Legacy Giving Program: Tools & Techniques

There are myriad ways of affecting a Legacy gift to Etz Hayim.  The following is a list of different options.  But please feel free to contact us at legacy@etzhayim.net to discuss which options might be the best for you and your family.

Life Insurance Policy, IRA, and Retirement Plan Beneficiary Designation

Often the easiest way to make a gift to the charitable causes that are most important to you is through the beneficiary designations on your life insurance policies, your IRAs, or your Retirement Plans.  You may update your beneficiary designations to include Etz Hayim as a primary or contingent beneficiary of your life insurance policy, IRA, or qualified retirement plan (such as a 401(k) or 403(b) plan).  You may also choose to create a new insurance policy owned by Etz Hayim for which you make a contribution of the premium payment.

Charitable Bequest

A bequest is a legacy gift, distributed from the donor’s estate after the end of his or her life.  You can create a permanent legacy by leaving a bequest in your will or trust of a specific amount of cash, a specific asset, a percentage of your estate, or the remainder of your estate.  You may choose to make a gift of cash, securities, or other property — and your estate may receive a tax deduction in the amount of your charitable bequest.  A charitable bequest allows you to retain use and control over your assets during your lifetime.  An easy and effective way to make a charitable bequest is through a simple Codicil to your Will.

Charitable Lead Trust (“CLT”)

A CLT allows you to benefit from the tax savings that result from supporting your favorite Jewish organization and transfer assets to heirs.  You give assets to a trust that pays your favorite charity an income for a number of years, or life.  The longer the length of time, the better the gift tax savings for you.  When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to your family or other beneficiaries you select.  A charitable lead trust is an excellent way to transfer property to family members and heirs at a minimal tax cost.  You and your professional advisors would select the best payout rate and trust term for you.

Charitable Remainder Trusts (“CRT”)

A charitable remainder trust is a way to establish a lasting legacy in your name and receive income from the trust for life, or for a specified number of years.  Upon expiration of that term, the remainder of the trust goes towards the charitable purpose you established at its creation.  Your charitable remainder trust can be designed as either an Annuity Trust, with a fixed annual payment to you, or as a Unitrust, in which case you are paid a percentage of the value of the assets.

Gifts of Cash, Stock, or Real Estate

A current gift of cash or other property can establish a permanent endowment during your lifetime that will make distributions to the Jewish community in perpetuity.  If you donate appreciated securities held for more than one year, you can avoid capital gains taxes, if applicable, and receive a tax receipt for the full value of your gift in the current year.  The most common forms of securities gifts are shares of stock, bonds, and mutual funds. Gifts of real estate may include a house, apartment building, vacation home, commercial buildings, or income-producing and non-income-producing land.  You can make an outright gift of real estate property now or through your estate.  Gifts of real estate typically require certain procedural steps, including a site visit to the property, a qualified appraisal, a preliminary title report, and an environmental assessment.  A gift of real estate could be an excellent way to unlock the full-appraised value of a property, allow for significant tax and economic advantages, and have an impact in the Jewish community.


This information is intended as an educational tool. The information presented is to provide general information only and should not be construed as legal or accounting advice. Because tax and financial consequences involved with any gifting program depend on personal financial circumstances, individuals should consult with their own financial, legal, and accounting advisors to review any charitable estate planning options.

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