Foundation through a well-designed estate plan will help promote the value and dignity of human life so the next generation will be reminded that life is a gift from our Creator.
Matching the right giving option with your personal and family goals is what legacy giving is all about, and it can be very rewarding.
Legacy Giving Options
In addition to being the most common means of distributing assets to loved ones in the future, a will can also be a thoughtful way to make charitable gifts.
After first providing for the needs of family and friends, you may choose to benefit charitable interests in one of several ways.
By having your attorney revise your will or add a simple amendment, you can give what remains after you remember loved ones, whether a particular amount, a specific property or a percentage of your estate. You may also wish to name charities to receive gifts in case others do not survive you.
Start a will here.
A living trust is a legal arrangement that allows a trustee to hold title to assets and manage them for beneficiaries. In recent years, these trust have become a popular alternative of supplement to a last will and testament; they can hold assets during one’s lifetime and distribute them at a later date.
A revocable living trust can both minimize the expense and delays of probate and act as a tool for making charitable gifts. Much like a charitable provision in a will, such gifts are deductible from state and/or federal estate taxes that might otherwise be due and can be designed to take effect only after first providing for your loved ones.
Making your charitable gifts with stocks, bonds, mutual funds and certain other securities that are worth more now than they were when purchased can often result in income tax savings and the ability to bypass capital gains taxes that would be due if you sold these appreciated assets and gave Vitae cash.
To enjoy the most favorable benefits, you must have owned the securities for more than one year. Giving a gift of long-term appreciated securities is in most cases more tax advantageous than giving cash. This is because capital gains taxes can be avoided on gifts of long-term appreciated assets.
For taxpayers who will not be able to itemize deductions in a given year, gifts of long-term appreciated securities are an especially important tool in their tax reduction tool kit.
Gifts are deductible and can eliminate tax up to 30% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) in the year of the gift. Unused deductions may help reduce taxes in as many as five future tax years.
Did you know there are ways to give while enjoying an additional source of income for life or other period of time?
Generous payments based on your age and other factors can be a welcome supplement to your retirement income.
Your funds may be held separately or combined with those of others and invested to make regular payments of fixed amounts to you and/or others you name.
When the payments end, funds that remain are used for charitable purposes. You may also realize tax savings at the time you make your gift. The amount depends on your age, size of payments and other factors.
Charitable Remainder Unitrust (or Remainder Unitrust)
Other gift planning options feature income for you or others that will vary over time depending on the performance of the assets used to fund the gift.
At the time of your gift, you determine a maximum annual payout percentage. The income you receive will be more if the value of the gift assets increases and less if the value declines.
A charitable income tax deduction is allowed for a portion of the amount you contribute in this way. You may enjoy capital gains tax savings as well.
For many people, such gifts can be a welcome source of additional income that can grow over time.
Did you know you can make a gift over time while providing that assets used to fund the gift will ultimately be returned to you or your loved ones? This is possible through a charitable lead trust.
Under the terms of this gift plan, assets are transferred to a trust that makes payments to one or more charitable recipients for a number of years you determine. At the end of that period, trust assets are transferred to those you name.
This can be a way to make charitable gifts over time and control when an inheritance will be received. You can also reduce or eliminate gift and/or estate taxes that might otherwise be due in some instances.
You can also make a gift of real estate while enjoying the use of the property for life or another period of time. Through such an arrangement you can give a personal residence or farm while reserving the right to live there as long as you wish.
You continue to pay the taxes, maintain the property and even receive any income it generates. By arranging for the eventual transfer of the property for charitable purposes, you are entitled to an immediate (and substantial) income tax deduction. The property is also removed from your estate for probate and possibly tax purposes.
The need for life insurance can change over time. Insurance policies originally purchased for additional income or payment of taxes may instead be used for other purposes.
One way to make a significant gift is to name a charitable beneficiary to receive all or a portion of the proceeds of a policy. Or, you may make a gift today of a policy you no longer need and perhaps benefit from immediate tax savings.
Other options include transferring ownership of an existing policy on which premiums are still being paid or purchasing a new policy and naming a charitable beneficiary. In either case, future premiums can be tax deductible. LifeLegacy has life insurance policies here.
Whether you participate in a company-sponsored retirement plan or have funded an individual retirement account (IRA) or other plan, you may feel you have more funds than you need to provide for your future financial security. In that case, it may be convenient to make a charitable gift from retirement assets during your lifetime or at death.
Funds remaining in retirement plans can be subject to federal income tax, so it can be wise to make charitable gifts from these sources and leave other non-taxable assets to loved ones.
Those age 70 1/2 or older can make tax-free qualified charitable distributions directly from a traditional IRA in amounts totaling up to $100,000 per year.
With any of the ideas introduced here, you can also provide for an enduring tribute to a family member or other loved one. There may be no other loved one. There may be no better way to honor a loved one or their memory than through a charitable gift.
Gifts in honor of others can be especially thoughtful on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, upon the birth of a child or grandchild, on a birthday, at a wedding, anniversary or graduation—virtually any time you wish to express, in a special way, how much you care.
We will be glad to assist you in making a gift in honor of someone special to you.
Virginia Shetler - Legacy Giving Director
Virginia went from being a longtime Vitae Foundation volunteer, to becoming an employee. As the very first Legacy Giving Director at the Vitae Foundation, Virginia helps Pro-Life donors incorporate their beliefs and values into a comprehensive Legacy Plan. She is a mid-Missouri native, who grew up in California, Missouri and now lives with her husband Joe in Jefferson City, Missouri.