Foundation: Future Gifts

"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." - Albert Pike



Charitable bequests created within wills, living trusts, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), or transfer-on-death (TOD) are the most common form of establishing future gifts to the Foundation. Gifts effective after your death may enable you to make a larger contribution than you would have been comfortable making during your lifetime. These revocable gifts also enable you to retain control of your assets. If your family's financial situation changes, you are free to adjust your bequest as needed.

When considering your will or living trust, your heirs' well-being should naturally be your first priority. Then, once you have ensured that loved ones' needs are provided for, we hope that you will want to include a charitable bequest to benefit Westminster Presbyterian Church Foundation and by extension, Westminster Presbyterian Church. For many Westminster members, including the Foundation in a will or trust is the most effective way to make a major and enduring gift commitment. Whoever is being considered and provided for in preparation of a will or trust, the document should be prepared with the guidance of an attorney and regularly reviewed. Gifts should indicate our full legal title, Westminster Presbyterian Church Foundation.



Use the following language to include a gift to the Foundation in your will or other bequest documents:

"I hereby give, devise and bequeath _________ and No/100 dollars ($DOLLARS) to Westminster Presbyterian Church Foundation, a nonprofit organization located at 4114 Allison Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa, 50310, Federal Tax ID #23-739787, to be used in accordance with its mission (or for the following purpose): "




As is the case with charitable bequests, you continue to retain control throughout your lifetime over IRA and retirement assets. In many instances, these assets will have significant value upon your death. A percentage of your retirement plan can be assigned to the Foundation by naming the Westminster Presbyterian Church Foundation as the successor beneficiary of a plan.

Individual account plans such as IRAs, Keoughs, or 401(k)s are similar to tax-sheltered savings accounts. If you happen to die before the entire account has been distributed, the remaining balance can be transferred to the Foundation. The biggest advantage of donating retirement plan assets to the Foundation is that all income tax is avoided, whereas  this type of asset is considered taxable income when given to an individual.

Such plans typically have an administrator who can be contacted for a change of beneficiary form. As with all other legal documents, the beneficiary should be specified as the Westminster Presbyterian Church Foundation, using our taxpayer ID number of 23-7397987. This type of gift has significant tax advantages but requires careful planning. It is best to consult with your plan administrator and perhaps other professional advisors before committing such a gift. For an example of how this might work, click here.



Though life insurance is designed to provide for family and create peace of mind, a policy can also support the Westminster Presbyterian Church Foundation after your lifetime. You can name the Foundation as a beneficiary and maintain all lifetime ownership rights included in your policy. Your estate will be entitled to a charitable deduction,  and you can opt to name the Foundation as a contingent beneficiary of a life insurance policy. In this instance, the Foundation would receive the proceeds only if your primary beneficiaries are already deceased.



Though it is generally not possible to make gifts of U.S. Savings Bonds during your lifetime, they can make excellent charitable gifts after your death. This is so because savings bonds, like IRAs and similar retirement plans, are considered income when cashed in. Thus if an individual cashes in a bond, they must declare the accumulated interest as income. However, because the Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity, we do not pay income tax on this type of gift, meaning that we receive the full face value of the bond. It is easy to make the Foundation the beneficiary of your savings bonds simply by naming the Foundation the recipient in your will or living trust.



Proceeds from bank accounts or assets of brokerage accounts can often easily be transferred at death to an organization. Iowa allows payment on death (POD), meaning that you can designate the Foundation or anyone else as a beneficiary for most types of accounts. You should check with the bank or other holder of your account for details. Designating the Foundation as beneficiary makes the Foundation the recipient of the assets in the account upon your death or at maturity after your death, depending on the type of account. As with other gifts, you maintain the right to change or revoke the POD throughout your lifetime. 

Self-declaration trusts or "Totten Trusts" are another way you can transfer funds. This mean at the death of the account owner, the assets in the account are distributed to the person or people designated as account beneficiaries. All that's required at the death of the account owner is for the designated beneficiary to fill out a claim form and supply a copy of the death certificate.

Securities such as stocks and bonds held in a brokerage account can also be transferred to the Foundation upon death. This method is called transfer-on-death or "TOD."  People commonly hold brokerage accounts this way. If you register an account by filling out a simple beneficiary form naming the Foundation as your beneficiary, the Foundation will inherit the account automatically at your death. No probate court proceedings will be necessary; the brokerage company simply transfers the account to the Foundation. And again here, you maintain complete control over the account during your lifetime.



You can transfer your home, farm, condominium or vacation property yet continue to enjoy it during your lifetime. This is called a "retained life estate" or "life estate contract" and means that you continue to use the property while maintaining normal upkeep, paying property taxes, insurance and any other fees. In return, you receive a current charitable income tax deduction. Because of this immediate tax benefit, it can be an attractive option. Upon your death, the Foundation would receive the proceeds from the sale of your property.