Donating to the Greater New York Red Cross by naming us in your will or estate plan is a special way that you can help us fulfill our mission of helping residents of our region prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Planned giving allows you to include charitable donations in your overall financial plan, which helps to ensure the future strength of our organization.
There are a number of ways in which you can arrange to leave a legacy:
Bequests Made in Your Will or Trust
You may choose to provide for the Greater New York Red Cross by leaving a bequest in your will or trust. Bequests can be made in several ways, and below is a list of some of those options:
- You can provide that a specific dollar amount (for example, $5,000) will pass to the American Red Cross, or you can provide that a specific percentage of your estate (for example, 5 percent) will pass to the Red Cross.
- You can designate a specific asset to pass to the Red Cross (such as a residence, a work of art or specified securities).
- You can provide for your loved ones first, and then designate the Red Cross to receive the remainder of your estate.
- Bequests can also be made in memory of a person, and we would be happy to suggest ways to ensure proper recognition. For assistance, please contact us at the number below.
A charitable gift annuity is an irrevocable contract in which you exchange a gift of cash or securities for a fixed lifetime income stream for yourself and/or a loved one. By participating in this program, you can make a significant gift to the Greater New York Red Cross and at the same time receive a lifetime income stream. You may also receive an immediate income tax deduction and favorable capital gains tax treatment.
In general, this planned giving option is for donors age 65 years and older who contribute a minimum of $5,000. There is, however, another option for younger donors, called a deferred gift annuity. Payments begin at a point in the future specified by the donor, but cannot start until after the named annuitant (you and/or your loved one) attains age 65.
A charitable remainder trust is similar to a charitable gift annuity in that it creates an income stream for you or a loved for life or for a specified term of years. At the end of the specified term, the remainder of the trust’s assets will pass to the Greater New York Red Cross. Although this option involves legal fees for the donor, it is an attractive vehicle that offers more flexibility than a charitable gift annuity. Trusts can be tailored to accommodate a wide variety of gift assets and to meet personal financial and charitable goals.
You can name the Greater New York Red Cross as the beneficiary of your retirement plan(s). Assets from an IRA or other qualified retirement plans passing to heirs are taxed more heavily than other assets in your estate since they are subject to both estate tax upon your death and income tax when distributed to your heirs. For this reason, designating the Greater New York Red Cross as the beneficiary of such retirement plans is a tax-wise decision. This technique generally requires that you only have to fill out a form obtained from your plan administrator.
You can name the Greater New York Red Cross as the owner and/or beneficiary of your life insurance policy. When existing life insurance policies are no longer important to your family’s financial security, you can pass on the financial benefits of the policy to the Red Cross by designating the Greater New York Red Cross as the owner and/or beneficiary of the policy. As with retirement plans, this technique generally requires only filling out a form obtained from the life insurance company.
We would be happy to work with you to discuss the giving opportunities mentioned above and to help create a donation plan that makes sense for your particular circumstances. We also recommend that you speak with your tax and financial advisors to assist you in determining the best planned gifts for your circumstances.
Hugh M. Williams
Gift Planning Officer