Leaving a Legacy
Bequests, charitable trusts, and gifts of property are wonderful ways for individuals to make a positive impact on future generations and leave an enduring legacy. Some examples of how individuals have made provisions for Youth Services in their estate plans and why they would chose to do so follow. (The names and examples here are for illustrative purposes only.)
Marie, who is a Big Sister, has included Youth Services in her will and has designated the organization as the beneficiary of her retirement accounts. A tax-deferred retirement account or an IRA passed on to an individual's heirs is subject to income tax at the beneficiaries' own tax rates and estate taxes, whereas a charity such as Youth Services receives retirement accounts and IRA proceeds tax free. After Marie's death, these funds will be used -- in honor of her parents -- to support Youth Services' Big Brothers Big Sisters Program.
Josef has made provision in his will for a substantial bequest to Youth Services' Endowment Fund in honor of his fond memories of growing up in Brattleboro in the 1950s. The bequest's principal will be preserved and the interest that accrues will provide revenue to Youth Services and support the agency's mission. The funds are named in memory of his father who was a psychotherapist at Youth Services during the 1970s.
Eleanor has arranged to leave a bequest to Youth Services to endow the Runaway Program Fund in memory of her grandfather. Upon Eleanor's death, her bequest to Youth Services will initially be used to fund life income gifts for her niece and nephew. After their deaths, the principal of Eleanor's bequest will be used to establish the Youth Services Runaway Fund, named after her father.
Dick's sons benefited from Youth Services' counseling programs during their adolescence. Once he retired, Dick wanted to help the organization in a way that also would be beneficial to his sons. He decided to establish a charitable lead trust, which transfers assets from one generation to another at significantly reduced gift and estate tax rates. The trust creates a stream of income for Youth Services for a period of years. After that time, the trust principal passes to the designated parties -- in this case his sons. Youth Services benefits immediately from the annual payments. The family benefits because the trust assets continue to grow before they devolve to the next generation.
Betti, a widow who has provided temporary housing for troubled youth in conjunction with Youth Services for years, wanted to make a significant donation to the agency while she's still alive. Through a retained life estate, Betti made an irrevocable assignment of her home to Youth Services at her death. Although Betti will continue to live in her home and pay the taxes, maintenance, and insurance for the property until her death, she will be able to claim a federal income tax deduction for donating her home to Youth Services.
Margaret and her husband decided to revise their wills after becoming parents and make provisions for a local nonprofit that means a great deal to them both. They specified that a percentage of their estates be donated to Youth Services, rather than a particular dollar amount. That way the organization will automatically beneift from any growth in their assets, and they can ensure adequate resources for their children.
Gift of Securities Profile
Most of us reach for our checkbook or credit card when making a charitable gift. But for many people there is a more advantageous way to give. A gift of stocks, bonds, or mutual fund shares -- if they have appreciated in value - has several major advantages over a cash gift. Longtime Youth Services' supporter Ben Underhill discovered what a wonderful way this is to make a gift. He can deduct the full, appreciated value of his stock gifts to Youth Services and avoid paying capital gains tax on their appreciation in value if he files an itemized tax return. For example, if he bought shares of stock or a mutual fund for $500 that were worth $1,000 the day he donated them to Youth Services, he would receive a charitable deduction of $1,000 or $500 more than he originally paid for the investment. Moreover, he would avoid paying capital gains tax on their appreciation, and Youth Services would benefit from the appreciated stock value.
By making a gift of appreciated securities, you can avoid the burden of a capital gains tax assessment and preserve cash assets. End-of-year donors are encouraged to call their brokers in late November or early December to ensure stocks are transferred by December 31.
Check our Calendar for Upcoming Events
“My daughter was just thrilled about her first meeting with her Big Sister. She came home with her BBBS sticker plastered across her chest and telling us all very loudly how great it was.”
–Mom of a 1st grader
Green Street School, Brattleboro
“My husband and I strongly support Youth Services because its programs make such a difference in the lives of local young people -- here and now, one individual at a time, year after year.”
“When a young person begins to run into trouble, Youth Services connects them with the appropriate resources, ranging from their family members to school programs and other community resources that will help get them back on track.”
“In the school system, we see children who are constantly in transition because their families are continually on the move. I know one fifth grade girl, from a single parent family, who has moved twenty times since she was in first grade. When people need counseling or other kinds of support, I usually refer them to Youth Services because of the wide spectrum of services the agency offers.”
Green Street School