Leave a Legacy
Remember amfAR in your estate planning
There are many ways you can support amfAR's programs both during your lifetime and through your estate plans. Some of these options are summarized below.
REMEMBERING amfAR IN YOUR WILL
Many people—those living with HIV or AIDS, their friends, partners, families, and others—have chosen to express their commitment to ending the AIDS pandemic by remembering amfAR in their wills.
Read about Trudi Frank, an artist and humanitarian whose generous bequest is helping to support amfAR’s innovative research programs. Also, read about William Stephens, a philanthropist whose bequest to amfAR is helping to curb the AIDS epidemic.
How can I leave a bequest to amfAR?
You may name amfAR as the beneficiary of a percentage of your estate, of a set dollar amount, or of a particular asset. Your estate is entitled to an estate tax deduction for the full value of your bequest to amfAR.
Another possibility is to name amfAR as a contingent beneficiary of assets you have designated for a loved one, should that person no longer be alive at the time of your death.
PLEASE NOTE: If you wish to benefit amfAR through your will, your attorney will discuss with you the best way to realize your goal.
How do I designate amfAR for a bequest?
A detailed designation is preferred:
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, a not-for-profit tax-exempt organization incorporated under the laws of the State of New York, having as its principal address 120 Wall Street, 13th Floor, New York NY 10005-3902.
PLANNING THROUGH BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS
Many estate assets are not transferred through a will. These include assets in living trusts, qualified retirement plans, and the proceeds from life insurance policies. You may name amfAR as a beneficiary of any of these assets or as a contingent beneficiary in the event that the loved one you named as primary beneficiary is no longer living at the time of your death.
Some people establish living trusts to provide for the current management of assets or for the future management of assets in the event they become incapacitated. amfAR may be named as a beneficiary of your living trust.
IRA, Keogh, or Other Qualified Retirement Plans
Naming amfAR as a beneficiary of assets remaining in your qualified retirement plans after your lifetime is considered particularly wise tax planning. This is because retirement plans left to individuals, other than a spouse, are taxed more heavily than most other assets. However, estate taxes and income taxes are avoided if a charity, such as amfAR, is named as the beneficiary. amfAR generally will receive 100% of your plan assets.
Life Insurance Policies
Designating amfAR as a life insurance beneficiary is a simple and commonly used way to both advance HIV/AIDS research and gain tax advantages.
- Individual policies. You may irrevocably name amfAR as owner and beneficiary of a long-standing life insurance policy; or you may retain ownership and merely name amfAR as the beneficiary. If you choose to name amfAR as both owner and beneficiary irrevocably, you will receive an immediate income tax deduction for the lesser of your cost basis or the current value of the policy.
- Group term policies. If you are employed, you may be receiving group term life insurance as an employee benefit. If so, amfAR can be named as a beneficiary of the entire policy or as the beneficiary only of the amount that exceeds $50,000.
GIFTS THAT PAY INCOME: CHARITABLE REMAINDER TRUSTS
These trusts allow you to make a gift to amfAR that will enable you or others to enjoy enhanced income for your lifetimes(s) or for a specified term of years. You choose the percentage payout you wish to receive (not less than 5%). When your trust terminates, amfAR receives the remaining principal.
There are two types of charitable remainder trusts:
- Charitable remainder annuity trust. You receive a set dollar amount each year, equal to your chosen percentage of the trust's original fair-market value.
- Charitable remainder unitrust. Each year, you receive a variable amount, equal to your chosen percentage of the changing yearly value of the trust. Over time, a unitrust may provide some hedge against inflation.
Many types of assets can be used to fund charitable remainder trusts, including cash; appreciated securities, real estate, or collectibles; life insurance policies you plan to sell (viaticate); and municipal bonds.
Substantial tax advantages are available through the use of charitable remainder trusts:
A charitable remainder trust can sell appreciated assets that you donate without incurring the capital gains tax or income tax that would ordinarily be due on a sale. In other words, the full proceeds from the sale can be reinvested for your benefit. If you were to sell the assets yourself, the tax that would be payable on the sale could substantially reduce the principal available for reinvestment.
Your gift also generally entitles you to an immediate income tax deduction. For gifts of cash or stock or real estate you have owned more than a year, your deduction is equal to a percentage of your gift's fair-market value.
We recommend that you consult an estate planning professional who can evaluate your individual circumstances and create or update a plan that is appropriate for you. We at amfAR would be happy to discuss your planned giving options with you or to guide you in selecting a qualified estate planning advisor.
The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Our federal ID number is 13 316 3817.
For more information, e-mail Planned Giving.