The information below shows you how to multiply the blessing of your Will to you, your family, and the charities you love.
Legacy Love Letter
Because a Legacy Love Letter is not a legal document, and is not made for the purpose of distributing assets, the content and form of your letter is up to you. Here are three themes you may wish to cover in your Legacy Love Letter:
- Beliefs and Values. What are your guiding principles when it comes to marriage, raising children, ministry, charities, handling money, etc.?
- Life Lessons. What were some of the defining moments of your life, and what did you learn from them? What experiences and people are you most grateful for?
- Message of Hope. What message of hope and encouragement do you wish to leave to your family and friends?
Setting up your legacy file
Make it easy for your loved ones to locate the documents they'll need when the time comes. Printable copy.
- Contents List - a list of the contents in your Legacy File
- Duplicate Copy - if you create a duplicate copy of your Legacy File for your executor and for a safe deposit box, you should provide contact and location information.
- Finances - provide a list of bank accounts, CDs, mutual funds, and other investments with institution names, account names, and account numbers.
- Funeral Instructions - provide details about your wishes for the funeral service, funeral home, burial arrangements.
- Important Documents - create a "catch all" file for all other important documents your family may need such as birth certificates, Social Security cards, titles, etc.
- Insurance - create a single file with all insurance information; including auto, home, life, health, disability, etc. List the company name, policy numbers, and contact information.
- Monthly Budget - include a copy of your monthly budget to help your family keep track of bills and run your household once you are gone.
- Passwords - If you're like most people, you probably have a large and growing list of passwords, usernames, and PIN numbers for your bank accounts, web sites, voicemail, and more. Make a list of these important access codes in a single file.
- Spiritual Will - sometimes called and ethical will is a "love letter" from you expressing your spiritual values, your love for family, your life lessons and beliefs.
- Tax Returns - it is recommended that you keep up to 7 years of tax returns on file in the event that you are audited by the IRS. This precaution will spare your family from a lot of unnecessary hassle if you are no longer around.
- Will - a signed copy of your Will, including information about guardianship, beneficiaries, executor, power of attorney, financial accounts, and charitable interests.
Source: Selected concepts based on the Legacy Drawer at www.daveramsey.com
Notice of bequest letter
If you have included us in your Will, we'd like to thank you appropriately and be sure we understand and honor your gift intentions. You can help us do that by sending us a "Notice of Bequest" letter. Here is a sample.
Other ways to give
Charitable Gift Annuities
CGAs are a simple arrangement that involves a charitable gift and an annuity. You simply make a gift (part of which is tax deductible), and receive fixed annuity payments each year for the remainder off your life. At the end of your life, the charitable gift goes to support our work.
Did you know appreciated stocks, bonds, and mutual funds in a taxable investment portfolio can be transferred as gifts to support good works? Giving stocks provides a significant opportunity to avoid capital gain tax, receive a deduction and simplify your giving.
A charitable trust allows you to bless a charity you care about while still providing an income for you or your heirs. With a charitable lead trust, money is paid first to the charity of your choice for a specified amount of time. Then at the end of the trust period, the balance goes to a designated beneficiary. A charitable remainder trust reverses that order, paying your heir first.
Retirement Assets and IRA Giving
Designating a charity as the beneficiary of your retirement account offers a number of tax advantages. Unlike individual beneficiaries, charities are not required to pay income tax on withdrawals from these accounts, plus the sum you give will not be included in your adjusted gross income.
Gifts In Kind
Gifts in Kind refer to the practice of giving actual goods or services to a charity versus donating the money to buy them. These types of gifts can be as creative as the person giving them!
Real Estate Gifts
Properties that can be given to us include personal residences, vacation homes, commercial property or land. Many people like to give gifts of real estate because the inherent value of the property far exceeds that of any other single asset. It's very popular because even individuals with modest estates typically own real estate.
Point of Death Transfers
POD Transfers are a way of designating beneficiaries to receive your assets automatically at the time of your death, without having to go through probate court. They also allow you to specify the percentage of assets each person or entity will receive.
Donor Advised Funds
Once of the simplest ways to give real estate, stocks, mutual funds or commodities is through a Donor Advised Fund. This is an account you create with us for setting aside money or assets, receiving immediate tax beneffits and allowing you the flexibility to distribute gifts over time. It's like having your own charitable giving account.