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Financials: Insurance Policies
Insurance policies can be an easy way to make an important gift whether it is an old policy that has outlived its original purpose (such as for a spouse who no longer needs it, a child who is financially independent, or to protect a business that no longer exists) or a new policy purchased specifically to benefit The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Foundation (GWIZF), a gift of life insurance can allow you to leave a much larger gift to animals than may have been possible during your lifetime.
There are at least six different ways in which you can structure a gift of life insurance to GWIZF:
You can make GWIZF a beneficiary of an already existing life insurance policyUpon your passing, the full face value amount of the policy will go to GWIZF. Although the proceeds from the policy will be included in your gross estate, the full amount received by GWIZF may be deductible as a charitable deduction. To make GWIZF a beneficiary of an already existing life insurance policy, you can simply request a beneficiary designation form from your employer or insurance company. Most forms require the following information: The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Foundation (legal full name) GWIZF's Address, 25803 North County Road 3250, Wynnewood, OK 73098-9156. GWIZF's Tax ID # 73-1574292 Your relationship to the beneficiary: Charity
You can make GWIZF the owner and beneficiary of an already existing paid-up life insurance policyBy doing so, you may be able to deduct an amount equal to the fair market value of the policy, or your cost basis, whichever is less. Since GWIZF becomes the owner of the policy, the proceeds will not be included in your estate for tax purposes.
You can make GWIZF the owner and beneficiary of a policy on which you are still paying premiumsYou may be able to deduct an amount equal to the approximate cash value of the policy or the policy's cost basis, whichever is less, in the year in which you make the gift. You may also be able to deduct any future premium payments, and the proceeds will not be included in your estate for tax purposes.
You can purchase a new policy and make GWIZF the owner and beneficiaryBecause GWIZF is the owner, you may be able to deduct premium payments as charitable contributions for as long as the premiums are paid. Because GWIZF is the owner, you may be able to deduct premiums as charitable contributions for as long as the premiums are paid, subject to state limitations. In addition, the proceeds will not be included in your estate for tax purposes.
If you participate in a group term life insurance policy through your workplace, you can donate your excess coverage to GWIZFMany employers provide generous life insurance coverage as a fringe benefit to their employees, but you may not realize that you are required to pay income tax on the cost of coverage over $50,000.00. However, a special rule excuses this tax if you donate the excess coverage to charity. Excess coverage is an excellent way to make a valuable gift to GWIZF that not only doesn't cost you a dime in premiums, but in fact, saves you money. To make this gift, simply inform your company's benefits department.
Finally, if you travel, you can make GWIZF the beneficiary of a travel insurance policy that covers your trip.
A common concern that many people raise when considering a charitable gift is that they do not want to deprive their family or loved ones of an adequate estate. However, with some planning, you can create a "wealth replacement plan" that will substitute life insurance for the assets donated to GWIZF.