Ways to Give and Create a Lasting Legacy
A bequest is a gift of property or assets to
a beneficiary as defined in a will. There can be long-term tax
benefits because charitable bequests can reduce estate taxes.
In addition, there are the emotional rewards of knowing what
a charitable gift means to the charity and how it can benefit
society. There can be other tax benefits as well if the bequest
involves appreciated assets.
A bequest may be designated to the American Health Assistance
Foundation (AHAF) or one of our three programs:
Alzheimer's Disease Research
Macular Degeneration Research
National Glaucoma Research
Specific language (see
bequest information) is used to effect a bequest. The examples
provided here are for general information - please consult your
attorney to make sure your wishes are properly carried out.
There is some additional information available about the benefits
of utilizing a charitable bequest and how bequests enable you
to keep control of your assets.
A Living Trust is a trust set up to operate during
the life (and can operate after the death) of the one setting
up the trust. It can be revocable, or, in other words, you can
change your mind and have some or all of the trust property
returned to you during your life. An irrevocable trust cannot
be changed except in certain legal circumstances (fraud, unlawful
agreements, merger of interests, decision of the Court). Gifts
may be made through a Living Trust upon the death of the trustor.
See Living Trust for more information.
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Supporting the American Health Assistance Foundation (AHAF)
with a Charitable Gift Annuity benefits both the annuitant and
those suffering from age-related, degenerative diseases. AHAF
offers an annuity program for each of our three programs:
- Alzheimer's Disease Research
- Macular Degeneration Research
- National Glaucoma Research
A Charitable Gift Annuity is a way for people to transfer cash
or other assets, such as stocks or bonds in exchange for a fixed
payment for the rest of his /her life. The amount of each payment
is determined by the age(s) of the annuitant(s) when the annuity
is funded. Proof of age, such as a photocopy of a driver's license
or birth certificate, is required to determine the payment rate.
An annuity agreement is signed by the annuitant, and both the
AHAF Treasurer and Secretary. This is a binding contract and
the money cannot be returned. The payments may never be reduced
or changed for life.
A gift annuity may be for a single party (1 life) or
two parties (2 life). For example, the two parties could be
husband and wife, aunt and niece, or father and daughter (the
possibilities are endless.) The percentage of return on a two-life
annuity is based on the youngest party. A married couple may prefer an annuity to ensure that both parties will enjoy
a steady income for life.
The minimum amount for funding a gift annuity with the American
Health Assistance Foundation or one of its three programs is
$10,000 and the minimum age to fund a gift annuity is 60 years
The annuitant has the option to receive payments annually,
semi-annually, quarterly, or monthly.
In the year the annuity is funded, the annuitant is entitled
to an income tax deduction for a portion of the entire amount
of the annuity. If you are unable to utilize the entire amount
as a deduction in the year you funded your annuity, you may
carry forward the unused amount for up to an additional five
tax years, as long as you claim the maximum allowable amount
each year. With a Charitable Gift Annuity, the annuitant receives:
- Guaranteed lifetime income
- The option of receiving payments annually, semi-annually,
quarterly or monthly
- Income tax benefits
- Fixed annuity payment rates
If you would like to learn more, complete the Annuity
Prospect Application, send it to AHAF, and we will provide you
with a personalized annuity proposal. OBTAINING A PROPOSAL DOES
NOT ENTAIL AN OBLIGATION TO GO FORTH WITH AN ANNUITY. You are also
welcome to contact Barbara Spitzer, Senior Gift Planning Officer (email@example.com) at 1-800-437-2423.
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A Charitable Remainder Trust is established for the life of
the donor (also trustor or grantor) and/or for the life of any
beneficiary(-ies) and is irrevocable. While there are certain
changes that may be made, once the trust is established, it
cannot be revoked. If it is desired, the income period of the
trust can be established for a specified period of time not
to exceed twenty years. The twenty-year maximum does not apply
if the trust life is based on the life expectancy of the income
A charitable remainder trust is an attractive planning tool
for the disposal of highly appreciated assets. While the assets
revert to the charity rather than the heirs of the estate, the
use of an irrevocable life insurance trust in conjunction with
a charitable remainder trust could replace the asset's value
for the heirs.
There are two different types of charitable remainder trusts.
A charitable remainder unitrust (see example)
is a popular way to achieve tax benefits as well as a fixed
annual percentage on the value of the assets in the trust. The
assets are revalued annually and, if the trust value changes,
the payment to the beneficiary(ies) changes.
A charitable remainder annuity trust is set up to pay
a fixed rate of return based on the initial valuation at the
time the property is placed in the trust. The trust assets are
Charitable Remainder Trusts provide a good degree of flexibility
that is valuable in charitable gift planning. For example, a
variation on remainder trusts can be
an effective way to make gifts of real estate. A graphic
example of a charitable remainder trust is available.
A charitable lead trust is often called the reverse of a charitable
remainder trust. During the term or life of the charitable lead
trust, an annuity or unitrust income interest is distributed
each year to the designated charitable beneficiary and the assets
are eventually transferred to the trustor's or grantor's designated
The Charitable Lead Trust (CLT) is a powerful way to make a
future transfer of assets to your heirs at a significantly reduced
gift and estate tax cost, while also providing AHAF with income.
During a specified number of years, the lives of one or more
individuals, or a combination of the two, a contribution is
paid to AHAF. A lead trust may be structured to provide a fixed
dollar contribution annually (CLAT) or a fixed percentage contribution
(CLUT). At the end of the trust term, the assets pass to the
beneficiaries the donor's name. The donors choose the trustee.
