Planning ahead is never easy, but it is something everyone should make a habit. By planning future donations to give to Fuzzy Friends Rescue, you put your mind at ease. It can save your family from having to deal with legal issues, and you can even benefit today for giving tomorrow. Rest easy knowing that your money is going to an amazing cause. Please read the ways you can plan ahead below, and help to save lives in the future.
Surveys show that only 4 out of 10 Americans across all age groups have wills, suggesting it’s a subject people avoid. If a will is one of the most important documents you can own, why do so many people live without them? Perhaps they think that by postponing death planning, they can postpone the inevitable? Perhaps they simply don’t want to take the time or money (a relatively small amount) required to create an up-to-date will. Without one, the state will determine your property distribution.
We suggest it is time to think differently about a will. Think of planning a will as planning to improve and stabilize the financial security of yourself and your family. By thinking in this way, you will be putting present goals first. You may have heard that if you die without a will, the state can take all of your property. While this is not true, it is fact that the state in which you live at the time of death will step in to determine exactly how your property is distributed—unless you have prepared a will.
Without a will, your wishes and good intentions are meaningless. Your estate will be divided using a predetermined formula that won’t take into account special needs or circumstances.
In most states, your assets will go to immediate family—a portion to a surviving spouse and a portion to any children you may have. If you have no immediate family, they will be divided among other relatives. State laws do not provide for close friends, employees or other loved ones, such as your spouse’s family members.
Neither the old friend that you wanted to remember with a treasured heirloom or the next-door neighbor who was always there to help will receive as much as a dime if you don’t have a will.
The same holds true for charitable organizations that you may have wanted to support generously after your death. If there is no will, there is no support.
A will allows you to remember the people you care about and the animals at Fuzzy Friends Rescue. Please consult with your lawyer or a legal professional to discuss your options for bequeathing a gift to our organization in your will.
A general power of attorney permits the holder of the power to act on behalf of another individual, the grantor, and lapses upon the grantor’s incompetence. A durable power of attorney survives the incompetence of the grantor and allows the holder of the power to act. This document can be used when a grantor lapses from competence to incompetence for periods of time.
Even the most prudent and trusting of us may be squeamish about giving someone else power of attorney, much less durable power of attorney. This plays into our refusal to believe that one day we may not be able to make our own decisions. A will? Of course we’d have one. Health, home and car insurance—who would think of going without these? But to give someone else power of attorney sounds too much like giving away our power before there is any need to do so. Let’s clear this up, just in case—it’s too important, and too often misunderstood, not to talk about it.
In case of a sudden, grievous accident or illness, each of us certainly wants someone with the legal right to make the decisions we would make, until we’re back to our normal mental and physical capacity.
We can structure our power of attorney any way we like. We don’t have to find someone we trust absolutely—simply ask our attorney to put in writing stringent, detailed instructions. We can even spell out how and when the power of attorney is to kick in. It’s very much like going on an extended trip, where we are likely to be out of communication with family, friends or business associates for an indeterminate period of time. Of course, we would put in writing all of the financial, business and other decisions that might come up, and leave copies with the important people in our lives—certainly with our attorney.
If you plan to make a charitable gift by will, please think it through carefully. Meet with your attorney to discuss and update your will. Be as clear as possible in describing exactly what you want given and to whom. Here are eight generally accepted ways to make a bequest. You might discuss them with your attorney as you prepare to update your will.
The following items can apply in the case of bequests to individual heirs or bequests to charitable organizations.
Specific bequest. This is a gift of a specific item to a specific beneficiary.
General bequest. This is usually a gift of a stated sum of money. If there is not enough cash in the estate for the specific sum, other assets must be sold to meet the bequest.
Contingent bequest. This is a bequest made on condition that a certain event occur before distribution to the beneficiary. A contingent bequest is specific in nature and fails if the condition is not met. (A contingent bequest is also appropriate if you want to name a secondary beneficiary, in case the primary beneficiary doesn’t survive you.)
Residuary bequest. This is a gift of all the “rest, residue and remainder” of your estate after all other bequests, debts and taxes have been paid spouse.
The following items are special considerations when you plan a charitable bequest to help support the mission of Fuzzy Friends Rescue.
Unrestricted bequest. This is a gift for our general purposes, to be used at the discretion of our founder/director and board of directors. A gift like this—without conditions attached—is frequently the most useful, as it allows us to determine the wisest and most pressing need for the funds at the time of receipt.
Restricted bequest. This type of gift allows you to specify how the funds are to be used. Perhaps you have a special purpose or project in mind. If so, it’s best to consult us when you make your will to be certain your intent can be carried out.
Honorary or memorial bequest. This is a gift given in honor of or in memory of someone. We are pleased to honor your request and have many ways to grant appropriate recognition.
