Create a Legacy
Housing costs are high in our community. The cost of education is steadily increasing. Saving for retirement is important. There are so many reasons why you may not be able to afford to make a substantial contribution to charity right now. But, even if you can’t make a gift today, you may be able to provide for a generous gift in the future.
- Bequest. Naming Benton Community Foundation as the recipient of a testamentary gift in your will or trust is an easy way to leave a legacy. In addition to cash, you can gift stocks, real estate, and personal property via a bequest. You may contribute a specific dollar amount, a percentage of your estate or the residual of your estate in this manner. Your estate will receive a charitable deduction for the full donation, so your individual beneficiaries (family members and friends) will not pay estate tax on the gifted assets. E-mail us for sample language to include in your will or trust.
- Beneficiary designation. You can also leave a legacy by naming BCF as a beneficiary of your life insurance, pension plan or IRA. By so doing, you may be able to avoid significant and unanticipated tax penalties. Your retirement plan is tax-deferred only until death. If left to an individual other than your spouse, your retirement fund is subject to multiple taxes. Contributing your retirement fund to charity can reduce or eliminate these taxes completely and make a significant impact on the community.
- Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust (CRAT). A CRAT pays you a fixed dollar amount annually for life. The fixed payments are determined by the payout percentage selected at the beginning of the trust and for five subsequent years if you cannot fully use the deduction in the first year. You can claim a charitable deduction on your income tax form the year that you create the trust. The payments you receive are taxed as ordinary income, and in some cases as capital gain or tax-free return of principal.
- Charitable Remainder Unitrust (CRUT). A CRUT pays you a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets, as revalued each year. Like the annuity trust, you can claim a charitable deduction on your income tax form the year that you create the trust and for five subsequent years if you cannot fully use the deduction in the first year. The payments you receive are taxed as ordinary income, and in some cases as capital gain or tax-free return of principal.
- Charitable Lead Trust. Individuals with very large estates can use a charitable lead trust to create a legacy and pass principal back to family members with little or no tax penalty. By transferring assets to establish a Charitable Lead Trust, regular income-tax-deductible gifts are paid to BCF as the income beneficiary for a number of years. When the trust terminates, the entire principal is returned to your named beneficiaries free of, or at greatly reduced, federal gift and estate tax. Generation skipping tax, however, may be imposed on transfers to grandchildren and others who are more than one generation younger than you, so be sure to consult with your attorney in considering this gifting vehicle.
Check with your financial planner, lawyer or accountant to see if estate planning would benefit you and your intended beneficiaries; charitable gifts may actually save your family money by decreasing estate taxes! If you already have an estate plan, be sure to review your will, trust and beneficiary designations regularly to see if they are up to date in order to ensure that your assets pass according to your desires upon your death. Those who remember the foundation through a will, trust, designation or other planned gift are invited to join BCF's Legacy Society. Membership in BCF's Legacy Society gives you the opportunity to enjoy the company of others who, like yourself, care about leaving a legacy to protect and strengthen our community. Members are recognized in BCF publications and at events, unless anonymity is requested. If you have named BCF as a beneficiary in your will, trust or beneficiary designation, please e-mail us so that we can enroll you as a member of this inspirational and philanthropic group.