In general, estate gifts fall into two categories – revocable and irrevocable. Each may have advantages, depending upon your financial situation.
Revocable gifts allow you to change your mind if circumstances should change. For example, an unforeseen financial obligation arises, or perhaps a need for long-term care. Since you retain control and access to your assets throughout life, you preserve maximum financial flexibility. As such, no tax benefits result from your gift during life, only when your estate is settled.
Irrevocable gifts are considered ‘complete’ at the time they are established. You transfer the assets during your lifetime and, once transferred, you cannot get them back. However, because the gift is complete for tax purposes, you typically enjoy a charitable income tax deduction in the year the gift is made.
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Bequest – a bequest through your will or living trust is the most common legacy gift. If you have an existing document in place, simply contact your attorney and explain that you would like to update your plans. You can leave either a specific sum or a percentage of your estate for the AAC, whatever makes the most sense.
Sample language for a specific bequest to AAC is:
“I give to American Alpine Club, 710 10th Street, Ste. 100 Golden, CO 80401, a Colorado non-profit corporation, the sum of $_______ [or ______% of my estate; or the property described herein], for its general purposes.”
Sample language for a residuary bequest to AAC is:
“I give to American Alpine Club, 710 10th Street, Ste. 100 Golden, CO 80401,, a Colorado non-profit corporation, all [or ____%] of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, for its general purposes.”
If you don’t have a current estate plan, please create one. Regardless of your charitable intentions, a valid will ensures that your friends and loved ones will be cared for according to your exact wishes.
Beneficiary Designation – a beneficiary designation determines who will benefit from a life insurance policy or IRA/retirement plan. A percentage of these assets can be left for the ACC as well. To update your plans, simply contact your:
- Life insurance company, or
- IRA custodian, or
- Human Resources Department
and request a ‘Beneficiary Change’ form. Complete the form to reflect your wishes and return it as outlined, and your gift will be in place.
Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) – a CGA is a simple agreement that allows you to make a gift to AAC and also receive an annuity payment in return, typically for the balance of life. The annuity rate is determined by the age of the person receiving the annuity payments. You also receive an income tax deduction for a portion of your gift. The minimum gift to create a CGA is $10,000. The AAC offers free illustrations that reflect the benefits you might receive, and there is never any obligation whatsoever. Here are two example illustrations of annuities, as well as the rate schedule for CGA's. To learn more, please contact us at 303-384-0110 or email@example.com. [Charitable Gift Annuities may not be available in every state.]
Retained Life Estate – a retained life estate allows you to donate a residence to the AAC today, while retaining the use of that residence for life. You would typically receive a current charitable income tax deduction for a portion of your gift. Sample illustrations reflecting these gifts are available upon request.
Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) – in the right situation a CRT can be a powerful income and estate planning tool, and a great way to make a legacy gift. Essentially, a person makes a current gift into the trust, while retaining the right to income from that trust for life (or a term of years). Once the income period is complete, the trust dissolves and the assets transfer to the AAC. You have considerable flexibility in the design of your CRT and a conversation with your attorney and financial advisor(s) can help you maximize these benefits. Sample illustrations reflecting these gifts are available upon request.
Charitable Lead Trust (CLT) – in the right situation a CLT can help you achieve multiple financial, estate and charitable planning goals. Essentially, a person makes a gift into trust. During the trust period the AAC would receive income. When the trust terminates, the assets either return to you or pass onto your heirs. Again, you have considerable flexibility in the design of your CLT and a conversation with your attorney and financial advisor(s) can help you maximize the available benefits. Sample illustrations reflecting these gifts are available upon request.
There are a variety of ways to make a legacy gift through the Piolet Society, as outlined above. Since everyone’s circumstances are a little different, choosing the right gift is important. For some, retaining control over one’s assets throughout life will be the primary factor. For others, financial and estate tax planning may be of greater importance. A conversation with your attorney and/or financial advisor(s) is always recommended.
The AAC offers free information to help you review any of the options outlined above, and there will never be any obligation to complete any gift whatsoever. To learn more about becoming a member of the Piolet Society, please contact us at 303-384-0110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.