Planned Giving provides a way to fulfill your charitable and philanthropic intentions with gifts made to The Catholic Foundation from your estate after your death in accordance with specific plans you have made during the course of your lifetime.
Indeed, some of the greatest opportunities to arrange for your charitable contributions may occur at the same time you are making other major business, personal, and financial decisions, e.g., when you write or revise a will; sell a business or other major asset; plan for retirement; and/or receive an unexpected financial windfall. Planned giving instruments can be simple, or sophisticated enough to provide for a complex array of commitments to families, friends, businesses, and charitable institutions. Planned giving affords individuals of all income levels the opportunity to give something back to the community, as even a small percentage of any estate can be bequeathed to charity.
The Catholic Foundation welcomes the opportunity to work with you and your financial and legal advisors to execute your philanthropic vision.
Estate Planning Vehicles
The Catholic Foundation is equipped to translate any of the following planned giving vehicles into lasting legacies:
A charitable bequest is one of the easiest ways to make a gift to the Foundation, and often, dramatic savings in estate taxes will result. A donor can designate a specific sum of money, a percentage of an estate, or a certain piece of property, or name the Foundation the “residuary beneficiary” of all or part of the estate after other bequests are fulfilled, or a “contingent beneficiary” in the event other named beneficiaries do not outlive you.
Sample Bequest Wording
Bequest wording can be as simple as:
I give, devise and bequeath [a specific description of assets or a percentage of the residual estate] to The Catholic Foundation for uses and purposes of The Catholic Foundation.
To specify a charitable use for the funds, simply add: The fund shall be used to support charitable projects of (1) [name a specific organization]; or (2) in the field of [name a specific area of charitable interest]; and/or (3) in [any specific geographical preference].
Should you be contemplating a charitable gift of $100,000 or more from your estate, you may find the charitable remainder trust a particularly flexible way to achieve your philanthropic goals, while achieving benefits in terms of income tax deductions, reduced estate taxes, decreased capital gains taxes, increased income from assets, and the ability to provide for your spouse and/or heirs.
There are two principle kinds of charitable remainder trusts:
The Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust which allows you to ensure an income for life at the same time it provides for the community to benefit in perpetuity. The donor who establishes an Annuity Trust at The Catholic Foundation creates a permanent charitable fund and receives a fixed annual income for life, as does a surviving spouse. The donor also benefits from a significant income tax deduction that can be taken immediately and carried forward up to five additional years, and from reduced estate taxes.
The Charitable Remainder Unitrust similarly provides for a charitable fund, an income for life for the donor and his or her surviving spouse, and the relevant tax advantages. Instead of a fixed annual income, however, a specific percentage of the trust assets (the minimum is 5 percent) is returned to the donor each year.
At the end of the trust, any assets remaining in the charitable remainder trust can be used to establish a named charitable fund, or accrue to the Foundation’s Unrestricted Endowment Fund.
The charitable lead trust lets donors use their estates to provide for charity and, at the same time, preserve an inheritance for future generations. Part of your estate can be used to create a charitable lead trust, the income from which will accrue to a named charitable fund at the Foundation or to the Foundation’s Unrestricted Endowment Fund for a designated number of years.
Because this transaction removes assets from the estate, it lowers estate taxes and can minimize generation skipping transfer taxes. The inheritance is preserved, however, because according to the terms of the trust, once the trust matures, it is terminated, and the assets are distributed to the beneficiaries. The community benefits from the income generated in the intervening years.
The charitable IRA provides a very simple way to gift the community. All that’s required is that you name The Catholic Foundation as the beneficiary of your IRA or qualified retirement plan. Such a gift avoids the double taxation of IRA funds – first as part of the estate and then as income to the beneficiary – preserving more estate assets for good works in the community.
Like other planned giving contributions, IRA proceeds can be used to establish a named fund or added to the Foundation’s Unrestricted Endowment Fund.
This type of gift begins with a simple agreement between the donor and the Foundation: in exchange for a gift of assets, typically cash or stock, the Foundation promises to pay the donor a guaranteed lifetime income. The donor can begin receiving the income immediately or defer payments until reaching a certain age. The donor realizes significant tax advantages -- an immediate charitable tax deduction and consideration of a portion of the income payments as tax-free return of principal.
A life insurance policy can also be converted to a generous vehicle for philanthropy. The donor simply irrevocably assigns his or her insurance policy to The Catholic Foundation and names the Foundation as a beneficiary. Donors receive tax deductions equivalent to the policy’s cash surrender value or for the amount contributed (to the Foundation) to pay the premium, and can use the life insurance to establish a charitable fund of any kind.
Your primary residence or a second home is also, potentially, a charitable asset. A donor can gift a residence, realize a current income tax deduction, and continue to live in the home until his or her death. When the Foundation receives the home, it will sell the property and use the proceeds to support the charitable organizations or purposes the donor has identified, or add the funds to its Unrestricted Endowment Fund.