Goal: Defer a gift until after your
Benefit: Your donations are fully exempt from federal estate tax and you retain control of your assets
In the past year and a half, we have gratefully received nearly $20,000 each from two WUMB members who passed away. Their generosity will enable WUMB to expand the services that they so apparently enjoyed.
We did not have the opportunity to talk to them (and thank them - please let us thank you should you make a bequest to WUMB) prior to the reading of their wills, so the extent of their stories is not fully known. But the following story is known to us and illustrates the rewards of making a bequest to WUMB.
Pam Adams is a retired nurse, mother, and grandmother and is still a very busy woman. She loves to travel to places she has always dreamed about visiting, and when she can't take a trip, thoroughly enjoys traveling - via her radio - on the many journeys offered by her public radio station.
When not traveling or spending time with her grandchildren, Mrs. Adams volunteers her time at her local public radio station. "I love going behind the scenes and helping out," she says.
According to Mrs. Adams, "Public broadcasting is a part of my family, and I want it to bring to my children and grandchildren the things that I treasure. And if I can help these children open their eyes and see the possibilities, I've done more than I ever dreamed of."
In addition to the emotional rewards of knowing what her gift means to something she loves, there are also long-term tax benefits because charitable bequests can reduce estate taxes (see bequest information). And there can be other tax benefits as well if the bequest involves appreciated assets.
Using funds from a retirement account to make bequests is often a good strategy. If there is a balance in your retirement account at your death, not only is there a potential income tax burden, but there may be estate taxes as well. Estimates are that taxes could eat up as much as 70-75% of retirement assets under certain circumstances. Careful planning concerning retirement funds needs to be done. Some additional information regarding retirement assets is available.
Another option to consider in making a gift is to use life insurance policies that are no longer needed or necessary. There are some different ways to make a gift of life insurance.
Mrs. Adams found her experience in providing support to public radio in the future enriched her heart and life today. Often donors are surprised by just how wonderful the giving experience can be.