Include a nonprofit in your will or living trust. A simple way to support a nonprofit organization is by remembering them in a will. It is quite easy to do. If the person already has a living trust or will, simply ask an attorney to draft a codicil or amendment. If they do not yet have a will or trust, they can contact a trusted attorney to help create this legal document. In general, bequests and estate gifts can be made as a:
- Percentage bequest – make a gift of a percentage of your estate
- Specific bequest – make a gift of a specific dollar amount or a specific asset
- Residual bequest – make a gift from the balance or residue of your estate
- Contingent Bequest – make a gift from your estate if the purpose of the primary bequest cannot be met.
- Provide support with your bank and brokerage accounts.
A donor can provide a gift to a nonprofit directly from a bank account as part of an estate. To do this, they should contact a broker or bank representative about making funds “payable upon death.” It will require a “transfer on death” designation on an account so that the support will go directly to the organization.
- Name the nonprofit as a beneficiary of a retirement account.
Designate the organization as a full, partial or contingent beneficiary of a retirement account (IRA, 401(k), 403(b) or pension). The beneficiaries of the retirement accounts will be taxed on any amount they receive. The nonprofit receives the full amount of the gift.
- Name the nonprofit as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy.
Many people purchase life insurance to ensure financial stability should something happen. But as a family evolves, so do your needs for protection. If a family situation has changed (e.g. your dependents have become independent), it may be worth it to consider including a nonprofit as a life insurance policy beneficiary. During the person’s lifetime, the ownership of this policy will not change.
(Credit: Mersky, Jaffe & Associates, Administrative Center, 37 Cedar Street, Newton, MA 02459)