Gifts by Will or Bequest

Gifts by Will or Bequest

Will and Estate Planning

Before you make your will and/or other estate plans, consider the following:

  • Make a list of the people you want to include in your plans -- family, friends, or charitable interests.
  • List the property you wish to distribute -- include securities, real estate, life insurance, retirement plans, and personal property.
  • Consider ways to match the people or institutions with the property.
  • Where appropriate, list any professionals you may need to consult -- attorney, banker, accountant, tax advisor, financial planner, investment advisor, or representative of a charitable interest.

Bequests of cash, securities, real property or other assets to the food bank entitle your estate to a charitable deduction that can reduce or eliminate estate tax liability. The language of a bequest is important but it need not be complex. Clearly indicate that your bequest is intended for the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, Inc. Possible phrasing:

I give, devise, and bequeath to the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, Inc. (___% of my estate) or (the sum of $__) or (the following described property __) or (all the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate) for (the general use of the Food Bank) or (for the following use or purposes).

Gift Annuities and Remainder Trust

Charitable Gift Annuities

Annuities become a very popular way for a donor to benefit the food bank while receiving an income for life, along with significant tax advantages. As the donor, you can have the payments begin now or postpone then for a payout at a future time.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

Trusts are a legal agreement that specifies how the assets placed will be managed. This approach is an attractive way to achieve a variety of goals as a donor, while providing income for life - as well as knowing that after your lifetime, the remaining trust assets will be used by the food bank exactly as you have specified. The Charitable Remainder Trust can be set up as a Unitrust, in which the income fluctuates annually with the fair market value of the trust; or the trust can be as an Annuity, in which the income payments are fixed and are determined when you make the gift.

Endowment Giving

Establishment of a permanent endowment with the Harry Chapin Food Bank is a unique privilege of honor to provide perpetual funding for a valued purpose - and assure an ongoing stream of funding to feed the hungry in Southwest Florida. Endowment funds are invested to provide continuing income for the explicit and stated purpose desired by the donor. Income utilization is determined annually by the Board of Directors, normally in the 5% range. Earnings in excess of the approved utilization are credited to the endowment principal, enabling the funds to maintain and grow over time.

There are two types of Endowments for the food bank:

“Food Forever” Endowment Fund

This fund has been established by the Harry Chapin Food Bank as the unrestricted portion of the Endowment. A gift to the Food Forever Endowment Fund enables the interest earnings to be set aside to support our hunger relief efforts. This fund assures that there is stability in the provision of food for the hungry - in perpetuity - rather than such a heavy reliance on annual funding appeals.

Named Endowment Funds

This fund is restricted in that the donor decides exactly what the funds are to be used for at the food bank. A Named Endowment Fund may be established for a gift in the amount of a $20,000 threshold, with an initial minimum gift of $10,000 and the assurance pledge that the fund will grow to the threshold within five years.

The donor may establish the name and may designate the particular use of the funds - e.g., Building Funding; Food Procurement; Transportation, Allocation for a Partner Agency, etc.

In actuality, the Named Endowment Fund can be configured in at least two different ways. Some people prefer to set a time frame within which the principal, as well as the accumulated interest earnings, will be spent on food for the hungry - for example, a 25-year window. Others prefer that only the interest earnings be spent, thus assuring that the fund lasts in perpetuity.

*We advise that all matters related to planned giving be addressed with your Financial Advisor and/or Legal Representative prior to contacting the food bank to determine which method of giving best fits your situation.

Bequests

The most common form of planned gift is a simple bequest through a will. A bequest allows you to give in ways you may not be able to during your lifetime. Bequests can take various forms:

  • A specific bequest directs that the Harry Chapin Food Bank receive specific assets.
  • A general bequest directs that the Harry Chapin Food Bank receive a percentage (2%, 5%, 10% etc.) of the estate or a specified dollar amount.
  • A residual bequest is used to give the Harry Chapin Food Bank all or a portion of whatever remains after all debts, taxes, expenses, and all other bequests have been paid.
  • A contingent bequest takes effect only if the primary intention cannot be met. This can ensure that property will pass to the Harry Chapin Food Bank rather than unintended beneficiaries, such as the government.

While all of the above forms of outright bequests can be used to provide for unrestricted support of the Harry Chapin Food Bank’s mission, any of them may be designated for a specific purpose at the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

Because of the estate-tax charitable deduction, a bequest in any of these forms can significantly reduce the tax burden of your estate.

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