1 SAF Planned Giving Instrument Descriptions and FAQ s The Society of American Foresters has a number of planned giving instruments available which provide a means for members and their families to financially support the current and future work of the Society while also leaving a lasting legacy for their profession. The Society is grateful for your involvement as a member over the years, and would also be very appreciative of your lasting contribution through planned giving. Charitable Gift Annuity A charitable gift annuity is created by a contract between you and the Society of American Foresters under which you make a gift to the SAF and the SAF promises to pay you a fixed annual income for your lifetime. Gift annuities may be funded with cash, certificates of deposit, publicly-traded securities, and similar assets. You will be entitled to an income tax charitable deduction for part of the value of the assets you transfer to the SAF. A gift annuity may be especially appealing if you want to supplement your retirement income and make a gift to the SAF. It is also an ideal way to fund a SAF endowment that can bear your name in perpetuity. The ultimate benefit, however, is the satisfaction of knowing that your gift will provide vital future support for SAF in many ways including student support, forestry communications and outreach to the public, or support to SAF ongoing programs or facilities. Frequently Asked Questions How is the annuity payment determined? The SAF generally offers the annuity rate recommended by the American Council on Gift Annuities based on the age of the annuitant(s). The annuity rate increases with age, and the rate for one annuitant is generally higher than the rate for two. However, in some cases the annuity rate is negotiated based upon the size of the gift, whether there are one or two annuitants and their ages at the time of the gift, and the general purpose. Is any portion of the annuity tax-free? Generally, a certain portion of each annuity payment is tax-free because it represents a return of principal. Gift annuities funded with cash will produce more tax-free income over the life of the annuity than gift annuities funded with appreciated property. If you fund a gift annuity with appreciated property, the annuity payments will consist of ordinary income, capital gain income, and tax-free return of principal. The SAF will provide income tax information to each annuitant every year for their tax returns.
2 Can a gift annuity make payments to more than one person? Yes. A gift annuity may be established for one or two persons and you can designate any individual as the annuitant. If you designate someone other than yourself or your spouse as the annuitant, you should consult with your advisors about the possible capital gain and gift tax consequences of the arrangement. Do gift annuity payments ever fluctuate? No. The payment amount is fixed at the time the gift annuity is created. Can a gift annuity be used for retirement planning? Yes. An immediate gift annuity is an excellent way to enhance your retirement income. You can also establish a deferred gift annuity now that will begin paying you an annuity when you retire. Deferred gift annuities produce larger payments than immediate gift annuities because you are older when payments begin. Can I fund more than one gift annuity? Yes. Some donors create a new gift annuity every few years. This enables them to receive more income as they age and provide additional support to the SAF. Tax Consequences Income tax charitable deduction: When you create a gift annuity, you qualify for an immediate income tax charitable deduction equal to a percentage of the total value of the assets you contribute. The deduction is based on IRS formulas and tables. You can use the deduction to offset your income in the year you create the gift annuity. If you cannot use the entire deduction in the first year, you can carry the excess deduction forward for up to five additional years. Charitable Remainder Unitrust A charitable remainder unitrust pays you a variable income while providing for a future gift to the SAF. You create a unitrust by executing a written trust agreement and making a gift to the trust. The trustee of the unitrust then pays you a fixed percentage of the value of the trust s assets as revalued annually. You can receive this income for life or a term of up to 20 years. When the unitrust ends, its assets are distributed to the Society of American Foresters for the purpose you specify. You are entitled to a current income tax charitable deduction for part of the value of the assets you contribute to the trust, and you will save on capital gains tax if you use appreciated assets to fund the trust.
3 For many, a unitrust is an ideal way to fund future SAF endowments for SAF student sponsorships, public outreach and communications, or other purposes that bear their names and support the SAF in perpetuity. Unitrusts also appeal to those who want relief from the ongoing responsibility of managing some of their assets, such as real estate, while continuing to receive lifetime income. The ultimate benefit, however, is the satisfaction of knowing that a unitrust gift will provide important future support for the SAF. Frequently Asked Questions What assets can I contribute? You can contribute cash, marketable securities, or other property to fund a unitrust. Contributions of marketable stocks and bonds that have increased in value are ideal because you may benefit from capital gains tax savings. Assets that may take longer to sell, such as real estate or closely held stock, can also be used to establish a unitrust, but the trust must initially limit payments to net income. After the property is sold and the proceeds are reinvested, the trust can flip to a regular unitrust that pays a fixed percentage of its value each year. How is the unitrust s payout rate determined? The payout rate is negotiated between you and the SAF, taking into consideration the age of the income beneficiary(ies), the fair market value of the gift, and what you want to support at the SAF. By law the rate cannot be less than five percent. A low payout rate results in a larger income tax deduction, a larger future gift to the SAF, and a greater chance that the trust will grow in value. If the trust grows, so will your income. Who can receive income from the trust? You, your spouse (or both of you), your parents, children, or others can be beneficiaries of the trust. In deciding on the income beneficiaries, you should be careful to limit the anticipated term of the trust to ensure that adequate funding remains to accomplish your ultimate purpose. Will I pay taxes on my trust income? Beneficiaries are taxed on payments received from a unitrust based on a four-tier taxation system set forth in the Internal Revenue Code. Payments are usually a mix of ordinary income and capital gain. The SAF, as trustee, will provide an annual statement of income tax information for each beneficiary s tax return. Who can serve as trustee?