Endowed bequest. This bequest allows you to restrict the principal of your gift, requiring us to hold the funds permanently and use only the investment income they generate. Creating an endowment in this manner means that your gift can continue giving indefinitely.
Charitable Gift Annuity
The concept of the charitable gift annuity in America dates back to the 1870s, when a parishioner first donated a valuable asset to the church in exchange for a flow of income. Today, the concept includes valuable tax benefits for donors.
Charitable Remainder Trust
What are your plans for the future? While there is no single way to achieve all of your personal and financial goals, there is one strategy that can meet many of your needs: a charitable remainder trust. In the right circumstances, this plan can increase your income, reduce your taxes, unlock appreciated investments, rid you of investment worries and ultimately provide very important support.
Charitable Lead Trust
If your goal is to provide an inheritance for your children, but you would also like to make a significant charitable gift through your estate, a charitable lead trust can help you satisfy both objectives.
Wealth Replacement Trust
Perhaps you would like to make a sizable contribution to Fuzzy Friends Rescue now to help meet our current needs, but you don’t want to reduce the estate you will pass to your family. The solution? Purchase life insurance.
Retained Life Estate
One of your valued possessions, your home, can become a valued gift to us even while you are still living in it, and even if you want your spouse or another loved one to live there for life. This arrangement is called a retained life estate.
Leave your legacy by making a gift in your will to friends, family and charitable organizations. A bequest is one of the simplest ways to remember those you care about most.
Gifts of Cash
This is the simplest way to give. You can deduct a cash gift for income tax purposes in the year in which you contribute. Your cash gifts are deductible up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income for the taxable year, but any excess is deductible over the next five years.
Gifts of Securities
The best stocks to donate are those that have increased greatly in value, particularly those producing a low yield. Even if you wish to keep said stock in your portfolio, you can give us the stock and use cash to buy the same stock through your broker. You will receive the same income tax deduction and have a new, higher basis in the stock.
Gifts of Real Estate
If you own property that is paid in full and has appreciated in value, an outright gift may be the simplest solution. You can deduct the fair market value of your gift, avoid capital gains taxes and remove that asset from your taxable estate. Transfer the deed of your home or farm to us now, and keep the right to use the property for your lifetime and that of your spouse.
Gifts of Retirement Plan Assets
Did you know that nearly half your retirement plan assets can be eaten away by taxes at your death? Learn how to preserve more of your estate for the people and organizations that matter most in your life.
Gifts of Life Insurance
You can donate a life insurance policy to us or simply name us as the beneficiary. For the gift of a paid-up policy, you will receive an income tax deduction equal to the lesser of the cash value of the policy or the total premiums paid. To qualify for the federal charitable contribution deduction on a gift of an existing policy, you must name Fuzzy Friends Rescue as owner and beneficiary.
Gifts of Securities: Closely Held Stock
Closely held stock, that which is not publicly traded, can also be used as a charitable gift even if you want to maintain a control position in the stock.
Whether you want to eliminate taxes or benefit from an increased income stream, there is a gift to fit every objective. And no matter how or what you give, rest assured that you will be helping out animals that have been abused, are homeless and stray. Your gift will help those in need now and those yet to be born. The following chart details a gift vehicle for every goal. Click on chart below to download a PDF of a readable version. After determining the gift that is right for you, meet with your financial advisor or our organization to begin implementing your wishes.
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Please call us at (254) 754-9444, or e-mail us firstname.lastname@example.org for further guidance.
Looking forward to what lies ahead
Those touched by the mission of Fuzzy Friend Rescue share a common legacy. With that legacy comes the opportunity—and the responsibility—to play a fundamental role in continuing Fuzzy Friends Rescue’s history of excellence, a “Hallmark of Making A Difference.”
We believe that all gifts are important. Fuzzy Friends Rescue could not operate without caring people who share our vision and our mission. We know that it is the consistent annual gifts from those who treasure the mission that remains paramount to our existence and will continue to provide the foundation of all giving.
As you review our giving opportunities, be reminded of the privilege and responsibility we have to be good stewards. When you support Fuzzy Friends Rescue, you demonstrate your commitment to a NO-KILL animal shelter that will serve the Central Texas Community and even beyond those borders.
Fuzzy Friends Rescue is a Non-Profit 503(c)(3) Organization NO-KILL animal shelter. Gifts are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable according to the IRS Tax laws. Please consult your tax expert for specific questions. The responsibility of obtaining the substantiation of a gift lies with the donor.
Under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, a donor must obtain written substantiation of each single contribution of $250 or more in order to claim the gift as a charitable tax deduction. The substantiation must be obtained no later than the donor actually files his or her tax return in the year the donation was made. We will provide you with such statement before January 31 of the following year.