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You can fund a charitable lead trust with cash, publicly traded
securities, closely-held stock, income-producing real estate,
partnership interests, or a combination of the above. You can
establish a CLT during your lifetime, or as a
testamentary trust through your will.
There are two basic types of Lead Trusts: Non-Grantor and Grantor.
- In a non-grantor charitable lead trust, the most
common type, the trust assets revert to your children, grandchildren,
or other heirs at the end of the trust term. A non-grantor
CLT provides a gift tax charitable deduction and is useful
in reducing the cost of intergenerational wealth transfers.
- In a grantor charitable lead trust, the trust assets
revert to you, rather than to your heirs, at the end of the
trust term. Donors creating grantor CLTs receive a large charitable
contribution income tax deduction. Such a gift structure may
be particularly useful if you wish to make a multi-year pledge
and accelerate future deductions into the current year.
Donors establishing a CLT should be advised by an attorney
who is experienced in the area of charitable trusts and estate
planning. Please contact us by phone or e-mail so that we can
assist you or use our response/request form.
of Real Estate
Depending on the circumstances that are involved, gifts of
real estate can be an effective means of planning a gift.
For information on making a gift of Real Estate to AHAF, or
one of its programs, please contact Barbara Spitzer, Senior Gift Planning Officer, at 1-800-437-2423
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of Life Insurance
Life Insurance is usually purchased for the protection of
one's family to minimize financial loss caused by the death
of a family member. Many of our donors are discovering that
a gift of life insurance to AHAF, or one of its programs, can
be a very meaningful gift.
Gifts of Existing Policies
To make a gift of an existing policy, contact your insurance
agent to obtain the necessary form to make AHAF the irrevocable
owner and beneficiary of the policy. If the policy is paid up
and AHAF, or one of its programs, is made the irrevocable owner
and beneficiary, the donor is then entitled to a charitable
deduction for income tax purposes for the "replacement value."
The replacement value is what it would cost to purchase an identical
policy, given the donor's age and medical condition. If the
policy given to AHAF is not paid up, any premiums that are thereafter
paid by the donor will be deductible. Future premiums are billed
to AHAF and the donor makes an unrestricted gift to us to cover
the cost of the premiums. If the donor does not wish to continue
to make future premium payments, AHAF will likely surrender
the policy for its "Cash Surrender Value".
Gifts of New Policies
Premium payments on new policies are deductible when AHAF
is named as the irrevocable owner and beneficiary of the policy.
Premiums are billed to AHAF and the donor of the policy makes
an unrestricted gift to us equal to the premium due. AHAF will
use the gift to pay the premiums. AHAF will let all policies
lapse if gifts are not received on a timely basis to cover the
Making the Charity a Beneficiary of your Life Insurance
You may wish to make the charity the beneficiary (or a contingent
beneficiary) of a life insurance policy as a way to make a sizeable
future gift. You retain lifetime ownership of the policy, keeping
the right to cash it in, borrow against it, and change the beneficiary.
A gift of this nature is treated much like a bequest made through
your will. Because you retain the ownership of your asset (the
policy), you will not receive an income tax charitable deduction
for this future gift or for your premium payments during your
lifetime. The policy's proceeds will be included in your gross
estate, and your estate can take an estate tax charitable deduction.
IN ALL CASES, YOU SHOULD SEEK THE ASSISTANCE OF YOUR INSURANCE
AGENT TO MAKE CHANGES OF OWNERSHIP AND BENEFICIARIES, DETERMINE
REPLACEMENT VALUE OR SURRENDER VALUE AND MAKE SURE THAT ADEQUATE
COVERAGE REMAINS AFTER MAKING A GIFT
For more information or to contact us with your intentions
for gift planning, please contact Barbara Spitzer, Senior Gift Planning Officer, at 1-800-437-2423
of Retirement Assets
Contributions to retirement plans can provide an excellent
opportunity for growth, as they grow tax-free, meaning that
the growth or earnings are not taxed annually but can continue
to grow pre-tax. The earnings are taxed when they are withdrawn,
but this has allowed more dollars to be invested for more growth.
Additional savings can occur if the recipient is in a lower
tax bracket when the funds are withdrawn (for example, during
retirement) than when the investments were growing.
However, careful planning concerning the withdrawals from retirement
funds needs to be done. Not only is there a potential income
tax burden, but if there is a balance in your retirement account
at your death, there may be estate taxes as well. Estimates
are that taxes could eat up as much as 75-80% of retirement
assets under certain circumstances.
Using qualified retirement plan funds is an excellent source
of assets to fund bequests. By designating the American Health
Assistance Foundation as a beneficiary (it can be a contingent
beneficiary after the death of a spouse - see sample bequest
language), funds pass to AHAF free of taxes. It is possible
to set up the charitable beneficiary as the recipient of the
entire remaining funds in the account or establish a percentage
to fund the bequest.
Please note - the designation of AHAF as a beneficiary
of retirement fund assets cannot be simply written in your will
or trust. the American Health Assistance Foundation must be
designated as a beneficiary of the retirement plan.
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Disclaimer: Please note, individual
financial circumstances will vary. The information on this
site does not constitute legal or tax advice. Donor stories
and photographs are for purposes of illustration only. As
with all tax and estate planning, please consult your attorney
or estate specialist. All material is copyrighted and is
for viewing purposes only. Use of this planned giving section
signifies your agreement with the planned giving section
The content in this Planned Giving section has been developed
for the American Health Assistance Foundation and is owned
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