Life insurance is a very under-used asset in charitable giving yet its flexibility makes it possible for virtually everyone to make a meaningful gift. Some possibilities include:
Donate a Percentage
You could opt to designate a percentage of your life insurance policy to San Francisco Zen Center.
Offer a Paid-Up Policy
Most people own life insurance, and many have policies that have outlived their original purpose. For instance, policies for a college education, those insuring a business, or those protecting a mortgage, can make excellent gifts when given to a charitable organization. And the donor can deduct the replacement value of the policy.
Buy a New Policy
Some people find they can make a much larger gift than they could otherwise afford by purchasing a life insurance policy and naming San Francisco Zen Center as owner and beneficiary. The future premiums paid are deductible as cash contributions.
Buy Insurance to Replace a Bequest
Some people find that they can make a current gift of assets they had planned to bequeath in their wills. They receive the income-tax benefits now and replace the assets by buying a life-insurance policy for that amount. They enjoy the satisfaction of giving now and receiving the tax deduction now when they need it most. The beneficiaries will still receive the same amount.
Add a Beneficiary to Your Existing Policy
Regardless of financial circumstances, almost anyone can name San Francisco Zen Center as a secondary or final beneficiary of a new or existing policy. This simply means that if the first beneficiary(ies) predeceases you, Zen Center becomes the beneficiary. Because the gift is not definite, there are no income tax benefits; but, if any funds are passed on to Zen Center, they will be deductible from federal estate taxes.