For those who would like to leave a lasting legacy, planning for the future is simple through a planned gift. Two of the simplest ways to ensure continued support for the causes important to you are a bequest in your will and gifts of retirement assets.
Bequests allow you complete control over your assets during your lifetime and to support charities dear to you later. They may be a stated dollar amount, a percentage of an estate or the residual that remains after all other bequests are made. Many individuals choose to also leave assets to their heirs, so you’ll want to consult with your financial advisor and tax professional to determine which assets will be the most tax favored when left to heirs vs. charity. It is also advised that you seek the advice of the legal council you use to draft your will.
When left to other individuals these assets are heavily taxed making them a popular charitable giving strategy. When a nonprofit is named as beneficiary of your IRA or retirement plan, 100% of the gift is available because the organization is not subject to estate or income tax, and the nonprofit can access these assets even prior to the completion of the estate probate process. Being selective about which assets you choose to donate to charity vs. pass on to heirs benefits you and the organizations you choose to support. To update your beneficiary, simply contact the financial institution that holds your retirement account and request the change.