Summary of Gift Plans


Making a gift through your will bequest is one of the easiest ways to incorporate philanthropy into your estate planning. Your gift can be:

  1. A specific dollar amount.
  2. A specific asset, such as stocks, bonds, or real estate.
  3. All or a percentage of your total estate.
  4. All or a percentage of your residuary estate (your residuary estate is what remains after other specified gifts, payment of taxes, debts, and expenses).
  5. A contingent bequest that will go to a not-for-profit if your heirs pre-decease you.

Whether drafting a new will or adding an amendment (codicil) to an existing will, including a charity in your estate plan allows you to make a difference in the lives of others.

Benefits of Using a Will

  • You do not part with funds or assets while living — you maintain control.
  • You can make a significant donation which may not have been possible during your life.
  • Your gift avoids estate and inheritance taxes.
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Many people have at least one life insurance policy, and gifts of life insurance can transform a modest gift into a dramatic one.

An existing life insurance policy can be given by assigning all rights of ownership to the Scottish Rite Foundation of Colorado, making it the owner and beneficiary.

If you continue to pay the premiums on the policy, you get a charitable deduction for the amount of the premium payments.

Benefits of Using a Life Insurance Policy

  • You can make a substantial gift for a modest amount of cash.
  • A policy you no longer need can be converted to a gift and not sacrificed.
  • Your gift avoids estate and probate taxes.
  • You can take a tax deduction on premiums paid and dividends assigned.
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Pre-tax retirement plans are often great assets to donate to a charity. Plans such as IRAs, Keoghs, 401(k)s, and 403(b)s are subject to income tax at your death. Estate and generation skipping taxes may also be due. Without planning, over 60% of the value of your tax-deferred accounts may go to taxes. So, you may wish to designate that any charitable gifts be paid from your pre-tax retirement assets first.

To leave your IRA or other retirement plan to a charity, either as primary or contingent beneficiary, request a change in beneficiary designation form from your retirement plan company.

Benefits of Using a Retirement Plan

  • Your gift avoids estate and inheritance taxes.
  • Your gift avoids income tax.
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When stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, and other appreciated assets are sold, tax is due on any capital gain. One of the ways to avoid or delay the capital gains tax is to make a charitable gift of property.

When a donor gives appreciated property that has been held long-term (more than 12 months), he or she may take a deduction based on the current value of the property rather than just its cost. It is usually best to donate property that would be subject to the highest rate of tax if sold.

Benefits of Using Appreciated Property

  • You may avoid or delay capital gains tax.
  • You may obtain a charitable tax deduction.
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For those who want to make a charitable gift but need continued income for their available assets, life income gifts may be an attractive option. In return for an initial contribution of cash or appreciated stock, these gift plans return income to the donor as well as the donor's spouse for life, while offering a charitable deduction, reduction in capital gains taxes (if the gift plan is funded with appreciated stock), and decreased exposure to estate taxes. Depending on the plan, a portion of the income may be tax-free.

Life income plans include the following:

  1. Charitable Gift Annuity
  2. Pooled Income Fund
  3. Charitable Remainder Trusts

To learn more about these flexible life income plans, contact the Scottish Rite Foundation of Colorado at 303-861-2410 (toll-free 1-866-289-6797).
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The charitable lead trust is a plan that provides income to a charity for a period of time determined by the donor. At the end of this period, the assets are transferred to your heirs with little or no estate and gift taxes due.

Benefits of Using a Charitable Lead Trust

  • When earnings exceed the annuity payout, the asset growth can be passed to the remainder beneficiary (i.e., your children) estate-tax-free.
  • You can "leverage" or expand your exemption.

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