4 Although you can establish a trust privately with a trustee of your choice, a bank or yourself for example, the SAF generally serves as trustee of most charitable remainder trusts that ultimately benefit it. Tax Consequences Income tax charitable deduction: You are entitled to a current income tax charitable deduction for the present value of the unitrust remainder that the SAF will receive in the future. You can claim the deduction in the year you create the unitrust and use it to offset either 30% or 50% of your adjusted gross income. If these percentage limitations prevent you from using the entire deduction in the first year, you may carry forward the unused deduction for up to five additional years. Capital gains tax treatment: A charitable remainder unitrust is tax exempt. Therefore, the trustee can sell appreciated assets without incurring an up-front capital gains tax, so the entire net proceeds of a sale are available for investment for your benefit. Six Steps to Creating a Unitrust You or your advisor contacts our planned giving staff to discuss how you want to support the SAF and the assets available to fund a unitrust. Our SAF staff provides information and illustrations of the benefits of the proposed gift. A meeting is scheduled between you, your advisor if you wish, and members of our staff to review the unitrust illustrations and refine your educational purpose. The terms of the gift are finalized and a sample unitrust document is prepared. You review the sample unitrust agreement with your attorney or other advisor knowledgeable about unitrusts. The unitrust agreement is finalized and you and the SAF, as trustee, sign it. You transfer the assets to the SAF, as trustee. The gift is now complete. The SAF provides follow-up information to aid you in reporting your gift to the IRS and claiming appropriate deductions. Unitrust gifts may be completed within a week or may take several months, depending upon individual circumstances. Each charitable remainder unitrust is the product of successful teamwork among donors, their advisors, and the SAF s staff. Everyone benefits from this collaboration the donor who receives tax benefits, the beneficiary who receives income from the unitrust, and the SAF, which receives a future gift to support students, faculty, or programs. If you would like to learn
5 more about a charitable remainder unitrust, we invite you to call the SAF for a confidential consultation. Information for Professional Advisers We recognize that each of our supporters goals is unique, and we welcome the opportunity to assist you with incorporating your clients' philanthropic objectives into a well-crafted estate plan. We can provide language for: Sample gift calculations and illustrations for your clients. Suggested bequest language. Language for named endowed funds. Beneficiary designations. Sample trust agreements. Legal Name: All planned gifts should be directed to the Society of American Foresters. TAX I.D. Number: The SAF Federal Tax ID Number is: ###-##### Often a third party investment manager provides the SAF with planned gift administration services, including document review, payment processing and tax preparation. The investment manager combines investment experience with expertise in planned giving to successfully manage gifts of all types, including charitable remainder trusts, lead trusts, pooled income funds and gift annuities. The manager s trust administration team has extensive knowledge of trust and tax law and the practical experience necessary to meet the needs of each trust. Administration services are closely coordinated with investment activities. The team has a proven track record of producing competitive risk adjusted returns. Charitable bequest A charitable bequest is a gift to charity made at death through a will or trust. You can make a bequest of any size, and direct the gift to support the purpose or program at the Society of American Foresters that is most important to you. Many people support the SAF in this way. For some, this is their first gift to the SAF, but for others this is a continuation of giving begun during their lifetimes. Bequests are a vital source of support for the SAF, representing a significant percentage of all gifts received from individuals annually. In addition to supporting the most pressing needs of the SAF, bequests have also supported outstanding communications, programs, and provided funding for state-of-the-art facilities and equipment for SAF s strategic
6 vision. The SAF particularly values unrestricted gifts, which can be used by the SAF to support priority needs. Frequently Asked Questions Do I need a will or trust? If you want to control the disposition of your property at death, you need to have a will or a trust to direct how and to whom your property is to be distributed. In your will you can also name a person or company to administer your estate and someone to serve as a guardian of minor children. If you do not have a will, state law determines to whom your property is given with no provisions for gifts to friends or charities. A gift in your will can be: A specific dollar amount or a specific asset. All or a percentage of the residue of your assets (what is left after you have made other gifts). Unrestricted (used for general educational purposes of the SAF). Restricted (used for a particular purpose). Structured to provide lifetime income to family before the gift is available for use by the SAF. Contingent (gift is made only if specific conditions occur, e.g., your spouse has died before you). Changed by you at any time. How does the SAF use bequests? The SAF uses gifts from estates as the donor directs. Often bequests are made to establish a named fund, including endowments, in honor of the donor or others. Endowed funds are permanent funds designed to provide a perpetual source of annual support for a designated purpose, such as program operations, SAF student support, forestry outreach and communications to the public, and other priorities of the donor and SAF. Bequests can also be designated for current use, which makes the entire gift available for use immediately. Can I get tax benefits from making a bequest to the SAF?
7 Charitable gifts from estates present a variety of tax planning opportunities. But unlike charitable gifts made during your lifetime, you do not receive a current charitable income tax deduction. However, if your estate is subject to estate tax a bequest to the SAF entitles your estate to an estate tax charitable deduction for the amount donated and reduces the amount of tax your estate must pay. Note also that if you make a gift by naming the SAF as a beneficiary of your retirement plan or IRA, there are income tax benefits. (See our brochure Gifts of Retirement Plan Assets.) Six Steps to Creating a Charitable Bequest to the SAF Determine the people and charities you wish to support and the property you expect to be available for those gifts. Consult with an attorney who regularly prepares wills, trusts and other estate planning documents. Contact our planned giving staff to discuss your gift to the SAF. They can help make sure your gift will be used for your chosen purpose. Ask our planned giving staff to provide you with sample bequest language to share with your attorney. Provide our planned giving staff with a copy of the relevant provision from your will or trust benefiting the SAF. Receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition for your intended gift. Every day at the Society of American Foresters bequests already received help transform the lives of forestry students, support promising research, and enhance the public service the SAF provides to the community. Your bequest can continue this vital work and leave a lasting legacy in your name. If you want to make a difference with a gift in your will or trust, we invite you to contact the SAF for a confidential consultation.
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