Types of Planned Gifts
Gifts, beyond your pledges or weekly offering, may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens “outright” in the form of cash, equity, securities, real estate or other tangible personal property. Please consult with the Minister or the Treasurer before making such a gift.
Bequests from a Will
Bequests are by far the most popular, reliable, and inexpensive planned gift. These take the form of specific provisions within a donor’s will that state that a specific amount or a percentage of assets be a charitable gift to the Fellowship (using a percentage assures that your bequest to UUFA remains in proportion to other bequests). The bequest can be unrestricted, or may be designated for a specific program or purpose within the scope of UUFA’s mission. Please consult your attorney for assistance in the proper wording.
A traditional life insurance policy (with an accumulated cash value) can be a valuable asset. If the original purpose for the protection no longer exists—such as to educate children now grown or to provide financial security for a spouse now deceased—a life insurance policy can be redirected to help support a worthy cause. You can name UUFA as the primary beneficiary. Or you can name UUFA as a primary beneficiary AND assign the ownership of the policy to UUFA which may provide current tax benefits.
Leaving a portion of your retirement plan (401k, 403b, IRA, etc.) assets to UUFA can help get the most value from your estate and protect your heirs from taxes. Retirement plan assets are subject to income taxes when paid out to a taxable entity (i.e., most people, including your spouse or children, or even your estate). In contrast, nonprofit organizations and charities, such as UUFA, are eligible to receive the full amount at your death without incurring any federal taxes.
- Designate UUFA as a primary beneficiary for a percentage (1 to 100 percent) of your retirement plan assets.
- Designate a specific amount to be paid to UUFA before the remainder is directed to family or other individuals.
- Designate UUFA as the contingent beneficiary to receive the balance only if the primary beneficiary, such as a spouse or child, does not survive you.
- If you are over age 70½, it may also be possible to make an immediate tax-free charitable gift directly from an IRA. Check with your plan administrator and income tax advisor for more information.
Lifetime Charitable Gift Annuity
Through a charitable gift annuity, one can make a gift to a charitable interest and receive fixed annual payments for life, based on the age(s) of the payment recipient(s) when the gift is completed. An income tax deduction is allowed for a portion of the amount transferred, and a portion of the annual payments are tax-free income. The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) administers such an annuity through its Umbrella Giving Program and allows you to designate your gift annuity beneficiaries as UUFA, other Unitarian Universalist entities, the UUA, or a combination of these up to 100%, all managed at no cost to you or the beneficiary.
Charitable Remainder Trust
This irrevocable trust is a type of life income plan created by transferring assets to a trust (managed by a trustee of your choice) that pays you (and your spouse or another beneficiary) income for life. At the end of the trust, the remaining trust assets are transferred to UUFA. The type of trust you choose determines your annual payments. You can claim a charitable deduction for a portion of the value of the assets you place in the trust on your income tax in the year you create your trust. The payments you receive each year may be taxed as ordinary income or, in some cases, as capital gains or tax-free income.
- Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust pays a fixed dollar amount annually for life, determined by the payout percentage you select when the trust is established.
- Charitable Remainder Unitrust pays you a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets, as revalued each year.
Revocable Living Trust
This is a type of trust which can be used to provide for eventual gifts of cash, real estate, or other property at your death, knowing that all or part of the assets may be returned to you upon your request during your lifetime. Since the assets can be returned, there are no current tax advantages. Title passes to UUFA under the terms of the trust and does not pass through the will or probate. The income from this type of trust can be paid to the donor, another person, or the charity, as directed.
Retained Life Estate Contract
You can give your home or vacation residence to UUFA but continue to use it for the rest of your life. You can qualify for an income tax deduction for part of the property’s value. At your death, the property goes directly to UUFA outside of your will or probate.
When stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, or other appreciated assets are sold, tax is generally due on any capital gain. When these appreciated assets are held long term (more than 12 months), a charitable income tax deduction is generally allowed based on the current value of the property rather than just its cost to you. Gifts of appreciated securities are generally made during the donor’s lifetime, and may be used as pledge payments or special gifts, as well as donations to the Planned Giving program.
UUA Umbrella Giving
In addition to the Charitable Gift Annuity described above, UUA’s Umbrella Giving Program allows you to give to UUFA, the UUA, and other UU entities through a single donation to the UUA. You notify the UUA how you wish your gift distributed. This can be used for outright gifts, for bequests in a will, or any other form of planned giving noted above.
UUA Pooled Income Fund
The UUA has set up a Pooled Income Fund (PIF) in which contributions to the UUA and/or UUFA and/or other UU organization you designate are commingled with other contributions for investment purposes. Each gift is assigned a fixed number of “units of participation.” The value of one unit usually grows over time offering a hedge against inflation. The value of the gift made to the charity after the income recipients have died is often greater than the initial contribution.
Participants receive quarterly payments representing their share of the actual interest and dividend earnings of the PIF investments. Capital gains are never paid to individuals (by law) and are reinvested. The UUA or UUFA or other UU organization (or combination thereof) that you designate will ultimately receive the full fair market value of the units assigned to your contribution.