Ways to Make a Planned Gift
Bequests and Wills
The simplest way to make a planned gift is by naming the Episcopal Church Foundation in your will. A bequest is a meaningful way to support our work without affecting your cash flow during your lifetime. Your attorney can include it when you prepare or revise your will or you can add a codicil at any time.
There are several types of bequests:
- A specific bequest indicates the amount of cash, securities or other asset you wish to leave to ECF. Or it can indicate a specific percentage of the total value of your estate.
- A residuary bequest leaves the remaining portion of your estate (or a percentage of the total) after all other bequests have been satisfied.
- You can make ECF the recipient of a contingency bequest, which takes into account the possibility of a change in your beneficiary’s circumstances.
You can make a bequest to ECF for a specific dollar amount or percentage of your estate:
I give, devise and bequeath to the Episcopal Church Foundation the sum of $________ as an unrestricted gift, to be used at the sole discretion of ECF
Or, you can make a bequest for specific assets, such as securities, real estate or personal property. Please be as specific as possible in identifying the property:
I give, devise and bequeath to the Episcopal Church Foundation my [insert description of the asset], to be used and/or disposed of, as the Episcopal Church Foundation determines for its general purposes.
You can make a residuary bequest, which gives all or a portion of the residue of your estate to ECF after payment of expenses and any amounts designated to other beneficiaries.
I give, devise, and bequeath to the Episcopal Church Foundation X percent of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate as an unrestricted gift, to be used at its sole discretion.
You can make a contingency bequest to ECF, which allows you to account for a change in your beneficiary’s circumstances.
I give, devise, and bequeath [insert name] X percent of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate if s/he survives me. If [insert name] does not survive me, I give, devise and bequeath to the Episcopal Church Foundation, X percent of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate as an unrestricted gift, to be used at its sole discretion.
Unrestricted and Restricted Gifts
Gifts that do not restrict the use (unrestricted gifts) allow ECF to use these resources where they are most needed. ECF is also grateful for gifts that are designated for a specific purpose that advances its mission (restricted gifts), such as support to a specific initiative or for a specific program.
If you are interested in making a restricted gift, it is important that you include language to ensure that ECF may re-direct the use of your gift if the specified initiative, program or purpose ceases to need funds in the future:
I give, devise and bequeath to the Episcopal Church Foundation the sum of $_____ to be used for the [insert name of program] for so long as ECF determines that the need exists. Should the need no longer exist, ECF may, in its sole discretion, direct the use of my bequest for a purpose related as closely as possible to that stated above.
Charitable Gift Annuities
A charitable gift annuity is a simple contract between you and the Episcopal Church Foundation. In exchange for your irrevocable gift of cash or securities, ECF agrees to pay one or two annuitants whom you designate a fixed annuity for life, and you will be entitled to an income-tax deduction in the year you make the gift.
At ECF the minimum age to start receiving annuity payments is 55. However, you can establish a charitable gift annuity at a younger age and defer the start of annuity payments to age 55. The minimum amount to establish a charitable gift annuity at ECF is $5,000.
You will receive an immediate income-tax deduction for a portion of your gift, and your annuity is backed by all of ECF’s assets.
You can contribute to the Episcopal Church Foundation through your retirement plan. Certain retirement plans, including IRAs, Keoghs, 401k and 403b plans, allow you to defer paying taxes until you withdraw income during retirement. However, after your death these accounts are often exposed to significant taxes.
Therefore, you might find it beneficial to contribute all or part of these funds to ECF while leaving other assets to your heirs. Simply name the Episcopal Church Foundation a beneficiary of your retirement plan. You will retain control of the plan during your lifetime, and you can change your beneficiary at any time if your circumstances change.
A charitable trust is a way to achieve your current and long-term financial, estate and philanthropic goals. A donor makes an irrevocable transfer of cash, stock, real estate or other assets to a trust which produces income for the donor or other beneficiary, for a fixed period of time of up to twenty years or until the donor or other beneficiary dies. At the conclusion of the trust period, the remaining principal assets will be distributed to ECF.
Charitable trusts take two forms — charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts.
A charitable remainder trust allows you to designate the beneficiary of regular payouts from trust proceeds (for either a fixed dollar amount or a fixed percentage) during your lifetime or for a period of time, not to exceed twenty years. At the same time, ECF is designated a remainder beneficiary. This allows you to claim a tax deduction for the estimated portion of the assets that will ultimately go to ECF upon death or the expiration of the fixed period.
Charitable lead trusts appeal to individuals who wish to make a gift but retain the property. These irrevocable trusts are, essentially, the reverse of charitable remainder trusts in that the payments from a charitable lead trust will first go to ECF for a specific period of time, usually between 10 and 20 years, after which time the principal of the trust will revert to you or to those you have designated.
Pooled Income Fund
In a pooled income fund your gift of $2,500 or more, will be “pooled” with other gifts in a professionally managed investment portfolio. You, or your designated beneficiary, will be guaranteed an income for life, although the amount of income will depend on the rate of return on the fund’s investments. You will receive an immediate federal income tax deduction and a possible reduction on your estate taxes. Upon your death, or that of the final beneficiary, the remaining property will come to ECF.
Bank Accounts, Securities and Certificates of Deposit
A no-cost way to make a planned gift to ECF is by designating it the recipient of a bank account or security. You can instruct any financial institution in which you have an account or the holder of a security to place your asset in a trust (often called a Totten Trust or a Transfer upon Death Account) which will be transferred, upon your death, directly to the Episcopal Church Foundation.
This allows you to retain complete control of the asset during your lifetime and to give the remaining asset to ECF upon your death. Most Totten Trusts can be created easily, using a form obtained from your bank, financial institution or the holder of the security.
Life Insurance Policies
ECF welcomes philanthropic support through gifts of life insurance policies when the policies are paid in full and ECF is named as the owner and irrevocable beneficiary of the policy.
You can name ECF as the primary or contingent beneficiary of an existing or new life insurance policy. Although a current income tax deduction is not available, it will result in a federal estate tax deduction for the full amount of the proceeds payable to the charity, regardless of policy size. Or you can make an assignment or gift of a life insurance policy that you currently own or donate a new life insurance policy, approaches which allow a current income tax deduction.