You can leave an indelible mark on St. Simons Island while maximizing your financial planning by including the St. Simons Land Trust in your planned giving. It is never too late - or too early - to begin thinking about your estate planning. By doing it now and being proactive, you will guarantee that your wishes are honored and that your beneficiaries receive your assets.
Incorporating the St. Simons Land Trust into your estate plan is a simple and flexible way to combine charitable giving with sound financial planning. In fact, there is a wide range of tax and income incentives the federal law provides to encourage your generous support of the St. Simons Land Trust through planned giving. The Land Trust recommends you consult your attorney and your tax or financial advisor to establish an estate plan specific to your interests and needs.
Wills and Bequests
A will enables you to direct the distribution of your assets, provide for your heirs in the way you choose rather than as state and federal laws dictate, and possibly reduce or eliminate certain estate taxes and court costs. You can designate a portion of your assets as a gift to the St. Simons Land Trust. Testamentary gifts take many forms, either through a new will, or through a 'codicil' - an amendment to your existing will.
Provides a specified dollar amount.
Specific Bequest or Devise of Property
Assure specified assets, such as securities, an interest in real estate (such as a residence or land), or tangible personal property benefit the St. Simons Land Trust.
Residuary Bequest or Devise
Assures all or a percentage of the remainder of your estate after specific legacies, debts, taxes, and estate expenses have been paid benefit the St. Simons Land Trust.
Examples of Testamentary Language
The following are examples of language that can be included in your will or trust and tailored to address your specific interests:
- Unrestricted Bequest:
I give and bequeath to St. Simons Land Trust , a non-profit organization (Tax ID #58-2598986), with a principal business address of P.O. Box 24615 St. Simons Island, GA 31522, for its general purposes, the sum of ____ Dollars ($____) - OR - __% of my residuary estate. An unrestricted bequest allows your support to be used in the area of greatest need.
- Restricted Bequest:
I give and bequeath to St. Simons Land Trust, a non-profit organization (Tax ID # 58-2598986), with a principal business address of P.O. Box 24615, St. Simons Island, GA, 31522, the sum of ____ dollars ($___) - OR - __% of my residuary estate to support ______________ (e.g, education, conservation, recreation, historic preservation). If you have a more specific purpose in mind, please contact Anna Hall to ensure that your wishes are met.
- Bequest of Specific Assets:
I give and bequeath to St. Simons Land Trust, a non-profit organization (Tax ID # 58-2598986) with a principal business address of P.O. Box 24615, St. Simons Island, GA 31522, for its general purposes, ____________________. Include specific details, such as the address of a vacation home or the title and artist of any piece of art.
- Tax Benefits:
Your bequest to St. Simons Land Trust may qualify your estate for a charitable deduction equal to the entire amount of the bequest. Consult your tax or financial adviser for further information.
Charitable Remainder Trust
One or more named beneficiaries receive income for life or for a specified term of years, after which time the assets pass to the St. Simons Land Trust. Through this arrangement, you can provide income to family members or friends, realize significant tax savings, and ensure important benefits to St. Simons Land Trust after the trust's termination.
Charitable Lead Trust
Income from the trust is paid to St. Simons Land Trust for a period of years, after which time the assets pass to your heirs, usually members of a younger generation, at a reduced estate tax cost. By substantially reducing estate and other transfer taxes, this arrangement allows you to preserve a larger portion of your estate for your beneficiaries.
IRAs, 401ks, 403bs, Keoghs, and other retirement plan assets make up an increasingly large part of many estates. When left to heirs, these assets can be subject to income, estate, and other transfer tax. Naming the St. Simons Land Trust as a beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of all or a percentage of retirement plan assets may reduce or eliminate both income and estate taxes.
Life insurance is another asset to use to support the St. Simons Land Trust, especially when a policy no longer serves its original purpose. Such gifts often provide certain tax benefits as well. To designate the St. Simons Land Trust as the primary or contingent beneficiary of some or all of your life insurance policy, please call your financial advisor.