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Support the Herb Society of America with individual gifts and donations (graphic)

Founders' Circle

Changes in gifts of stock and IRAs end December 31, 2011

Founders' Circle members are HSA members who have made plans for HSA to receive their financial support during their life and after their deaths. You can leave a legacy by making a "planned gift" in addition to their current contributions. Making a planned gift means arranging now for a gift to HSA following your death.

Consider a charitable gift annuity during your life; a gift annuity will provide you with income and ultimately will benefit HSA. HSA offers donors the option of creating a charitable gift annuity. This means that the donor transfers a fixed amount of money to HSA. In exchange the Bank pays the donor a certain fixed amount per year (an "annuity") for the rest of the donor's life. Currently, the annuity program is administered through Key Bank. Your professional financial advisors can provide you with you options for establishing a gift annuity program. The HSA executive director also may share with you the current information on establishing a charitable gift annuity.

Add a Pay on Death (POD) or Transfer on Death (TOD) designation. As desirable as it is to have an estate plan that includes at least a will, you can leave a legacy without one. State laws vary but most state laws do permit you to add a pay on death ("POD") designation or a transfer on death ("TOD") designation to a bank account or security, naming a beneficiary to receive the asset following your death. POD and TOD designations are commonly used to pass assets to family members, avoiding probate at death. HSA can be a beneficiary, too, either the sole beneficiary or one of several. To leave a legacy with a POD or TOD designation on a bank account, for example, all you need to do is go to the bank and fill out a new signature card.

Leverage your life insurance policy. It is easy to call your life insurance company and request a change of beneficiary form. You can name HSA as beneficiary of all or part of the policy proceeds following your death. A good way to incorporate current giving with income tax benefits is to give the life insurance policy itself to HSA, as well as naming HSA as the beneficiary. Your payment of the premium each year will be an annual gift to charity, eligible for the income tax deduction.

Use your retirement plan. By filling out a simple change of beneficiary form, you can name HSA as the beneficiary of your tax-deferred IRA or 401(k) retirement plan. Don't worry - the money is still yours to live on following retirement. By naming HSA as the beneficiary, you are giving HSA only whatever is left at the time of your death--the money you don't need during your lifetime. Proceeds from these plans are not subject to income tax when distributed to HSA as The Society is a tax-exempt organization, thus maximizing your gift.

Include a charitable bequest in your will. Don't forget about HSA when you make a will. Work with your lawyer to include a charitable bequest in your will (or revocable living trust if you have one). Your bequest can be an outright gift of money or property, a gift of a percentage of your estate, a gift of the rest of your estate after gifts to your family, or a "contingency" gift of your estate to HSA only if your family doesn't survive you.

Consider a charitable trust. Your professional advisors can show you other ways to leave a legacy and keep something for yourself or your family at the same time. With the charitable remainder trust, the donor transfers stocks, cash, or other property to a trust. The assets are invested in the trust and produce income for the donor for a fixed period of time or until the donor dies. At that time, HSA would benefit from the remaining assets. A charitable lead trust is the reverse--the charity receives an income interest for a fixed time period and then the rest goes to the donor's beneficiaries. Once again you need to consult your financial advisor for current information on a charitable trust.