Charitable Bequests

You can establish any kind of fund or give to an existing fund through a bequest. Such gifts enable you to make significant contributions that may not have been possible during your lifetime.


When you remember the Westchester Community Foundation in your will, you may reduce your estate taxes while supporting your community. You may give a specific dollar amount, property or percentage of your estate, or the remainder of your estate after bequests to family and friends. You can create a charitable legacy by telling us what you want to give through your fund. By creating a permanent fund with us, you will continue a family’s name and ensure that the causes you care about will be supported forever. Your family is also assured that should there be a change of circumstance that makes literal compliance with the terms of the gift instrument "unnecessary, undesirable, impractical, or impossible," our governing body is able to vary them. This is called the variance power. Your client's gift will never become obsolete, and will remain useful to the community in perpetuity.


Sample Bequest Language:


We have provided two examples of sample bequest language. However, please contact our General Counsel Carrie Trowbridge to ensure the proper drafting of the bequest language for the right type of fund is used to honor your intentions.




Back to What to Give



Retirement Assets

Retirement plan assets are some of the most tax-efficient assets to transfer to charity upon your death. Deferred income tax and estate tax can erode the value of retirement assets, leaving very little for your heirs. By leaving retirement assets to your fund at Westchester Community Foundation (legal name: Community Funds, Inc.), you can preserve 100% of your hard-earned assets for the good of the community – forever.


Naming WCF as beneficiary of your retirement assets is as easy as adding a sentence to your IRA beneficiary form. Here is some sample language that you could use: “___% of my assets to Community Funds Inc. (EIN# 104787), for its Westchester Community Foundation division, as an addition to the ______ Fund.”



Back to What to Give



Life Insurance Policies

Giving a life insurance policy is a simple and inexpensive way to make a substantial contribution to Westchester Community Foundation. There are two easy ways to turn your life insurance policy into a charitable gift to the Westchester Community Foundation:


  • List Community Funds, Inc. (WCF’s legal name) as the beneficiary when purchasing a new life insurance policy or execute a change of beneficiary form on a current policy. Upon your passing, your estate receives a charitable deduction and the death benefit passes to the Westchester Community Foundation tax-free.


  • Donate an existing, paid-up life insurance policy to the Foundation or purchase a new paid-up policy in Community Fund, Inc.’s name. You would receive a current income tax deduction equal to the policy’s fair market value at the time of the gift (the lesser of your basis in the policy or the policy value). 


Professional Advisors may want to read more about charitable gifts using life insurance in our publication Professional Notes.



Back to What to Give



Charitable Lead Trust

A charitable lead trust allows you to make payments to the Westchester Community Foundation now, while later transferring wealth to your heirs at reduced gift and estate tax rates. Through the trust, you determine how much will be paid to WCF and for how long. The principal that remains after the trust terminates will revert back to you or pass to another designated individual. The value of the charitable interest would depend on the length of the trust and amount or percentage to be paid out each year.


Charitable lead trusts are an effective tool for excluding assets – and subsequent appreciation on those assets – from your taxable estate while ensuring your favorite causes receive significant charitable support.


Could Be Structured to Provide the Following Benefits:


  • Transfer appreciated property to family members at low cost

  • Reduce burden of gift taxes, probate costs and estate taxes

  • Provide a large, current income tax deduction in a year in which you have a particular large amount of taxable income

  • Decide what type of fund to establish to receive the income payments and create even more giving opportunities for you and your family.

  • For more information on charitable lead trusts, see our FAQ’s about Planned Giving strategies


Professional advisors may be interested in reading more about charitable lead trusts in the Summer 2015, October 2008, and June 2001 issues of Professional Notes.



Back to What to Give



Charitable Remainder Trust

Giving through a charitable remainder trust (CRT) can support Westchester Community Foundation’s future grant making while providing you or whomever you designate with income for life or a specified number of years. In effect, you keep the income on the trust. You place cash, property or other assets irrevocably into a trust, which distributes an annual income for life or for the duration of the trust to the income beneficiary. Payments can be a fixed dollar amount (an annuity trust) or a percentage of the principal (a unitrust).


Charitable remainder trusts offer a great deal of flexibility. Payments may be made to you throughout your life, and then directed to your spouse or other beneficiaries after your death. Or, the trust may be set up by your will, benefiting a loved one for his or her lifetime. The eventual distribution to the Foundation will take effect only at the end of the trust term. Please contact us to discuss if Westchester Community Foundation might be the right fit to serve as trustee of an unrestricted or broad field-of-interest fund for you.



Could Be Structured to Provide the Following Benefits:


  • Make a significant gift to charity

  • Provide a lifetime income for yourself and/or your beneficiaries

  • Reduce your taxable estate

  • Avoid immediate capital gains tax when the gifted asset is sold

  • Realize an income tax charitable deduction

  • Increase income by converting low-yield assets


Professional advisors may be interested in reading more about charitable remainder trusts in the Spring 2015, June 2008, March 2008, and June 2001 issues of Professional Notes.


Back to What to Give