Leave a Legacy and Receive Tax Breaks at the Same Time!
There are many ways you can create a legacy of opportunities for blind and Deaf-Blind individuals while enjoying tax benefits at the same time. We’ve outlined the benefits of just a few types of planned gifts below. If you would like more information, please contact Events and Annual Fund Coordinator Andrea Travis at 206-436-2253 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Making a bequest to the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation is one of the simplest and easiest ways to help ensure the Lighthouse endures and continues to serve the blind and Deaf-Blind communities. Not only are bequests simple and easy to make, bequests carry a number of other benefits to the donor, including estate tax deductions.
Benefits of making a bequest include the following:
- Bequests can take many forms. You have many options when it comes to leaving a bequest! You can leave a certain amount of cash or property. You can bequeath a percentage of your estate. You can make a gift of residual assets after all other bequests, taxes, and estate expenses have been paid. And you can make a bequest contingent on the status of your heirs.
- Bequests are easy to implement. You can simply add a codicil to your existing will or have your attorney incorporate a bequest when preparing a new will.
- Bequests are revocable. You can revoke a bequest at any time without losing any assets.
- Bequests are flexible. Bequests can be for any amount and for almost any purpose. You can also change the bequest as circumstances or life goals change.
- Bequests remain in the donor’s control for life. You retain control of your bequeathed assets and property. There is no immediate out-of-pocket donation.
- Bequests can be used to honor loved ones. You can make a bequest in honor or in memory of a loved one.
- Bequests qualify for an estate tax deduction. The main tax advantage of making a bequest is that a charitable bequest is deductible for federal estate-tax purposes for the full amount of the gift.
Charitable Gift Annuities
The Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation, in partnership with the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, offers Charitable Gift Annuity arrangements starting at $25,000. With a gift annuity, the donor gives cash or other assets to the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation and, in exchange, receives fixed payments in quarterly installments. The size of the payments depends on the size of the contribution and the age of spouse or someone else such as a parent, sibling or friend.
- Charitable Gift Annuities provide fixed income for life. Gift annuities are ideal for providing supplemental retirement income for life. They are unaffected by interest rates or fluctuating stock prices.
- Charitable Gift Annuities have no contribution limit. Unlike qualified retirement plans, gift annuities have no contribution limit and the donor receives income and capital gains tax benefits.
- Charitable Gift Annuities can be paid to one or two donors. Annuities ensure continuous income payments to a surviving spouse without probate hearings.
- Charitable Gift Annuities are tax-advantaged. The donor receives an income tax deduction. The donor may deduct up to 50 percent of adjusted gross income for cash gifts, and up to 30 percent of adjusted gross income for gifts of other assets, in the first year; the excess may be carried forward for up to five additional years.
- Annual payments are tax-advantaged. The annual payments are taxed favorably and a portion of payments from cash gifts will be tax-free for a term of years. If a gift is made using appreciated property such as securities or real estate, the donor avoids tax on a portion of the capital gain.
By making any type of planned gift to the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation, you will help to build a lasting endowment for the blind and Deaf-Blind communities. Membership benefits include:
- Your name listed as a Charter Lighthouse Legacy Society member on our Legacy Society plaque, in Lighthouse publications, and in our annual report.
- Recognition at our annual Lighthouse Legacy Society Holiday breakfast.
Most importantly, your gift will make a difference in the lives of hundreds of blind adults in the years to come.
The Gift of Life Insurance
Do you have a life insurance policy you purchased years ago to provide financial protection for your spouse and young children? Do you no longer really need it? If so, it may be a great asset to give to the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation. Consider the benefits when you irrevocably name the Lighthouse as both the owner and beneficiary of the policy:
- You receive an income tax deduction. When you fill out your itemized tax return, you can claim a charitable deduction for the cost basis of the policy or an amount approximately equal to the cash surrender value. For deduction purposes, the gift is treated as though it were cash. And if you can’t use the full deduction in the first year, you can carry forward the unused portion up to five additional years.
- You reduce the size of your estate. At death, the face value of most life insurance policies is included in the estate of the deceased. For some estates, this can mean a significant increase in estate taxes. However, transferring the policy during life will remove this “hidden” asset and reduce the size of your estate and any applicable taxes.
- You leave your current income undisturbed. Many people desire to give more to the Lighthouse, but are concerned about their own cash flow and any unforeseen emergencies. They are reluctant to reduce investment assets. We at the Lighthouse do not want any of our friends to jeopardize their security in making charitable gifts. At the same time, it’s quite possible that you have either forgotten about an “obsolete” life insurance policy or consider it an unneeded asset. In any case, the beauty of giving such a policy is that it doesn’t affect your current income stream.
- Easy to do. Making a gift of life insurance is easier than you might think. Your life insurance professional can help you obtain a transfer form from the insurance company or you can contact the company directly.