In all honesty, not many of us like to think ahead about our final days and our final words. In fact, half of us pass on without a written estate plan. Yet we all have an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy that speaks of who we are and what we hope for those we leave behind.
Planned giving provides the tools for each of us to make a meaningful final statement about what we love, cherish, and hold dear. Whether honoring a loved one or a favorite charity, our planned gifts provide support that continues long after the reading of a last will and testament.
Listed below are some of the most common bequest and trust arrangements. This information is general in nature; we are available to answer questions, but we strongly recommend that you consult your attorney, and your tax or financial advisors to draw up an estate plan that is specific to your interests and needs.
WILLS AND BEQUESTS
A will enables you to:
- direct the distribution of your assets
- provide for your heirs in the way you choose rather than as state and federal laws direct
- possibly reduce or eliminate certain estate taxes and court costs, and
- designate a portion of your assets as a gift to your favorite charity
Testamentary gifts to Knox Heritage can take many forms, either through a new will, or through a ‘codicil,’ an amendment to your existing will. There are several different types of charitable bequests that you may select:
Knox Heritage receives a specified dollar amount.
SPECIFIC BEQUEST OR DEVISE OF PROPERTY
Knox Heritage receives specified assets, such as securities, an interest in real estate (such as a residence), or tangible personal property (such as art work, jewelry, or rare books).
RESIDUARY BEQUEST OR DEVISE
Knox Heritage receives all, or a percentage of, the remainder of your estate after specific legacies, debts, taxes, and estate expenses have been paid.
CONTINGENT BEQUEST OR DEVISE
Knox Heritage receives a gift only if certain conditions are met. There are a wide variety of conditions that you could place on such a bequest. For example, if you outlive other named beneficiaries, then part or all of your estate would benefit Knox Heritage.
Your bequest to Knox Heritage may qualify your estate for a charitable deduction equal to the entire amount of the bequest. Please consult your tax or financial adviser for further information.
EXAMPLES OF TESTAMENTARY LANGUAGE
The following are examples of language that can be included in your will or trust, and tailored to address your specific interests:
An unrestricted bequest allows your support to be used in the area of greatest need. “I give and bequeath to Knox Heritage, a non-profit organization (Tax ID # 51-0148798), with a principal business address of P.O. Box 1242, Knoxville, TN 37901, for its general purposes, the sum of ____ Dollars ($____ )” – OR – “__% of my residuary estate.”
If you have a more specific purpose in mind, please contact us so we can work with you to ensure that your wishes are met. “I give and bequeath to Knox Heritage, a non-profit organization (Tax ID # 51-0148798), with a principal business address of P.O. Box 1242, Knoxville, TN 37901, the sum of ____ dollars ($___) – OR – __% of my residuary estate to support ______________ [e.g., J. Allen Smith Fund, KH Preservation Fund, etc.].”
BEQUEST OF SPECIFIC ASSETS
“I give and bequeath to Knox Heritage, a non-profit organization (Tax ID #51-0148798), with a principal business address of P.O. Box 1242, Knoxville, TN 37901, for its general purposes, ____________________ [e.g., a vacation home, acreage, a painting, stocks, jewelry].” (Include specific details, such as the address of a vacation home, or the title and artist of any piece of art.)
CHARITABLE REMAINDER TRUSTS AND CHARITABLE LEAD TRUSTS
As an alternative to an outright bequest, you may wish to consider establishing either a charitable remainder trust or a charitable lead trust during your lifetime, or through your estate plan.
CHARITABLE REMAINDER TRUST
One or more named beneficiaries receive income for life, or for a specified term of years, after which time the assets pass to Knox Heritage. Through this arrangement, you can provide income to family members or friends, realize significant tax savings, and ensure important benefits to Knox Heritage after the trust’s termination.
CHARITABLE LEAD TRUST
Income from the trust is paid to Knox Heritage for a period of years, after which time the assets pass to your heirs, usually your grandchildren, at a reduced estate tax cost. By substantially reducing estate and other transfer taxes, this arrangement allows you to preserve a larger portion of your estate for your beneficiaries.
IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, Keoghs, and other retirement plan assets make up an increasingly large part of many estates. When left to your heirs, these assets can be subject to income, estate, and other transfer taxes. Naming Knox Heritage as a beneficiary, or contingent beneficiary of all, or a percentage of, your plan assets may reduce or eliminate both income and estate taxes. (Note that designating a specific dollar amount, rather than a specified percentage, will result in the inclusion of these funds in your gross estate for tax purposes.)
To designate Knox Heritage as the beneficiary of some, or all of your retirement plan funds, please use the following language on the retirement plan forms:
“To Knox Heritage, a non-profit (Tax ID # 51-0148798), with a principal business address of P.O. Box 1242, Knoxville, TN 37901, for its general purposes” – OR – “to support ____________ [e.g., J. Allen Smith Fund, KH Preservation Fund, etc.].”
Retirement plan assets can also be placed in a testamentary charitable remainder trust to provide income to your heirs for life, or a specified term of years, with the remainder interest passing to Knox Heritage.
Life insurance is another asset that many people utilize to support a favorite charity, especially when a policy no longer serves its original purpose. Such gifts often provide certain tax benefits as well. To designate Knox Heritage as the primary or contingent beneficiary of some, or all of your life insurance policy, you can use the same language that is suggested for use in designating retirement plan assets (see above).
Many individuals request that survivors send charitable gifts in lieu of flowers. We request that you ask people to send such memorial gifts to “Knox Heritage” c/o Knox Heritage, P.O. Box 1242, Knoxville, TN 37901. Please ask them to indicate who is being honored, as well as who should be notified of the memorial gift (e.g., surviving spouse, parent, or child).
KNOX HERITAGE’S LEGACY CIRCLE
Some people name Knox Heritage in their estate plan and never let us acknowledge their invaluable support. If you complete your estate plan and include Knox Heritage, we hope you will share this information with us. We feel strongly about expressing our gratitude, and we will be honored to consider you as a member of Knox Heritage’s Legacy Circle. The designation of a Legacy Circle donor is a fitting tribute to those who are making a lasting gift to the future with the protection of the past.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
To find out more about planned giving options, we strongly recommend that you consult your attorney, and your tax or financial advisors. You can also ask your attorney or financial advisor to contact us. Each inquiry is handled confidentially and places you under no obligation.