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How to Make a Gift by Will

Making a gift by will is easy. What follows are guidelines and suggestions for naming the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA) or any Unitarian Universalist (UU) entity to receive a gift from you through your Last Will and Testament. Here you will find basic information about different kinds of estate gifts, including sample language you may use in your legal documents. Most of this information may be used to make a gift through a family trust, a life insurance policy, or an individual retirement account.

Consider yourself invited to join the UUA Legacy Society by letting us know that you have included a gift to the Association in your estate plans. Your example may encourage others to join suit and provide for the future of our liberal religion.

Charitable Tax Status

The Association is an IRS-qualified 501(c)(3) and 170(c) charitable religious organization. Copies of our tax-exempt status letters are available upon request, as is a completed IRS Form W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification. The UUA tax-exempt federal identification number is 04-210-3733. For estate tax purposes, bequests, legacies, devises, or transfers to the Association are deductible as they accord with the provision of the Internal Revenue Code Section 2055(a) and related regulations.

Suggested Bequest Language

Please share the following suggested bequest language with your attorney to assist in drafting a will or codicil that will achieve your charitable estate plans. If you also want to provide for your congregation, simply substitute its name and legal address for the Association's.

General Bequest

I give all my real and personal property to the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, a Massachusetts charitable corporation located at 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02210-1409, for its unrestricted use.

Specific Bequest

I give _____ [$ amount, description of property, or % of estate] to the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, a Massachusetts charitable corporation located at 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02210-1409, for its unrestricted use.

Residuary Bequest

I give all [or _____ %] of my remaining assets of any kind to the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, a Massachusetts charitable corporation located at 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02210-1409, for its unrestricted use.

Restricted Bequest to the Permanent Endowment

I give _____ [$ amount, description of property, or % of estate] to the General Endowment Fund of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, a Massachusetts charitable corporation located at 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02210-1409, to be invested according to the policies adopted by its Board of Trustees, income only to be used for the general purposes of the Association [or for a specific purpose].

Restricted Bequest for Specific Purpose

I give _____ [$ amount, description of property, or % of estate] to the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, a Massachusetts charitable corporation located at 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02210-1409, restricted to _____ [describe or name UUA program]. If at any time in the judgment of the UUA Board of Trustees it is deemed impossible or impracticable to carry out the above purpose, the Trustees shall determine a purpose as near as possible to that described above.

General / Specific Bequests

Like other sorts of gifts, bequests can be given for general or specific purposes and uses.

A Bequest for General Purposes

This type of bequest is especially appreciated because it can be put to use where there is greatest need. A bequest made without restrictions usually is added to the permanent unrestricted endowment, providing general support that may last forever.

A Bequest for Specific Purposes

Many people want to give to something special, a type of gift sometimes called a "restricted bequest." Restrictions are often designed in consultation with UUA Charitable Gift and Estate Planning staff who can help you craft language that will ensure your gift will do what you want it to do. Here’s a list of programs and projects to consider and you shape your charitable bequest to Unitarian Universalism.

Professional Ministry (Parish, Religious Education, and Community)

The UUA administers scholarships, continuing education funds, debt reduction grants, and financial aid and assistance for our ministers and their families.

Shared Ministries

Develop and produce lay leadership resources, strengthen district services, campus ministries, small group ministries, and web-based information and communication.

Lifespan Faith Development

Create new religious education resources and curricula, worship resources, youth and young adult programs.

Congregational Growth and Extension

Establish new UU congregations, add welcoming congregations, land acquisition, building expansion, loans and grants, fundraising tools. Increasing visibility and public awareness of Unitarian Universalism UU publishing, marketing programs, media and public relations, adding a UU voice to public discourse on important social issues.

Public Witness and Advocacy of UU Values

Fund internships in the UUA Washington Office, provide resources and training to congregations for anti-oppression, social justice programs Add to the Permanent Unrestricted Endowment of the AssociationYour gift will be invested as part of the UUA’s General Investment Fund, providing annual support to the operating budget, according to the investment policies adopted by the UUA Board of Trustees.

Restricted / Unrestricted Bequests

Both restricted and unrestricted bequests are made in the following ways:

Specific Bequest

Give a specific asset or collection of assets in the form of cash, securities, or other property. Retirement plan benefits, IRAs, savings bonds, and other items known as “income with respect to a decedent” (IRD) are particularly tax effective gifts to charity. You may designate an amount or a percentage of the property.

Residuary Bequest

Give all or a percentage of what remains of your estate after all specific bequests have been satisfied and debts and expenses have been paid. You may specify that charitable gifts be fulfilled first with IRD assets to the extent needed to reduce your tentative estate tax.

Contingent Bequest

Give all or a portion of your estate in the event that a named beneficiary is not alive when you die. This type of bequest can avoid costly litigation or prevent property from reverting to the state for lack of heirs.

Testamentary Charitable Remainder Trust

A trust document is created during your lifetime, with a "pour-over" will to designate which assets are to be placed in a trust with the income paid to one or more beneficiaries for their lifetimes. Upon the death of the last income recipient, or after a term of a specified number of years, the trust terminates and assets are transferred to the UUA, completing your gift.

For more information, please contact us:

Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
Stewardship and Development
Office of Legacy Gifts
24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210-1409

1-888-792-5885
Fax: (617) 725-4979

Note: The information found on this page of UUA.org is for use by Unitarian Universalist congregations, organizations and entities. This information may be copied, shared and reproduced to promote generosity within the Unitarian Universalist Community. We advise you to seek your own legal and tax advice in connection with gift planning and tax matters. The Unitarian Universalist Association does not provide legal or tax advice

For more information contact giftplans @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Wednesday, July 9, 2014.

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