A Gift of Life Insurance Can Leave a Conservation Legacy

© MICHAELFURTMAN.COM

If you are like most individuals, you will own life insurance sometime during your life. However, as time goes on, your life insurance policy may no longer be needed. If you have a policy that has outlasted its originally intended purpose, consider making a gift of your policy to Ducks Unlimited. This gift will help further DU’s continental conservation efforts and leave a powerful legacy.

Making a gift of life insurance is easy, and you can choose to give in several different ways:

  • You may opt to make an outright gift of a whole life insurance policy. Simply contact your insurance company and fill out the proper change-of-ownership form, designating DU as the new owner and sole beneficiary. Your reimbursement each year to pay the policy premium may qualify for an additional charitable income tax deduction.
  • When you name DU as the beneficiary of your policy, the proceeds make a wonderful gift to North America’s wildlife, and your estate may benefit from an estate-tax charitable deduction.
  • You may also choose to transfer your policy to fund a charitable remainder trust (unitrust). The unitrust will provide you with a current income stream for your lifetime or for a term of years. You may qualify to receive a charitable income tax deduction in the year the trust is established and may benefit from tax savings that could be spread over a number of years. DU will benefit from the future remaining trust value.
  • Another option to give through your life insurance is with a gift annuity. Your insurance may be transferred to fund a charitable gift annuity, providing you with fixed payments for life. Depending on your age, the payments can be quite high, and a portion of your payments may be tax free. Your income stream may begin right away or in the future. Either way, you may qualify to receive a current charitable deduction in the year the gift annuity is set up, and DU will receive the beneficiary proceeds.

DU Benefactor and Gold Feather Society member Joe Mazon found that naming Ducks Unlimited as beneficiary and owner on his life insurance policy was a convenient way to leave a lasting conservation legacy. Joe recalls his decision to give through his life insurance: “I had two children in college and not a lot of extra cash to spare. I was able to purchase the policy on myself and name DU as beneficiary and owner. I made a commitment to paying up the cash value over several years rather than making a large cash gift at once, knowing that I was still making an impact on DU’s conservation mission.” 

Joe Mazon (right) with (left to right) son Josh Mazon, daughter Kylie Mazon Chambers, son-in-law Aaron Chambers, and wife Lisa Happy.

Always consult your tax professional with questions regarding charitable deductions for which you may qualify. To make a gift of life insurance, contact your life insurance provider, or, if you have any questions, please contact DU’s Gift Planning Department at 901-758-3763 or contact Chris Cole by e-mail at ccole@ducks.org.