Given the opportunity, most of us would like to leave a legacy that gives meaning to what we valued most during our lifetime. Imagine the satisfaction of knowing that because of your generosity and planning, you are major part of maintaining Skagit Valley as the most important agricultural valley in Puget Sound.
This section has been designed to help you with your decision to leave a gift to Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland (SPF) using a thoughtful and planned approach. It offers some strategies and resources that, when combined with your financial and estate objectives can create the most attractive tax and income benefits. This is good for you, good for SPF, and great for the Skagit Valley.
Make a Bequest to SPF in your Will
You can make a bequest by including language in your will that names Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland as the beneficiary of your estate, or you can designate a fixed percentage, specific dollar amount, or a particular asset of your estate to SPF.
You can bequeath all or a percentage of your residuary estate to SPF after you have provided for all other beneficiaries with specific bequests.
You can name SPF as a contingent beneficiary by stipulating that SPF receive all or a portion of your estate if your named beneficiaries do not survive you.
You can make SPF the remainder beneficiary of a trust that you establish in your will. This trust could provide income to one or more beneficiaries during their respective lives. SPF would then receive the principal of the trust at the death of the last surviving beneficiary.
If you are considering a bequest to SPF, meeting with your attorney to draft or update your will is typically the first step. Below is some information that you or your attorney may find helpful with your estate planning.
Sample Testamentary Language:
A general bequest:
“I give (_____dollars) (or a specific asset) (or ____percent of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate) to Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland, Mount Vernon, Washington.”
A bequest for a specific purpose:
“I give (_____dollars) (or a specific asset) (or ____percent of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate) to Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland, Mount Vernon, Washington, to be used for the following purpose: (state the purpose, such as to a fund to protect farmland or to provide unrestricted support.)”
Because the needs and challenges facing Skagit agriculture and SPF vary over time, we would ask that you consider the gifting language in your will state any specific purpose for your gift as a preference, with the final determination left to the discretion of the SPF Board of Directors.
Good Tax News:
• A bequest to SPF qualifies your estate for a charitable deduction equal to the entire value of your bequest.
Designate SPF as a Beneficiary of Retirement Assets or Insurance Policies
Name SPF as a beneficiary of your tax-deferred retirement assets and reduce your income tax or estate tax burden.
To make SPF a beneficiary, simply contact the particular asset plan administrator and request that SPF be named or added as a beneficiary. Asset plans with beneficiary designations may include your mutual fund, retirement account, charitable trust, or life insurance policy.
Good Tax News:
• If you designate all or a part of your retirement plan to SPF, the amount of this gift is included in your taxable estate but is fully deductible as a charitable gift.
• Generally, the full amount of your gift made through a beneficiary designation can be received by SPF and used for charitable purposes with no income tax due. The same asset, if left in your estate and not given to charity, may be subject to both income and estate taxes.
• Non-retirement assets are the least susceptible to taxation and are often better assets to leave to family members.
Gifts of Cash
You may use cash to fund a life-income vehicle (an annuity or similar) that ultimately benefits SPF. Cash gifts are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by law.
Gifts of Securities
Outright gifts of appreciated securities (stocks, bonds, mutual fund shares) are a common way to give to SPF. These are tax deductible at full fair-market value if you have owned the securities for at least 12 months. To avoid capital gains taxes you must provide the securities themselves, not the proceeds from their sale.
Necessary Legal Information
Legal Name of Corporation:
Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland
SPF Federal Tax Identification Number:
P.O. Box 2405
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
414A Snoqualmie Street
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
This information is not intended to provide specific advice about your estate plan or to recommend a specific course of action. We suggest you consult your professional advisers before taking any action, then contact SPF to learn more about these giving strategies.