The principal benefits of planned gifts accrue to The Salvation Army at a later time, after your death or the death of your last named beneficiary. Planned gifts take many forms, providing additional income for you and/or your heirs, reducing income and estate taxes, relieving you and your heirs of complicated financial management responsibilities and helping to fulfill your personal, humanitarian and charitable objectives. Planned gifts can be made in cash, real estate, stocks, bonds, personal property or life insurance.
One of the simplest planned gifts is a bequest through your will in which you designate either a specific dollar amount or a percentage of your estate after other disbursements. In addition to supporting The Salvation Army, it serves as an example to your heirs of the values and ideals you hold dear. A bequest also can reduce the amount of your taxable estate, which may increase the actual amount available to loved ones.
A gift annuity is an agreement between you and The Salvation Army. In exchange for your irrevocable gift, The Salvation Army pays a fixed dollar amount during your life and/or the life of a designated loved one. The amount you receive is determined by the size of your gift, your age and the age of your beneficiary. Your income is guaranteed, regardless of market fluctuation. A major portion of your income is a tax-exempt return of principal and the income may be deferred until a later time as part of your retirement plan.
A charitable trust transfers ownership and management of cash and/or appreciated securities to The Salvation Army. The Army manages the trust and pays income to you for the remainder of your life and/or the life of another beneficiary. An annuity trust provides a fixed annual income for those wanting consistent, predictable payments. A unitrust pays a variable return based on market changes, providing an effective hedge against inflation.
A pooled income fund is a trust designed to provide variable yet reliable income. Like a commercial mutual fund, it combines your gift with the contributions of other fund participants, wisely investing the sum for a balance of income and growth. Dividends are paid to the shareholders in proportion to each person's contribution. Your donation results in a tax deduction for the year your gift was made, elimination of capital gains tax if you invest appreciated securities, and reduction of estate taxes for your heirs.
Contributions of life insurance can provide a substantial gift to The Salvation Army. The value of an ordinary policy at the time of the gift is tax deductible. If you continue paying the premiums, they also are deductible as charitable contributions. If a paid-up policy is given, the cost of purchasing a new paid-up policy at your current age is the value of the charitable deduction.
A hometown endowment is a perpetual gift that can be designated for a specific Salvation Army location or program. The original gift remains intact, and the income is used toward the designated area of service. An endowment can be established in memory of a loved one or a donation can be added to an existing fund that will contribute to your local community indefinitely.
If you are looking for a way to pass on some of your assets to your family while reducing or eliminating gift or estate taxes, a charitable lead trust is an excellent option.
You make a contribution of your property to fund a trust that pays our organization income for a number of years.
You receive a gift or estate tax deduction at the time of your gift.
After a period of time, your family receives the trust assets plus any additional growth in value.
It is even possible to set up a lead trust that will allow you to transfer assets to your family with zero transfer taxes. The IRS assumes that a lead trust is only earning at the current low federal rate. If the actual investments of the trust produce a higher return than the payments made to charity over the term of the trust, then the full value of the trust may be transferred to family with zero gift tax.
To discount your gift to family even more, you may consider first transferring your real estate or other assets into a family limited partnership (FLP) which will fund your lead trust. The combination of the FLP, the lead trust and a gift exemption can permit the lead trust to pay income to us for a number of years and potentially transfer substantial assets tax-free to your family.
With increased volatility in the stock market you may also want to consider creating a lead trust that makes fixed payments of increasing amounts to us over time. Because the payments to us are fixed, your family ultimately benefits from any growth in the trust. Low payouts in early years allows the trust to grow, thus allowing protection should the economy produce below-average returns in the future.
For more information: Please contact Monty Joseph, Senior Associate Director of Planned Giving NSC Division, via email or call 803-729-3030.