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Planned Giving

Many ways to give—your legacy to create.

At the Museum of Science, we welcome the opportunity to work with you and your advisors to evaluate your charitable giving strategy. Use the menu below to learn more about the many giving options available, each with certain tax benefits and income potential. Every situation is different, so it’s important to examine your charitable goals, lifetime income needs and family situation.

Donors who remember the Museum of Science in their estate plans or through life income gifts are welcomed as members of the Washburn Society. Together we can begin the process, determine what works best for you, choose the concepts that will help you realize your objectives and put this valuable plan in place. For questions or more information about planned giving at MOS, please contact Allie Nikolaisen, Associate Vice President of Individual Giving, at 617.589.0316 or anikolaisen@mos.org

  • -   Charitable Bequests—A Gift in Your Will

    A popular and enduring planned gift is a simple charitable bequest, which is a gift made through your will. Bequests are popular because they give you the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy. When you make a charitable bequest, you retain full use of your property during life, so there is no disruption of your lifestyle and no immediate out-of-pocket cost.

    To make a bequest, simply direct that part of your estate passes directly to us. Since a charitable bequest can take many forms, you have remarkable flexibility in how you make this designation. For example, you can leave...

    • a specific asset

    • a specific sum of money

    • a percentage of your estate

    • what remains of your estate after you have provided for all of your other beneficiaries

    You can also designate exactly how you want your bequest to be put to use. Or, you can provide an unrestricted bequest that can be used whenever and wherever it's needed most. Most importantly, you can change your bequest whenever you choose—you remain in complete control of the planning process.

  • -   Charitable Gift Annuity—Make a Gift, Receive Payments for Life

    A gift annuity is an agreement between you and us. When a charitable gift annuity is in place, we agree to pay you fixed payments for your life (and/or the life of your chosen beneficiary). The amount of the annuity is based on the gift amount and age of the annuitant(s) at the time of the gift.

    A gift annuity can be established with a modest contribution and provides a number of very attractive benefits. You can:

    • fund it with cash or marketable securities

    • qualify for an immediate income tax charitable deduction for the gift (subject to certain income limitations), and

    • potentially spread out any capital gains tax liability.

    What's more, part of your annuity payment may be federal income tax-free for a certain number of years. As a donor, you can select the payment intervals (usually quarterly) and name the annuitant(s) - one or two persons.

    Professionals and other highly compensated employees who frequently "max out" their annual retirement plan contributions because of restrictive rules and regulations may want to consider a deferred gift annuity strategy. Deferred gift annuities offer three important benefits:

    1. 1. They can be used to supplement qualified retirement plan savings.

    2. 2. You qualify for a current income tax deduction now during your high-income years.

    3. 3. You can postpone the start of annuity payments until later - usually after retirement begins.

  • -   Gifts of Stock

    Gifts of long term, highly appreciated securities are the most common type of outright property gift. Typically, individual stocks are given; however, bonds or mutual fund shares are also attractive gift options. Outright gifts of securities can be made quickly and these gifts let you do more with your gift because of the very attractive tax benefits.

    For appreciated property held long term, the full fair market value of securities given to charity is generally deductible for itemizers. For example, if you give shares of stock that are now worth $10,000, you can deduct the full amount of the gift on your income tax return (subject to certain income limitations), even though you may have bought the stock for $1,000.

    A charitable gift of securities held long term is not considered a sale of the securities and does not generate any capital gains tax, no matter the amount of the gain. This is a valuable tax incentive provided by Congress to encourage gifts of appreciated property. The result: a charitable deduction is allowed for capital gains that would have been taxed. And, if we sell the securities, we keep every penny of the proceeds since we are tax exempt.

  • -   IRA Gifts

    Make a Qualified Charitable Distribution from Your IRA

    A qualified charitable distribution from an IRA is a good way for IRA owners age 70½ and over to support our work. It’s easy to do.

    • Instruct your IRA custodian to make a distribution directly to our organization.

    • Although there is no tax deduction, the distribution is excluded from your income for federal tax purposes—no tax is due!

    • Up to $100,000 of your gift (annual aggregate limit) qualifies for this favorable tax treatment.

    • Your gift makes an immediate impact.

    • A qualified charitable distribution from an IRA counts toward a donor's RMD if one is due. Federal legislation passed in 2019 and 2020 had an impact on required minimum distribution rules. Contributions to your IRA after age 70½ can impact the amount eligible for a tax-free transfer.

    Please contact us to learn more about planning and completing an IRA Rollover gift, or click here to calculate your required minimum distribution.
  • -   Gifts of Retirement Account Assets

    More and more donors use qualified retirement account assets in their charitable gift planning. The reason: Retirement account assets left to loved ones may be subject to higher taxation than other types of assets.

