Wild Ones Legacy

Wild Ones Legacy:
Helping You Help Wild Ones After You're Gone

The Wild Ones Finance Committee, chaired by Kathy McDonald, Greater Cincinnati (OH) Chapter, has been hard at work developing a financial program for members and friends to use in supporting the Wild Ones mission. Today we are introducing the Wild Ones Legacy Program. If you have comments or further suggestions, please contact the National Office at 877-394-9453.

To fund its important programs, Wild Ones depends heavily on private contributions from caring individuals. Donors are discovering the benefits of supporting charities through their estate plans. Through the Wild Ones Legacy Program we will work with you and your estate-planning professionals to help you help Wild Ones after you are gone.

These donations (often called planned gifts) can offer many advantages:
• Reduce estate taxes.
• Provide a life-income stream.
• Allow you to make a much larger gift than you thought possible.
• Receive a current income-tax deduction.
• Reduce or avoid capital gains tax.
• Support Wild Ones mission and work.

If you have not yet included the Wild Ones in your estate plans, the following are some of the most popular methods to accomplish that. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact National Treasurer, Bret Rappaport, at 312-845-5116 or b.rappaport@comcast.net, or the Wild Ones National Office at 877-394-9453 or execdirector@wildones.org. If you are considering such a gift, you should consult with your attorney or accountant for how the gift will affect your estate plan.

Wills

One of the simplest and most common ways to remember Wild Ones and help us carry on our mission is to leave a bequest through your will. The following is suggested language to use in wills and a variety of other estate planning tools – feel free to print this and take it to your attorney when you are discussing your estate plans.

When making a gift to the Wild Ones Natural Landscapers, Ltd., use this
language:

“I give and bequeath the sum of $ _______ (or ______% of my estate) to the Wild Ones Natural Landscapers Ltd., to be used for its general purposes.”

You may also give a particular asset (“my shares of XYZ stock…”) or a portion of the residue of your estate after other bequests have been paid (“50% of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate…”).

Trusts

There are many different types of trusts that can serve a variety of purposes. It would be impossible to give even a brief explanation of the many types of trusts in this information. The advice of an attorney and qualified financial planner is necessary to assess your situation and decide which trust might best serve your goals. Please know, however that it is easy to include a gift to Wild Ones through your trust by using the language set forth above.

Also, there are trusts (called Charitable Remainder Trusts) that can provide you or your loved ones with a life-income stream while also providing a gift to support the programs of the Wild Ones. Please check with your financial advisor to determine what is best for your situation.

Life insurance

Life insurance can be a valuable tool in estate planning. By naming beneficiaries on policies, the proceeds can be paid directly to that person or organization without having to go through probate. Life insurance also offers a wonderful way to make a charitable gift. It is possible to make gifts with “paid-up” policies, policies with premiums still due, policies where you can retain the right to a policy’s cash value, or by assigning the dividends in a participating policy. Check with your insurance agent to see which option would be best for you.

Pay on death or transfer on death accounts

This estate planning tool can be an effective way to quickly transfer assets – such as bank accounts – to a beneficiary, because it avoids that asset going through the probate process. It also allows you to change the beneficiary at any time.

When establishing the account, tell your banking representative that you wish it to be a “Pay on Death” account. They will ask you for the name of the person or charitable organization you wish to receive the property upon your death.

Gifts of securities

While a gift of securities is not strictly an estate-planning tool, there are significant advantages to this type of donation that have allowed many donors to make gifts that will live on after they are gone.
If you have owned stock for at least one year that has increased in value, you can donate that stock to a charitable organization without having to pay capital-gains tax on the increase. Additionally there is an income-tax charitable deduction equal to the full current market value of the securities (up to 30 percent of the donor’s adjusted gross income). Using appreciated stock to fund a gift annuity offers added tax benefits to that gift.

Note: In order to receive the most favorable tax treatment, you must donate the securities to the Wild Ones – you cannot sell the stock and donate the proceeds. If you would like more information on how to make this transfer, please contact the Wild Ones National Office.

Retirement plan assets

With the increase in the variety of retirement plan assets that people own, an important aspect of your estate planning should be making sure that the money invested in these accounts goes to the people or organizations you wish to receive them.

Examples of these different retirement plans include IRAs, pension plans, Keogh, and 401(K) accounts. If you are contemplating a charitable gift in your estate plans, using assets such as those in retirement plans can maximize your donation while allowing other property that is not subject to some taxes to be passed to your beneficiaries. Consult your financial advisor to see what is best for your particular estate plan.

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