Ways to Help
You can promise gifts to Berklee through a bequest in a will by noting a specific amount of money or other asset, or a residual percentage of an estate or as a contingency. The gift may be designated as (a) a percentage of the donor's estate, (b) a specific dollar amount or description of property, (c) a residual of the donor's estate, or (d) contingent upon a certain event. Estate taxes are reduced by the value of the gift.
Charitable Remainder Trust
Establishing a charitable remainder trust is one of the most common ways to help your institution and your family. When you establish a charitable remainder unitrust, you transfer cash or property to the trust. You then decide what percentage of the trust assets' fair market value you wish to receive as income.
A trust funded with cash or gifts of appreciated property, such as stocks, real estate, or any property with appreciated value, provides you or your beneficiary with a lifetime income based upon the full fair market value of the asset. Further, your gift provides you with an immediate tax deduction, helps you to avoid the capital gains tax, and reduces the estate tax on your assets. In addition to the example of the charitable remainder trust, there are several types of trusts described here that may be better suited to individual needs.
Charitable Gift Annuities
Charitable Gift Annuities allow donors to contribute smaller donations than are made to a Charitable Remainder Trust. A charitable gift annuity is a contract between the donor and Berklee College of Music. The donor makes a gift in exchange for a guaranteed fixed payment for the life of the donor set at the time of the gift. Checks can be issued either annually or biannually at the discretion of the donor.
When the donor dies, his or her share becomes the property of Berklee College of Music. The income tax deduction is based on the current value of the remainder interest going to the nonprofit. No separate trust is required, and often a simple one-page agreement is all that is needed.
You may also make Berklee the owner of an existing policy. Your deduction equals the policy replacement value unless it exceeds the cost basis. You may also continue to pay the remaining premiums yourself, qualifying you for an additional charitable contribution deduction. You may not simply make Berklee the beneficiary of the policy and receive an immediate tax deduction as this is not an irrevocable decision.
Gift of Personal Property
You can make gifts of personal property, such as instruments, music recordings, art, or other items. You gain a charitable deduction on the full fair market value if the object is a long-term gain property and its use is related to our tax-exempt mission. This deduction allows you to avoid the penalty capital gains tax on the appreciation and may be up to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income with a five-year carryover. If your gift is valued at $5,000 or more, you must provide the Internal Revenue Service with a written appraisal. Berklee, as the recipient, is not allowed to value the gift for you.
You make a gift of real estate, securities, or other properties, and Berklee pays you your original cost basis. You receive income, a tax charitable deduction, capital gains savings, estate tax savings, and cash, in addition to the satisfaction of helping Berklee.
For more information, contact Cindy Albert Link.
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