It is wonderful to honor the Siddha Yoga path by arranging to give a gift through your estate plan. As one Siddha Yogi shared: “Knowing that what I possess now will one day benefit what I cherish most is creating so much peace in my life.”
There are a variety of methods for setting up a planned gift. Some of these methods are described below to help you in your planning. All of these are ways through which you can name the SYDA Foundation as a beneficiary of your planned gift.
The methods for making planned gifts and the terms that govern them may vary from country to country. Tax and legal regulations pertaining to planned giving may also vary within a country.1
A will is a written plan that you make for distributing your assets after the end of your life. It is a legal document sometimes referred to as a testament. Having a written plan clarifies your wishes for all of your beneficiaries.
By creating a will and periodically updating it, you are ensuring that your assets will be distributed exactly as you intend. For example, a couple who has their first child can create or revise their will to be certain that in any eventuality their child will be provided for in the future.
In your will, you designate an executor, the person who is responsible for carrying out the terms of your will.
A trust is a legal entity managed by a trustee. You can be the trustee of your own trust, or you can name someone else to hold that role. A trust can provide for more privacy than a will.
There are two kinds of trusts: one is an irrevocable trust, which cannot be changed; the other is a revocable trust, which can be changed and even dissolved.
A revocable trust provides the flexibility to manage your assets during your lifetime, while safeguarding your plan for their distribution. Some revocable trusts automatically become irrevocable at the time of death.
Two types of irrevocable trusts that are designed to combine financial planning and charitable giving are the Charitable Remainder Trust and the Charitable Lead Trust.
Typically, creating a trust requires the expertise of a legal professional.
Life insurance is a contract between a person and an insurance company. The insured person pays premiums so that upon their death, the insurance company will pay a sum of money to the chosen beneficiary.
Here are some reasons for having a life insurance policy:
- A life insurance policy that names SYDA Foundation as the beneficiary is a simple and effective way to make an offering at the end of life. In some countries, a life insurance policy can be the most practical way to direct a planned gift to the SYDA Foundation.
- The proceeds of the policy go directly to the beneficiary immediately after the policyholder’s death.
- In some cases, a life insurance policy can maximize the end-of-life gift given to a beneficiary. This can be determined in consultation with a financial advisor.
Another way to arrange your planned gift is to name the SYDA Foundation as a beneficiary to receive the proceeds from your retirement plan.
For example, retirement plans in the United States such as 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, and some types of IRAs are used to save money for retirement.
Because income taxes may be due on certain retirement plans when inherited by an individual, it may be advantageous to name a tax-exempt organization, such as the SYDA Foundation, as the beneficiary to receive the funds from such a retirement plan. This can be determined in consultation with a tax advisor.
You may wish to arrange to make a planned gift of stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. These securities are easily transferred to any beneficiary.
Transfer on Death (TOD)
Planned gifts can also be made via an arrangement referred to as transfer on death (TOD) or payable on death (POD). This means that upon death, the proceeds are transferred directly from the financial institution to the named beneficiary.
For example, bank accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), and even stock portfolios can be distributed in this way. Financial institutions use a form for this purpose.
If you choose this method of giving, it is important to
- notify the beneficiary that they will be the recipient of a TOD/POD account; and
- include instructions to your executor and trustee to provide a death certificate to the beneficiary to enable them to collect the funds.
If you name the SYDA Foundation as a beneficiary of any account that is to be payable on death or transferable on death, please contact the Planned Giving Department. This is particularly important because financial institutions do not inform beneficiaries of these accounts.
Real Estate and Tangible Property
Property you own, such as a house or a condominium, is included in a will or trust, with instructions about its handling.
If you are thinking of naming the SYDA Foundation as a beneficiary of real estate or other tangible property, please contact the Planned Giving Department.