Legacy gifts benefit both the donor and Zen Hospice Project. The advantages to the donor are many—tax benefits, recognition and the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping to ensure our mission to change the experience of dying at our Guest House and Laguna Honda Hospital, and change the experience of caregiving through our Mindful Caregiver Education. These gifts to Zen Hospice Project benefit our community by providing a reliable and steady flow of income, allowing us in turn, to make solid investments in our care model, education and Guest House for years to come.
Legacy giving is a term that covers all kinds of structured or deferred charitable gifts such as bequests (gifts from a person’s will), trusts and gifts of retirement benefits. These gifts benefit both Zen Hospice Project and you, while creating a legacy that will last for generations.
By including Zen Hospice Project in your will, you can ensure that your generosity will continue in perpetuity. Zen Hospice Project promises to put your gift to the best possible use, in fulfilling our mission to change the experience of dying and caregiving as determined by Zen Hospice Project’s executive leadership and our Board of Directors.
There are several ways to make contributions through your will. You can:
Give A Percentage
“I give, devise, and bequeath to Zen Hospice Project of San Francisco, California, ______% of my estate to be used for charitable purposes.”
Give A Specific Dollar Amount
“I give, devise, and bequeath to Zen Hospice Project of San Francisco, California, $_______ to be used for charitable purposes.”
Give A Residue
A residue is what assets remain after other bequests have been granted.
“All the residue of my estate, including real and personal property, I give, devise, and bequeath to Zen Hospice Project of San Francisco, California, to be used for its charitable purposes.”
Note: The above wording is only suggested. Please consult with your attorney when preparing any legal document.
The tax laws of the United States are structured so that donors are encouraged to give as generously as possible to their favorite charitable organizations. Gifts of assets that have increased in value since their purchase can bring the following benefits to the donor.
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Life insurance is a very under-used asset in charitable giving yet its flexibility makes it possible for virtually everyone to make a meaningful gift. Some possibilities include:
Donate a Percentage
You could opt to designate a percentage of your life insurance policy to Zen Hospice Project.
Offer a Paid-Up Policy
Most people own life insurance, and many have policies that have outlived their original purpose. For instance, policies for a college education, those insuring a business, or those protecting a mortgage, can make excellent gifts when given to a charitable organization. And the donor can deduct the replacement value of the policy.
Buy a New Policy
Some people find they can make a much larger gift than they could otherwise afford by purchasing a life insurance policy and naming Zen Hospice Project as owner and beneficiary. The future premiums paid are deductible as cash contributions.
Buy Insurance to Replace a Bequest
Some people find that they can make a current gift of assets they had planned to bequeath in their wills. They receive the income-tax benefits now and replace the assets by buying a life-insurance policy for that amount. They enjoy the satisfaction of giving now and receiving the tax deduction now when they need it most. The beneficiaries will still receive the same amount.
Add a Beneficiary to Your Existing Policy
Regardless of financial circumstances, almost anyone can name Zen Hospice Project as a secondary or final beneficiary of a new or existing policy. This simply means that if the first beneficiary(ies) predeceases you, Zen Hospice Project becomes the beneficiary. Because the gift is not definite, there are no income tax benefits; but, if any funds are passed on to Zen Hospice Project, they will be deductible from federal estate taxes.
You may find that gifts of retirement assets can save your heirs undue tax burdens and allow you to accomplish your charitable objectives. Unlike when bequeathing to individual heirs, when you bequeath retirement plan assets to Zen Hospice Project, we will not have to pay income taxes on the assets. This will allow you to make a larger gift and possibly save other nontaxable assets for donation to your heirs.
You may also want to consider setting up a charitable trust with retirement assets. With a trust, you simply transfer your retirement assets to Zen Hospice Project as the last beneficiary. The trust can provide payments for your spouse, partner or other loved one for the rest of his/her life. After the death of your beneficiary, the assets remaining in the trust can be used by Zen Hospice Project to continue our mission. There will be no estate or income taxes imposed on the assets at the time of the gift.
This information is not intended as specific legal advice. Consult your attorney when considering any legal matter. State laws which govern wills and contracts vary and are subject to change.