Set up an Endowment Fund in your name
Endowments are sometimes referred to as "everlasting gifts". Gifts identified as endowments remain intact and only the earned interest is used by the charity. Often a family will set up an endowment in the name of a loved one and can contribute to the fund over a number of years.
Leave a Bequest in your Will
Bequests are the most common form of planned giving. When your estate is settled, the charitable gift stipulated in your will is forwarded to the charity you had chosen and your estate is issued a charitable credit for the full value of the bequest.
Gifts of Securities and Stock
Gifts of securities are gifts of publicly traded stocks, bonds or mutual funds. This type of planned gift enables a donor to make a substantial charitable gift, while not tapping into current or future cash resources.
By purchasing a life insurance policy now and transferring ownership to the charity of your choice, you will receive tax receipts for the premiums you pay each year. Existing policies may be transferred, or new ones may be taken out.
A gift annuity enables a donor to make a gift and at the same time, receive guaranteed income for their lifetime. The residue goes to the charity.
Charitable Remainder Trust
The donor creates a trust fund which establishes an irrevocable gift of the remaining interest for the charity - and retains the interest income for the donor for their lifetime or for a set period of years. Only the interest can be used and cannot encroach on the principal. This type of planned gift is ideal for donors 65 years or older, who wish to make a charitable gift but still need the income the trust can provide.
Pooled Income Funds
A charity accepts gifts from many donors into a fund and distributes the income of the fund to each donor (or recipient of the donor's choosing) in proportion to their share of the fund. When an income beneficiary passes away, the charity then receives the donor's portion of the fund.
Similar to a Charitable Remainder Trust, except it refers to gifts of tangible property, such as real estate or art work. Ownership of the gift is transferred to the charity, but the donor retains possession until a later date.
Gifts in Kind and Real Estate
Gifts of tangible property are often given to charities, for the enrichment of surroundings and the pleasure of many. Contribution limitations for gifts-in-kind are the same as for gifts of cash. Real estate is not considered to be tangible property, but similar guidelines apply.
The above options are only broad examples of some of the ways you can give to charity. Please consult a financial or legal professional for more information about each, including changes that occur from time to time in how each charitably option is handled, taxed or restricted.
SENIOR LIVING VANCOUVER ISLAND - May 2009
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