Estate Planning

We invite you to consider including the Bradford County Historical Society (BCHS) in your long-term financial plans. This can provide you the opportunity to make a larger gift to BCHS than you may have thought possible. These kinds of gifts will mean future financial stability for BCHS, allowing us to continue preserving the history of our county for many years. For you, these gifts can mean relief from estate taxes, capital gains tax relief, avoiding double tax on retirement assets, making a large gift through insurance plans, and even increased income.

The plans discussed below are only suggested ideas. If you would like to set up any of the following plans, we suggest that you discuss the possibilities with your attorney or financial planner. Please contact us by letter and let us know of your plans. We can provide you with our legal name, address, or with information that may be needed in your planning process. Also, if you have made the Bradford County Historical Society the beneficiary of your charitable giving, we would like to thank you for your special gift.

INCLUDING THE BRADFORD COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY IN YOUR WILL

The easiest way to leave a lasting gift to the Bradford County Historical Society is by including us in your will. A bequest is as simple as it is powerful; with a few words in your will, you can continue to support the preservation and education efforts of the Bradford County Historical Society beyond your lifetime. Chances are, even after you have made adequate provisions for your family and friends, you can have a bigger impact than you ever thought possible — and you don't have to be wealthy to do it!

Best of all, when you make a bequest, you will have the good feeling of having done something significant to help preserve the history of your ancestors or your community — and you'll never see the difference in your bank balance. No other kind of donation gives you this privilege.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE:
If you are already prepared to name the Bradford County Historical Society in your will you'll need a few simple facts about us:
Legal Name: Bradford County Historical Society
Address: 109 Pine Street, Towanda, PA 18848
Federal Tax ID: Contact us for more information.

The gift can be declared in a number of ways. Here are some of the common ways to phrase your intentions:

Percentage of Estate
I give to the Bradford County Historical Society, currently of 109 Pine Street, Towanda, PA 18848, ___% of my estate to be used in such a manner as the Board of Trustees of the Bradford County Historical Society shall, in its sole discretion, determine.

Fixed Amount
I give to the Bradford County Historical Society, currently of 109 Pine Street, Towanda, PA 18848, the sum of $___ to be used in such a manner as the Board of Trustees of the Bradford County Historical Society shall, in its sole discretion, determine.

Residue of Estate (after probate costs and other expenses)
I give to the Bradford County Historical Society, currently of 109 Pine Street, Towanda, PA 18848, ___% of the rest and residue of my estate to be used in such a manner as the Board of Trustees of the Bradford County Historical Society shall, in its sole discretion, determine.

CHARITABLE TRUSTS

A charitable remainder trust can be used for providing life income for you or members of your family, for increasing retirement income or savings, for educational funding, and for reducing estate, gift, and capital gains taxes. At the same time, the trust creates a lasting legacy gift to support the Bradford County Historical Society's work.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE:
In a charitable remainder trust, you transfer cash, securities, or other assets into the trust where they are reinvested without paying capital gains tax. The trust then pays the beneficiary(ies) income for the period of their life or for a fixed period of years. When the income beneficiary dies or when the trust term has expired, the assets remaining in the trust (the so-called remainder) is distributed to the Bradford County Historical Society.

There are several types of charitable remainder trusts which can be created to meet your needs. You can choose between fixed and variable income, and you can choose between immediate and deferred payout. Your trust can be funded with liquid or illiquid assets. And you are entitled to a tax deduction for a portion of your gift.

Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust
A charitable remainder annuity trust pays you a fixed income equal to a percentage (chosen by you) of the original trust value. Once established, you cannot add to a charitable remainder annuity trust. You will receive an income tax deduction in the year that the trust is established and avoid estate taxes.

Charitable Remainder Unitrust
A charitable remainder unitrust pays a percentage (decided by you) of the value of your trust. As your assets appreciate, so will your income. You can add to a charitable remainder unitrust at any time. Tax benefits include an income tax deduction in the year the trust is established and avoidance of estate taxes.

Charitable Lead Trust
Setting up a charitable lead trust allows you to make a gift to the Bradford County Historical Society, by paying a fixed or variable income to us for a set term, and eventually passing assets from the trust to loved ones. You will also receive an income tax deduction in the year of the gift while reducing estate taxes when the assets are passed on to your family often with reduced gift taxes as well.

