Ways To Include Big Lake Humane Society In Your Estate

Some of the largest lifesaving gifts we have received came from estate gifts. If you are considering naming us in your estate, there are many ways you may structure your “planned gift” to Big Lake Humane Society. 

What is a “planned gift“?

The term “planned giving” refers to a charitable gift that requires some pre-planning. When a donor leaves assets to Big Lake Humane Society in his or her will, the estate receives a charitable tax deduction.

Types of planned gifts

Revocable Living Trust: These trusts are created during the donor’s lifetime and may be changed or revoked at any time. Upon death, ownership of assets is determined immediately as set forth in the trust document. Trust property may forego the probate process—compared to property distributed through a will, which requires probate—ensuring that your charitable wishes are carried out in a timely and cost-effective manner. A gift of this nature may also lower estate taxes.

Charitable Remainder Trust: This trust makes payments, either a fixed amount (annuity trust) or a percentage of trust principal (unitrust), to Big Lake Humane Society. Provisions may be included that allow income to be redirected back to you, and you may claim a tax deduction as well as not pay capital gains tax if the gift is of appreciated property. At the end of the trust term, Big Lake Humane Society receives the remaining funds in the trust. Charitable remainder unitrusts provide flexibility in income distribution and thus can be helpful with retirement planning.

Charitable Lead Trust: This trust makes payments, either a fixed amount (annuity trust) or a percentage of trust principal (unitrust), to Big Lake Humane Society during its term. At the end of the term, the remaining assets can revert back to the donor (a grantor lead trust) or to heirs named by the donor (a non-grantor lead trust.) The donor may claim a charitable tax deduction for funding a grantor or non-grantor lead trust. Since lead trusts are typically used to pass assets to heirs, non-grantor lead trusts are far more common. In this case, assets forego estate taxes at your passing, given that they have been removed from your taxable and probate estate.

Retained Life Estate:  A donor may make a gift of his or her personal residence, farm or vacation property to Big Lake Humane Society and retain the right to live there for the remainder of his or her life. The donor receives an immediate income tax deduction for the gift. At the donor’s death, Big Lake Humane Society may use or sell the property.

Real Estate: Appreciated real estate may allow a donor to avoid sizable capital gains taxes. Depending on the appreciation, the tax savings may exceed the original cost of the property. Conversely, if real estate values have decreased over time, donors will benefit more by: 1. Selling their depreciated property; 2. Taking a capital loss; and 3. Receiving a charitable deduction for their cash gift.

Note: You do not have to make or change a will to benefit Big Lake Humane Society at the time of your death. Virtually any account that allows you to designate a death beneficiary may be gifted to Big Lake Humane Society.

Life Insurance: You may name Big Lake Humane Society as your beneficiary, co-beneficiary, or contingent beneficiary, of your insurance policies.

Financial Accounts: Most financial accounts may be made Payable on Death (POD) to a named beneficiary, including a nonprofit organization.

Retirement Savings: IRAs, pensions, 401K plans, and other retirement savings arrangements provide for death beneficiaries, including a nonprofit organization.

Revocable Living Trusts: Property placed in such a trust may be transferred to Big Lake Humane Society quickly, given that these processions are not subject to the probate process.

Property Deeds and Automobiles: Consider naming Big Lake Humane Society as the Transfer on Death (TOD) beneficiary of your titles and deeds.

Planning for your pet’s future

A little planning can give you big peace of mind. By deciding now who can take care of your pets if you die first, you make a difficult transition much easier for your beloved companion. We can guide you through this process, whether you want your pets to come to Big Lake Humane Society or to someone you know and trust. We know first hand the number of pets that are surrendered into shelters after their owner passes. We know they are part of your family, and we always want to ensure pets get the love and care they deserve. We believe it’s important to include your beloved pet’s future in your planning. 

Consult your financial advisor

Your financial situation is unique. We strongly recommend that you consult your tax attorney, accountant, or financial advisor to help you in your estate or trust planning. If you or your advisor have any questions, please email BigLakeED@gmail.com.