Your need for life insurance changes as time passes, making way for a new opportunity for its use. If you no longer need the coverage to protect your loved ones, consider changing your policy's beneficiary to support our work.
See how easy it is to make a charitable donation using life insurance.
How It Works
Once a life insurance policy has served its original objective, you might consider giving it a new life with a charitable purpose. Naming Bryant University as beneficiary while retaining ownership of the policy is actually the easiest way to use life insurance to make a future gift to us. Here are your two main options:
- You can name Bryant University either as the sole beneficiary or a partial beneficiary of your policy.
- You can name us as the contingent beneficiary, in which case we receive the death benefits only if your primary beneficiary dies before you do.
How We All Benefit
Naming us the beneficiary of your life insurance policy provides you the satisfaction of making a very generous donation and leveraging the full value of your policy. Alternatively, when a life insurance beneficiary is not a qualified charity, the amount your loved ones receive in the end could potentially be less due to estate taxes. But when you name Bryant University as beneficiary, we receive the full amount and estate taxes are eliminated. (With this arrangement, you will not receive a charitable income tax benefit during your lifetime because you are not giving away the policy ownership. Your estate, however, will receive an estate tax charitable deduction.)
What About Term Insurance?
As the name implies, term life insurance is usually purchased with a particular time frame in mind. When a policy outlives its useful time frame, rather than let it lapse, you could simply name us as the beneficiary. If you keep up the payments, we will receive the full face value of your policy at your death. When term insurance is provided by your employer, it could be to your benefit to donate any coverage over $50,000, the amount above which you are required to pay income tax. You get all the benefits of giving while avoiding the tax.
|Download a free guide to learn more about the benefits of giving life insurance.|
Is This Gift Right for You?
Four yes/no questions can help you decide if changing the beneficiary of a life insurance policy is right for you.
If you can answer yes to each of the following questions, you may find that it makes good sense for you to name us as the beneficiary of an existing life insurance policy. If not, we can help you find an option that's a better fit.
- Do you have a life insurance policy that provides coverage you no longer need?
- Do you want to retain the flexibility to change your mind at any time in the future, if you decide you'll need the insurance proceeds for another reason?
- Are income tax benefits not a particular concern for you this year?
- Would you like to provide substantial financial support for our mission in the future?
Here's a great way to support our future work while benefiting your loved ones at the same time.
Challenge: Patty is a single woman who has worked at the same company for more than two decades. A dedicated and loyal employee, she shows that same level of dedication to her favorite charity. Patty would like to leave a legacy after her lifetime, but she feels her current cash flow won't withstand an increase in yearly support. She also wants to create a gift plan with built-in flexibility in case she needs to change her mind for any reason. How can she accomplish her objectives?
Solution: Patty owns a policy on her life with a death benefit of $100,000. She prefers to continue owning the life insurance policy just in case she might need it in the future. So rather than donating the policy outright, she decides to name a beloved charitable organization as the primary beneficiary of 75 percent of her policy and her nephew Jake as the primary beneficiary for the remaining 25 percent. If Jake does not survive her, then his share will also add to her charitable legacy.
- No federal estate taxes will be assessed against the part of Patty's life insurance policy that is payable to charity.
- By keeping ownership of the insurance policy in her name, Patty will be able to borrow against its cash value if the need arises.
- Using life insurance, she will also be able to leave behind an inheritance for her nephew.
Before deciding whether giving life insurance makes sense for you, consult with your professional advisor or estate planning attorney. We would be happy to provide assistance to you and your advisors at no obligation.
But What About the Kids?
You want to make a significant gift to Bryant University but not at the expense of loved ones. Is it possible to do both? As a matter of fact, yes—with life insurance.
How It Works
When making a charitable donation threatens to reduce the size of your family members' inheritances, life insurance can make up the difference. Depending on your age and health status, you can purchase life insurance with death benefits equal to the value of your gift. Voilá!
Rather than owning the new life insurance yourself, it may be preferable to own the policy inside an irrevocable life insurance trust (also called a wealth replacement trust). You would typically name a bank trust department or trust institution as trustee. Doing so will enable your heirs to receive the death benefit of the life insurance without having to pay estate taxes. Plus, life insurance is generally income tax-free to your beneficiaries.
How to Complete Your Gift
It's easy, powerful and painless—designate us as the beneficiary of your life insurance.
Using life insurance is a popular way to make a future donation in support of our work. To change beneficiaries of your life insurance, take these simple steps:
- Contact your insurance company for its change of beneficiary form.
- To name Bryant University as a beneficiary, decide what percentage of the policy's value you would like us to receive and name us along with the stated percentage on the beneficiary form.
- Return the form to your insurance company.
- Keep a copy for your records and give a copy to your estate planning attorney.
For More Information
Consulting an estate planning attorney is a smart investment that can save you and your family money and heartache in the long run. Please seek legal advice before deciding who will get what in your estate plan. Contact Ed Magro at 401-232-6528 or firstname.lastname@example.org if we can answer any questions you have about supporting our organization.