Gifting AUUF with a Legacy Donation
A planned gift is typically the single largest and most significant contribution an individual can make to a congregation, and it is a reflection of what has mattered most in that person's life — family, friends, and organizations that share their core values. Planned giving can have a profound impact on the fellowship's mission and potential, which is why such gifts are often referred to as legacy donations. A prime example is the legacy left by long-time AUUF member Louise Gallop, whose 2014 bequest made AUUF's purchase of a larger church facility possible.
Planned giving examples include charitable bequests, life income gift arrangements, gifts of real estate, and gifts that use retirement accounts and insurance plan benefits. Most planned gifts are deferred, meaning the benefit is realized after the donor dies.
Planned gifts are often intended to provide long-term or perpetual support and designation to a congregation's endowment achieves this goal. Here's more information about AUUF's Endowment Fund.
Pictured: Long-time member Louise Gallop left a generous legacy that made a remarkable impacts that will continue well into our future as a congregation.
Top Planned Giving Methods
Some of the top ways to provide a planned gift, or legacy donation:
Will. Traditionally, a will is used to disburse your assets to any person or organization you choose. Multiple people, such as your children, are usually named, along with 501(c)(3) and other charitable organizations you support. Distribution can be specified dollar amounts, but more frequently, gifts are outlined as a percentage of your assets. This traditional approach usually requires a lawyer to write the will according to your wishes.
Codicil. A codicil is essentially a legal way to add information to an existing will, thereby avoiding a complete re-write in order to add AUUF as a bequest recipient. A lawyer is usually required, but a codicil is generally less complex and therefore less expensive than a drafting an entire will.
IRA or 401k Accounts (or equivalents). All retirement accounts require a beneficiary to be designated. Many folks have multiple accounts, and anyone is free to change a beneficiary designation to AUUF on any account. This requires no charges or lawyer’s fees. For example, say Sally, an AUUF member participates in her employer's defined pension plan, as well as voluntary 401(k) and 457 retirement saving plans; and her three grown children are named equally as beneficiaries (33.34% each). Sally decides to split the balance of her 401(k) between her children and AUUF. She contacts the401(k) plan administrator company and completes a 401(k) Change of Beneficiary form designating 25% to each child (25% x 3 = 75%) and 25% to AUUF.
Life Insurance. Similar to retirement accounts, life insurance plans require a beneficiary to be designated. Plan owners are free to add AUUF as a beneficiary or contingent beneficiary and this generally requires no charges or lawyer’s fees.
Charitable Gift Annuity. This is a low-cost way for retirees to generally receive better returns from their savings rather than rely on low-return bank CDs or money market accounts. If you need life-long income from your retirement assets, a donation to the national UU Association (UUA) can result in tax advantages as well as enhanced income. Plus, you may designate AUUF as beneficiary of your funds after a lifetime of income. Here's an example of how it works: a 70-year-old can be guaranteed an annual income equivalent to 5.1% (as of June 2015) of his/her gift for the remainder of his/her life. Say 70-year-old AUUF member Marvin donates $100,000 to UUA's Gift Annuity program today; he would receive $5,100 (5.1%) per year (paid $1,275 quarterly) for the rest of his life. Gift annuities can also apply to a couple. If 70-year-old Marvin and 75-year-old wife Mary donate $100,000 today, they can expect to receive $4,800 per year (4.8%) for life. Donors can also claim a charitable income tax deduction for a percentage of their gift. For example, 70-year-old Marvin would be eligible to deduct about 40% of his contribution. Actual annuity income and tax deductions vary, depending on age, date, annuity rate, and other factors. A discussion is advised with a professional at the UUA office of Legacy Gifts. More information is available at UUA's website.
Donation of Non-cash Assets (stocks, autos, jewelry, etc.). You don’t have to have money to make a Legacy Gift. Items that you own and are of some value to you will be valuable to AUUF as well. Think not only of what you own but circumstances as well. You might leave a vehicle to a grown child, but if he/she lives in the lower 48, he/she may not want it. Generally a will is the best way to bequest “hard” assets to AUUF. Otherwise, consider transferring title while you’re still alive, if you don't need or use the asset. Donation of most assets such as vehicles or stock holdings is typically quick and low-cost/no-cost.
More Information. If you would like to discuss these or other options for planned legacy gifts, please contact any AUUF Endowment, Finance or Stewardship committee member for guidance on where to find answers to your questions. UUA has a wealth of information and ideas for planned giving options -- check out UUA's online section on planned giving at www.uua.org/giftplanning.