    By using retirement account assets to make a gift (and selecting alternative assets to leave to family members) you may be able to reduce taxes that otherwise would be imposed on those assets and leave more to your intended beneficiaries.

  • -   Charitable Remainder Trust

    One method of making a gift with a retained right to income is a charitable remainder trust. Let's look at some of the benefits a charitable remainder trust can provide:

    • An income for you and/or your beneficiaries for life or a period of up to 20 years

    • An immediate and substantial income tax charitable deduction (subject to certain income limitations) for itemizers

    • Potential avoidance of current capital gains taxes when the trust is funded with long-term appreciated property

    • Reduction of your estate to avoid or reduce death taxes

    • Substantial reduction of probate costs, taxes, and other estate transfer expenses.

    An Immediate Charitable Deduction

    A gift to a charitable remainder trust qualifies for an immediate income tax deduction, even though income is to be paid to the donor (and/or other beneficiaries) for life. The exact amount of the charitable deduction depends on the:

    • value of the property transferred to the trust

    • amount of income benefits that are payable each year to individual beneficiaries

    • approximate length of time the income benefits will be paid

    • interest rates prevailing at the time the gift is made.

    Despite the tax and financial benefits of a charitable remainder trust, you should consider this kind of arrangement only if you and your advisors determine it is compatible with your overall estate, tax and financial plan.

  • -   Gifts of Real Estate

    When appreciated real estate is given to us, capital gains taxes can be completely avoided and the full fair market value of the property is generally deductible for itemizers as a charitable contribution.

    Gift of a Remainder Interest in a Personal Residence or Farm

    A special provision of the tax law allows an immediate income tax charitable deduction for a gift of a remainder interest in your home or farm. With a remainder interest gift, you retain an absolute right to occupy the home or farm for your life (or the life of a family member). The property passes to us only after termination of the life estate(s).

    The charitable deduction allowable for this future gift is the present value of our right to receive the property at some later date. The age of the life tenant is the primary factor in determining the present value of our deferred interest and the charitable deduction. The gift is deductible in the year of the transfer (subject to certain income limitations and assuming the donor itemizes).

    Gift of a Fractional Interest in Real Estate

    Federal tax laws let donors take a charitable deduction for gifts of fractional interests in real estate. This type of gift can be especially rewarding when you own a vacation home that you use only part of the year.

    Example: Mary and Jim own a $300,000 vacation home that they use for only two months of the year. They can give our institution a 50% interest in the property, qualify for a tax deduction for the value of our interest in the property, and still have a right to use and occupy the property for up to half the year.

  • -   Gifts of Life Insurance

    Life insurance is also an excellent tool for accomplishing philanthropic goals while realizing other important financial objectives. Indeed, life insurance can empower individuals to make charitable gifts they never would have dreamed possible.

    Making a gift of life insurance is quite simple. If you are the insured policy owner you simply transfer physical possession of your policy to us and file an absolute assignment or transfer of ownership form with your insurance company. Your company then will send a letter to us showing that we are the sole owner of the policy.

    Hypothetical Example

    Emmett owns a $100,000 life insurance policy with a cash value of $40,000. No further premiums are due and he no longer needs the coverage. He can assure that we will receive $100,000 at his death by making us the beneficiary. Or he can transfer ownership of the policy to us now. When he transfers ownership, Emmett receives an itemized charitable deduction equal to the lesser of his cost basis or the policy's replacement value.

  • -   Other Gifts

    Donor-Advised Fund

    Make an irrevocable gift to a fund maintained by a charitable organization and enjoy an income tax charitable deduction for the full amount of the gift. As the name implies, the donor can advise the fund regarding distribution; however, donors may not place material restrictions on the fund.

    Revocable Living Trust

    Create a trust that can be revoked or changed during your lifetime which directs the disposition of your assets including charitable gifts. A Revocable Living Trust can minimize the cost and delays associated with probate; facilitate asset transfer; provide privacy and, unlike a will, assure asset management continuity in the event of disability.

    Retained Life Estate

    Donate a home and retain the right to live in the property for the rest of your life. Qualify for a current income tax charitable deduction on the value of our remainder interest in the home.

    Charitable Lead Trust

    Create a charitable lead trust that benefits us for a number of years, returns assets to your beneficiaries, and minimizes taxes.

    Closely Held Stock

    Donate closely held stock. You enjoy a charitable deduction equal to the appraised value of the stock with no capital gains tax due.

    Tangible Personal Property

    Donate gift property that can be used for our exempt purposes, and qualify for an income tax deduction for the full fair market value.