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Simple ways to leave your legacy

consider beneficiary designations

Planned gifts are an important part of ensuring Morris Animal Foundation’s future ability to advance animal health. Although a will is the most common way to leave a charitable legacy, there are other simple options. Retirement plans, IRAs and life insurance policies are not controlled by the terms of your will, but instead use separate beneficiary designation forms to determine who receives these assets.

retirement plans and IRAs

If you want to help create a healthier tomorrow for animals, even after you are gone, consider a tax-wise gift from your retirement plan or IRA. Generally, retirement plan assets left to anyone other than a spouse will generate more taxable income to the beneficiary than any other asset in your estate. Thus, it is usually better to leave taxable assets, such as retirement accounts and IRAs, to tax-exempt charitable organizations such as Morris Animal Foundation and leave nontaxable assets to your loved ones. See the boxed example.

life insurance policies

Life insurance may also be an excellent tool for creating your charitable legacy. Perhaps you once purchased life insurance to provide security for loved ones, but now their needs have changed and the life insurance is no longer necessary. Why not use the life insurance benefits to help advance our mission after your lifetime? You can designate Morris Animal Foundation as the beneficiary of all or a percentage of your life insurance policy’s death benefit. You may choose whatever percent you desire, and it is revocable at any time.

completing your gift

Simply contact your retirement plan or IRA administrator, or your life insurance company or agent, to request a beneficiary designation form. Always keep a copy of the completed form for your records.

the importance of updating your designations 

Beneficiary designations can be modified at any time to meet your changing needs without the formality associated with executing a will. Experts suggest reviewing them every two to three years in conjunction with your other estate plans.

Independent advisers should always be consulted before you make a charitable gift with tax or other financial implications.


Posted by MAFon February 21, 2012.

Categories: Animal health


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