|Volume LVIII||February 2011||Number 1|
The Best of Both Worlds
At a recent Retirement Living Association meeting at Masonic Village at Elizabethtown, the speaker asked the audience how many had Wills. Nearly every hand went up. The owners of those hands are contented people. They rest easy, having accomplished the biggest goal of good planning: completing a Will.
In most cases, these residents have named family to receive their assets. A smaller number probably has included a gift to a charity. This is true nationwide.
Of the majority with family-only Wills, many have been donors to Masonic Charities during their lifetime. They assume their support naturally ends at death, since their assets will go to family. They do not realize they can have the best of both worlds: most of the assets going to family, with a slice going to charity that is small, but enough to continue their annual contribution.
How is this possible? Through a "magic formula" that works wonders. Say a person or couple has an average-sized estate of about $250,000 (this includes house, car, investments, etc.). During life, they give about $200 per year to Masonic Charities.
Of their $250,000 total estate, they decide to leave nearly all of it to their children, and they slice off only $4,000 for Masonic Charities. Here's where the magic happens. Masonic Charities converts this $4,000 into a perpetual giving machine that produces $200 annually.
It does this by putting the gift into an endowment fund that is invested permanently. The fund earns $200 from this gift every year, matching the couple's annual support during life.
How do you figure the correct amount to continue your annual contribution after death? Simply take your total annual contribution and multiply by 20. This amount in the Will or estate plan will "endow" your annual contribution in perpetuity.
What if you have a completed Will already? Is it difficult to make a change to it to add a bequest like this? Generally, no. To add such a provision usually only requires adding a "codicil" to the completed Will. This is a simple one-paragraph statement of the change desired.
Bequests matter. All gifts to Masonic Charities are important and tremendously appreciated, including mail contributions, pledges, memorial gifts and gift annuities. Bequests are in a special category, as those who make bequests are making a clear statement that they want Masonic values to continue far into the future.
Masonic Charities' Gift Planning Office offers free, no-obligation information on Wills and estate planning, including common pitfalls to avoid, tax tips and benefits to the donor of a charitable bequest.
For more information on making a charitable bequest to Masonic Charities or any charity, please contact the Office of Gift Planning nearest you. Or, visit our website at www.masonicvillagespa.org/howyoucanhelp.php.
Financial information about Masonic Charities can be obtained by contacting us at 1-800-599-6454. In addition, Masonic Charities is required to file financial information with several states. Colorado: Colorado residents may obtain copies of registration and financial documents from the office of the Secretary of State, (303) 894-2680, http://www.sos.state.co.us/. Florida: SC No. 00774, A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE, WITHIN THE STATE, 1-800-HELP-FLA. Georgia: full and fair description of the programs and activities of Masonic Charities and its financial statement are available upon request at the address indicated above. Illinois: Contracts and reports regarding Masonic Charities are on file with the Illinois Attorney General. Maryland: For the cost of postage and copying, documents and information filed under the Maryland charitable organizations laws can be obtained from the Secretary of State, Charitable Division, State House, Annapolis, MD 21401, (800) 825-4510. Michigan: MICS No. 11796 Mississippi: The official registration and financial information of Masonic Charities may be obtained from the Mississippi Secretary of State's office by calling 1-888-236-6167. New Jersey: INFORMATION FILED WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL CONCERNING THIS CHARITABLE SOLICITATION AND THE PERCENTAGE OF CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED BY THE CHARITY DURING THE LAST REPORTING PERIOD THAT WERE DEDICATED TO THE CHARITABLE PURPOSE MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY CALLING (973) 504-6215 AND IS AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET AT www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/ocp.htm#charity. REGISTRATION WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT. New York: A copy of the latest annual report can be obtained from the organization or from the Office of the Attorney General by writing the Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271. North Carolina: Financial information about this organization and a copy of its license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Branch at 1-888-830-4989. Pennsylvania: The official registration and financial information of Masonic Charities may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Virginia: Financial statements are available from the State Office of Consumer Affairs, P.O. Box 1163, Richmond, VA 23218. Washington: The notice of solicitation required by the Charitable Solicitation Act is on file with the Washington Secretary of State, and information relating to financial affairs of Masonic Charities is available from the Secretary of State, and the toll-free number for Washington residents: 1-800-332-4483. West Virginia: West Virginia residents may obtain a summary of the registration and financial documents from the Secretary of State, State Capitol, Charleston, WV 25305. REGISTRATION IN THE ABOVE STATES DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATION OF MASONIC CHARITIES BY THE STATE.
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