You work hard to accumulate assets throughout your life, but without a valid will or trust at your death, your assets are distributed according to state law. Wouldn’t you rather determine that yourself? Although many people think of a will as the easiest way to transfer assets after their lifetime, it doesn’t cover everything. In fact, retirement plans, IRAs, life insurance and insurance annuities are not controlled by the terms of your will, but instead use separate beneficiary paperwork to determine who receives them.
Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha & Putnam’s Legacy Society was founded to create new opportunities for you to give, and to preserve our future through planned gifts.
Our Legacy Society adviser will help you and your family understand your beneficiary paperwork, and help you maximize your long-term impact in our community. By planning ahead — whether in the form of a bequest, annuity, or other planned giving arrangement — you automatically become a member of Habitat for Humanity’s Legacy Society. The reasons that people are joining our Legacy Society are as varied as the members themselves, but perhaps one common denominator is a sincere desire to give back to their community. Other advantages include:
It’s revocable. With a bequest, you are not actually making a gift until your death. Until then, you are free to alter your plans, eliminating the worry that you might make a commitment you could later regret.
It’s tax-smart. Your estate is entitled to an unlimited estate tax charitable deduction for bequests to qualified charitable organizations.
If you are considering a gift to charity after your lifetime, it is usually better to leave nontaxable assets such as stocks and real estate to your loved ones and the taxable assets such as retirement accounts and IRAs to tax-exempt charitable organizations.
Example: Dan would like to leave our organization his $100,000 IRA after his death. If he names us as the beneficiary for 100 percent of his IRA, we would receive the entire $100,000 to help fulfill our mission. By comparison, if Dan leaves the IRA to his sister, she will owe a sizable amount of the IRA to income taxes.
Your beneficiary designations can be modified at any time to meet your changing needs. However, your assets may never reach your intended recipients if you’ve failed to keep all of your beneficiary designations up to date. We suggest reviewing them every two to three years to make sure your wishes are up to date.
Habitat’s Legacy Society adviser is happy to work with you and your professional advisers to determine how your investments can better our community for generations to come. Your beneficiary designations trump your will when it comes to passing along your assets at your death, making beneficiary designations effective and easy ways to leave a legacy.
If you would like more information, or to schedule a meeting with Habitat for Humanity’s Legacy Society Adviser, please complete the form below.