LIFE INSURANCE GIFTS

Life insurance gifts may be the ideal vehicle for making a significant charitable gift, either during life or at death. Consider the advantages:

  • Life insurance gifts are simple; just ask the insurance company for the appropriate forms to make us owner or beneficiary of a policy.
  • Gifts of a policy are tax deductible, as are future premium payments.
  • A gift of life insurance is certain. The full proceeds are payable to ensure your philanthropic goals are achieved.
  • Life insurance is paid promptly; it is not tied up in the administration of the estate.
  • Unlike a will, life insurance is not a matter of public record. Proceeds for the Bradford County Historical Society can pass in privacy, if you desire.
  • Life insurance can be used to make significant gifts to charitable causes like the Bradford County Historical Society, with exceptional tax advantages.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE
Here are a few ways life insurance can be used to enlarge your support:

A Gift of an "Unneeded" Policy
Suppose your family is grown and no longer needs a policy purchased many years ago. You could make the Bradford County Historical Society the beneficiary of that insurance policy and take a tax deduction for the value of the policy at the time of the gift.

Let's assume further that you have a $50,000 policy on which you are still paying, and the cash surrender value of your policy is $20,000 and the premiums cost $500 annually. If you contribute the policy to a non-profit organization like the Bradford County Historical Society and continue paying the premiums, you will be entitled to an income tax charitable deduction of about $20,000, reducing your taxes by $6,200 if you are in a 31% tax bracket. In addition, each year you will be entitled to another $500 deduction for the annual premiums you pay, saving $155 in income taxes. At your death, the full $50,000 proceeds will be used for Bradford County Historical Society programs.

"Wealth Replacement" Plans
Donors who employ various types of charitable trusts can purchase life insurance payable to family members, funded partly by tax savings from their charitable deductions. The life insurance replaces the assets that are received by the charity, and if you employ a so-called irrevocable life insurance trust, your family can receive the insurance proceeds free of gift or estate tax.

Revocable Beneficiary Designation
You can keep lifetime ownership rights in a policy (the right to borrow against or cash in a life insurance policy, for example) and still name the Bradford County Historical Society as the beneficiary of part or all of the proceeds. Your estate will be entitled to a charitable deduction for the amount passing to us. If you'd prefer, you can name the Bradford County Historical Society as the contingent beneficiary of a life insurance policy. Our organization would receive the proceeds only if your primary beneficiary died before you.

RETIREMENT PLAN GIFTS

Millions of Americans have taken advantage of generous tax incentives provided by Congress to encourage savings for retirement years. However, at death, your retirement assets can be taxed up to 70%. A combination of estate taxes and income taxes can nearly confiscate the retirement savings accounts of many people at death, leaving little for heirs.

  • Federal Estate Tax
    The full, date-of-death value of retirement savings is subject to federal estate tax at rates as high as 55% for estates over $3 million.
  • State and Federal Income Taxes
    Both federal income tax and state income tax (depending on the place of residence of your heirs) will be due on death benefits from an IRA or other plan — costing as much as 40% or more.

Instead, consider leaving retirement account assets to the Bradford County Historical Society, and preserve all the funds free from tax. You can leave your children cash and other assets that won't suffer the high taxes that retirement assets do.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE
It's simple to make a gift of retirement assets to the Bradford County Historical Society:

Beneficiary Change
The custodian of your retirement plan can provide you with the appropriate forms to make the Bradford County Historical Society the beneficiary. The beneficiary designation form will ask that you list the Bradford County Historical Society's legal name, address, and Federal Tax ID number.

Will or Living Trust
If no death beneficiary is named for your account, you can change your will or living trust so that retirement assets are specifically designated to pass to the Bradford County Historical Society.

Charitable Trust
You can provide income to family members by leaving retirement assets to a charitable remainder trust that will pay income to you over your lifetime. When the trust expires, the remaining assets pass to the Bradford County Historical Society. See “Charitable Trusts” above.

Contingent Beneficiary
Consider making the Bradford County Historical Society the contingent beneficiary of your retirement death plan benefits and give your heirs the right to disclaim (decline) benefits. Those who understand the severity of the taxes imposed can have the retirement assets pass to a worthwhile cause like the Bradford County Historical Society.

The Board of Trustees of the Bradford County Historical Society would like to thank you for taking the time to consider how you may support BCHS now and in the future. We hope that this information has been helpful to you. If we can be of assistance, please write to the Bradford County Historical Society, 109 Pine Street, Towanda, PA 18848.

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