Bequests – Please remember the Birmingham Zoo in your will or estate plan and please tell us when you do. A bequest is a written direction contained in a will, which disposes of some or all of the property controlled by the will. Through a will, it is possible to give cash, securities, life insurance proceeds, and real and personal property. It is also possible to create a trust through a will. Bequests may be used to establish memorials in honor of the donor, family members or others.
Recommended Form for Bequest
The Board of Directors of the Birmingham Zoo recommend that for estate planning purposes, members and friends consider the following language for use in their wills:
“To the Birmingham Zoo, Inc. incorporated in 1999, and a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization in January 2001, having as its principal address, Birmingham Zoo, 2630 Cahaba Road, Birmingham, AL 35223, I hereby give and bequeath $_____________ for the Zoo’s ________________ (general purpose or a specific interest).”
To help the Birmingham Zoo defray future administration costs, it is suggested that the following paragraph be added to bequests for which the gift has a restricted use:
“If at some future time, in the judgment of the Board of Directors of the Birmingham Zoo, it is no longer practical to use the income or principal of this gift for the purposes intended, the Board of Directors reserve the right to use the income or principal for purposes they deem necessary and most closely in accord with the intent described.”
If you wish to discuss the language of your bequest with a member of the Birmingham Zoo staff, please contact Karen Carroll at (205) 397-3856.
Charitable Gift Annuity (Giving & Receiving an Income) – If your goal is to make a charitable gift while increasing your annual income and receiving fixed and guaranteed payments for the rest of your life, a charitable gift annuity may be right for you. The Birmingham Zoo is partnering with the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham to issue charitable gift annuities. For more information, please contact Karen Carroll at (205) 397-3856.
Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) – These trusts provide the donor or other named beneficiary an income from the trust. Title to the trust passes to the organization upon the death of the last named beneficiary. These trusts can be structured to provide a fixed income or a fixed percentage of the trust’s assets.
Charitable Lead Trust – This is similar to the Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) above. Rather than paying an income to the beneficiary, with remaining assets going to the organization, the CRT assigns from the trust an income to the organization, with remaining assets either reverting to the donor or being paid to a donor assigned designee at the end of a specific time period. A CRT may be advantageous to a donor who would like to reduce current taxable income yet retains ultimate ownership of the property.
Life Insurance – Gifts of life insurance provide a way to make a sizeable gift at a relatively low cost. Certain gifts of life insurance, such as a gift of a paid-up policy, may be considered as current, rather than deferred gifts. A gift of life insurance is made either by delivering and assigning ownership of the policy to the non-profit organization, or by naming the organization as the beneficiary. When you make an outright gift of a paid-up life insurance policy and name the organization as the irrevocable owner and beneficiary, you may claim an immediate tax deduction equal to the replacement value of the policy. You may also contribute life insurance policies, which are partially paid up and claim an immediate tax deduction equal to the cash surrender value of the policy. You may even purchase and support a new policy naming the organization as the irrevocable owner and beneficiary. In this case, an immediate tax deduction can be claimed for the premium payments made.
Disclaimer – This information does not constitute legal or tax advice. Please seek the services of a professional for assistance in specific cases.