Leaving a Legacy

Planned giving, such as a bequest in a will, is one of the most powerful and lasting ways in which you can contribute to the work of the California NOW Foundation, and ensure that your dedication to equality continues. U.S. tax laws are structured to encourage charitable giving, and unlimited amounts can generally be left for charitable purposes free of estate and gift taxes. And you do not need a great deal of wealth to make a difference — every dollar helps us work harder for the rights we all deserve.

An estate plan represents your life, your beliefs, and a way to continue your dedication into the future. There are many ways in which your planned gift can help to enhance and expand the California NOW Foundation’s work for equality across the state.

You may choose to designate your gift to a specific program of the California NOW Foundation, such as the Excellence in Education Luncheon, SHE Agenda trainings, Community or Educational Scholarship programs, Media and Publications, or the Third Wave Think Tank. You could even use your bequest to create an ongoing fund for a specific purpose. And of course, any bequest without a specific designation will be used to meet current needs of the Foundation in working for the rights of California women and girls. Here is a brief list of some of the ways in which you can choose to make a planned gift to the California NOW Foundation.

A Bequest in Your Will or Trust
You can designate a specific monetary amount, a specific piece of property, or a percentage of your estate for the California NOW Foundation in your will or trust. You maintain control of your estate during your life, and there will be no estate taxes on the gift bequest.

Beneficiary Designation for Retirement Plans, IRAs or Life Insurance Policies
Assets remaining from IRAs or retirement plans can be taxed both under estate taxes and as income for the recipient, so it may be wisest to designate these funds to a non-profit such as the California NOW Foundation while retaining less tax-vulnerable assets for your heirs. With any of these plans, you may designate all or part of the money to be given to the California NOW Foundation. You can fill out a beneficiary designation form to make the California NOW Foundation the beneficiary of the remains of a retirement plan or IRA, or of a life insurance policy. These forms are provided by your retirement plan or life insurance company, and are an easy change to make.

Lifetime Gift of Appreciated Stock or Real Estate
If you have stock or real estate which you have owned for at least one year, and which has appreciated in value, you can avoid paying capital gains tax and receive an immediate tax deduction by donating it to the California NOW Foundation. A bequest of stock or real estate can also be made in your will.

Charitable Remainder Trusts
You can create a legacy of equality for the California NOW Foundation by setting up a Charitable Remainder Trust. This allows you to convert highly appreciated assets like mutual funds or investment real estate into tax sheltered income. You get a lifetime income, avoid capital gains taxes on the sale of the property, and avoid estate taxes. After your death, the remainder of the fund is donated to the California NOW Foundation.

No matter how you may choose to remember the California NOW Foundation in your estate plans, you will leave a lasting legacy which will enable the Foundation to move forward in our work towards equality for all Californians. If you include the California NOW Foundation in your estate plans or other planned giving, please let us know so that we can thank you personally.

NOTE:  The information listed above is not intended to be legal or tax advice. In all instances you should consult with a qualified legal or tax professional for advice before proceeding with estate planning.