Generational giving through retirement plans, life insurance, and meaningful bequests

Generational giving through retirement plans, life insurance, and meaningful bequests

August is national Make a Will Month. You’ve likely already worked with your advisors to establish an estate plan, including a will and even a trust. Still, this is a good time of year to review your plan in case things have changed.

As you review your estate plan, consider whether your documents are aligned with your philanthropic intentions, especially if you’ve captured your philanthropic intentions through one or more funds at The Community Foundation. A fund at The Community Foundation can be an ideal recipient of estate gifts through a will or trust, or through a beneficiary designation on a qualified retirement plan or life insurance policy.

In particular, bequests of qualified retirement plans can be extremely tax-efficient. This is because charitable organizations such as The Community Foundation are tax-exempt. This means the funds flowing directly to your fund at The Community Foundation from a retirement plan after your death will not be reduced by income tax. This also means the assets will not be subject to estate tax.

Don’t overlook life insurance, either. Not only are you able to designate a fund at The Community Foundation as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, but in some cases you also may elect to transfer actual ownership of certain types of policies. For example, if you were to make an irrevocable assignment of an eligible whole life policy to your fund at The Community Foundation, a tax-deductible gift of the cash value of the policy occurs at the time of the transfer. A gift like this could potentially ease your income tax burden, especially if the Foundation continues to own the policy and you make annual tax deductible gifts to cover the premiums.

The Community Foundation makes it easy for you to work with your advisor to draft bequest terms in legal documents, including beneficiary designations of retirement plans and life insurance policies. Please ask your advisor to contact our team for the exact language that will ensure alignment with your intentions. In many cases, anytime during your lifetime, you may even update the terms of a fund at The Community Foundation that you’ve designated to receive a bequest upon your death.

Learn more at, email Revlan at [email protected], or give us a call at 540-432-3863.


Thinking differently about scholarships can make all the difference

According to statistics gathered by the National Scholarship Providers Association, approximately $100 million in scholarship money is left sitting on the sidelines each year, unused. Even though the number of scholarships awarded in the United States has increased overall by more than 45% over the last decade, not enough students are applying. These are sobering statistics, considering that the burden of tuition and student loan debt is weighing heavily on America’s young adults.

This presents a challenge for you and other donors who are interested in supporting education as a charitable giving priority. On one hand, you want to help students get the education they need to thrive in their careers. On the other hand, no one wants to fund a scholarship that goes unused.

The Community Foundation can help. Our team will work with you to establish a tailored charitable giving plan that meets your desire to support education while helping to ensure that the money does not go unused.

First, we’ll help you think broadly about education. Limiting a scholarship fund to four-year institutions could result in a lot of missed opportunities. A college or university is not the only option for post-secondary learning and career readiness. Community colleges, trade schools, vocational programs, and out-of-the-box learning experiences may be a better fit for some students.

Next, our team will help you craft the criteria for the scholarship so that it is not too narrow. In other words, casting a wide net can be important to ensure a strong pool of applicants. Limiting scholarship recipients to one area of study, or very specific high school credentials may mean that there simply will not be enough applicants to fully utilize the scholarship dollars.

Finally, The Community Foundation team is happy to help you with the strategy for getting the word out. Many times, would-be applicants simply are not aware of all the options for scholarships. If scholarship funds don’t adequately promote the opportunities, it may be hard to capture students’ attention as they wade through the vast amount of information available about paying for college.

The team at The Community Foundation is honored to serve as a resource and sounding board as you build your charitable plans and pursue your philanthropic objectives for making a difference in the community. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal, accounting, or financial planning advice. Please consult your tax or legal advisor to learn how this information might apply to your own situation.

Want to learn more? Call The Community Foundation at 540-432-3863 or email Ann Siciliano at [email protected]!