There are several ways you can use life insurance as the basis for a charitable gift.
Name Seton Hall a Beneficiary of your Life Insurance Policy
You retain lifetime ownership of the policy, keeping the right to cash it in, borrow against it, and change the beneficiary. A gift of this nature is treated similar to a bequest made through your will. Since you retain the ownership of your asset (the policy), you will not receive an income tax charitable deduction for this future gift or for your premium payments during your lifetime. The policy’s proceeds will be included in your gross estate, and your estate can take an estate tax charitable deduction. Make a Gift of Your Policy
Transfer ownership of a policy to Seton Hall, or purchase a new policy with Seton Hall as owner and beneficiary. If you make a charity the owner and beneficiary of a policy, you are entitled to certain tax advantages. Wealth Replacement Using Life Insurance
A donor may make a current gift to charity and receive a charitable tax deduction. At the same time, the donor may purchase life insurance to replace the donated amount or perhaps, the amount after estate tax that the beneficiaries would have received. Depending on the circumstances, the charitable tax savings and any life income resulting from the gift may defray the cost of the wealth replacement insurance premiums.
Create a Life Insurance Trust
You can set up an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT). An ILIT removes the life insurance from your estate to help reduce estate tax while providing other benefits. For example, upon one’s death, the proceeds of the life insurance policy may remain in the trust to provide income for the surviving spouse, but stays outside of the spouse’s estate for estate tax purposes. Or, the trust could be used to distribute proceeds to children of a previous marriage. Although ILITs can be expensive and more complicated than owning life insurance directly, they may be an attractive option in certain situations.
As with all matters concerning estate planning, please consult your estate and tax specialists.