Bequests

The Stratford Library depends on many sources of revenue. Planned gifts represent important funding for the library. Planned giving can also be part of a total financial plan for you. By including the Stratford Library in your estate plan, you can significantly support an educational and recreational non-profit resource while retaining benefits for yourself.

What are the benefits for you?

  • Planned Giving allows you to provide for Stratford Library by giving assets and retaining the income for you and/or for someone else.
  • Planned Giving brings you considerable tax advantages, including income, gift, and estate tax charitable deductions, and, in most cases, avoidance of capital gain tax.
  • Planned Giving provides you with effective management of your resources if you choose to make your gift with real estate, appreciated securities, or closely held stock.

How will your planned gift be used at the Stratford Library?

Your gift will be used as you have designated to support the library’s mission of service.  Establish an endowment fund for a specific department or program or place no restrictions on the gift, allowing the Stratford Library Trustees the freedom to direct the funds toward the purchase of materials or to particular programs in response to evolving needs and technological advances.

About giving plans:

The two most common plans

  • Life Income Agreement:  A life income agreement allows you to make a substantial capital gift to the Library while retaining income for your lifetime and/or that of a second beneficiary. The Gift Annuity, Pooled Life Income Fund, and Charitable Remainder Trust are three varieties of life income agreements.
  • Bequest:  A bequest provides for the Library’s future while the amount of the bequest is deducted from the taxable portion of your estate. Including the Stratford Library in your will permits maximum use of funds today and provision for the library tomorrow. Your lawyer can suggest wording and provide assistance should you wish to make a bequest to the Stratford Library.

Other useful plans:

  • Real Estate with Retained Life Use
  • Charitable Lead Trust
  • Revocable Living Trust
  • Life Insurance
  • Flexible Endowment

What assets can you use to fund a planned gift?

  • Gifts of cash are among the most popular ways of giving to non-profit organizations such as libraries.
  • Gifts of appreciated securities or bonds may prove more advantageous than gifts of cash. They not only generate a charitable income tax deduction but also, in most cases, eliminate the capital gain tax.
  • Gifts of real estate can be used as a gift with retained life use, or to fund a life income agreement. If used to fund a life income agreement, once you have deeded the property to the Stratford Library Association, trustees of the library will manage its sale, relieving you of that burden.
  • Gifts of closely held stock or other business interests can be converted into cash, benefiting both you and the Stratford Library.
  • Corporate matching gifts, if applicable, will enhance your planned gift to the library.

Your Legacy: A Bequest to the Stratford Library

Bequests, both modest and sizeable, are an important source of funding to the Stratford Library. A bequest is accomplished through a written and executed will.

You Need a Will If:

  • You want to decide how your property will be used and distributed. Without a will the state distributes your assets and incurs fees and costs according to its own formula, beyond your heirs’ control and regardless of your preferences.
  • You want to minimize estate taxes and expenses through trust arrangements and the use of the marital deduction.
  • You want to prevent your valuable assets from being frozen in the courts for long periods of time.

You Should Reexamine Your Will When:

  • Families and interests change: children become self-supporting; relatives die; grandchildren are born; philanthropic priorities shift; divorce and remarriage occur.
  • You want to ensure that it reflects changes in the tax law.

The Federal Tax Law and Your Estate

Estates valued at more than $675,000 are subject to federal estate taxes. Under current law, this amount will be changing in future years. An unlimited marital deduction eliminates taxes on all assets transferred between spouses during their lifetime or under a will. Careful estate planning is vital upon the death of a surviving spouse.

  • Charitable gifts made through your will are 100 percent tax deductible.
  • A charitable bequest may place the taxable portion of the estate in a lower tax bracket.

Why You Should consider Making a Gift to the Stratford Library in Your Will

  • A substantial gift to the Stratford Library can be made without affecting your family’s current financial security.
  • Both the principal and the income of your estate are available to you during your lifetime.
  • Tax savings for your estate are maximized.
  • The amount and ultimate use of the funds may be designated.
  • A bequest for general endowment carries in perpetuity a name designated by the donor.
  • You share in the good feeling that comes from knowing that your gift will help secure the library’s future.

To Make a Bequest to the Stratford Library

Provide for the Stratford Library by making a new will, modifying your present will (by adding a codicil), or by including the library in your revocable trust. If you decide to bequeath money or property to the Stratford Library, contact your lawyer in order to make either: (a) an unrestricted bequest, (b) a restricted bequest, or (c) an endowment.

Bequest provisions that benefit the Stratford Library can take several forms, including:

General Bequest: A bequest, such as cash, which may be satisfied from the general assets of the estate.

Specific Bequest: A bequest of a particular specified class or kind of property, such as designated securities, items of tangible personal property, or real estate.

Residuary Bequest: A portion, or all of the remaining estate after payment of debts, expenses, general bequests and specific bequests.

Contingent Bequest: You can direct that property bequeathed to a specific person be directed to the Stratford Library should that beneficiary not survive you.

Testamentary Trust: You can provide lifetime income to a beneficiary with those assets going to the Stratford Library after the beneficiary’s death.

Updating Your Will

Your will should be drafted by your own attorney. The Trustees of the Stratford Library Association will be pleased to consult in confidence with you and your legal adviser about the phrasing of any specific bequest you may have in mind. We can help ensure that your bequest to the Stratford Library accomplishes your philanthropic intent and benefits you and your loved ones. You should review your will periodically with your attorney to ensure that it reflects your current situation and takes advantage of current tax laws.

Thank you for considering a bequest to the Stratford Library. Your bequest will create the future. For further information please contact:

Barbara Blosveren, Director
Stratford Library Association
2203 Main St., Stratford, CT 06615
203-385-4166