Many people think that they can only leave life insurance funds to the benefit of other people. However, this isn’t necessarily true. If you have a charity you care about, you can often make accommodations for the organization within your life insurance. Using life insurance for charitable giving is a thoughtful way to give back even after you die.
Structuring your life insurance for charitable giving requires thought and preparation. There are usually several avenues you can take to ensure a charity can reap the benefits of your policy. Consider your options, then ask your insurance agent what route is right for you.
Name the Charity Your Beneficiary
The beneficiary is the person who receives the life insurance payout when you die. By naming the charity your beneficiary, you state that it can receive the money from your policy. This is often one of the simplest ways to direct your funds to a charity.
If you make the charity the beneficiary, your survivors usually cannot claim the policy in their own right. However, you might be able to make the charity a revocable beneficiary. You can remove the charity as a beneficiary if you would rather the policy go to someone else, instead.
Add a Donation Rider to Your Policy
If you add a donation rider to your policy, you essentially make a note that a part of your policy’s funds can go to a charity. Generally, the policy will pay a small percentage of its value to the charity you choose. Usually this percentage is less than five percent of the policy’s cash value. This extra percentage often won’t come out of the policy’s death when your beneficiaries cash in.
Donate Your Policy
Donating your policy is often a hard subject to grasp. More or less, this means that you transfer the ownership of your policy from yourself to the charity, while you remain insured under the policy. However, you continue to donate to the charity each year to help them pay the premiums on the policy. Often, this move can qualify you for tax deductions and other beneficial savings.
Think carefully about how you want to leave your life insurance to charity. You might face tax requirements, maximum gift limits and other legal barriers. Talk to your charity of choice about how they can receive the policy's funds. Often, you have to work with a licensed charity to reap the full benefits of these donations.
Work closely with your insurance agent to settle the particulars about your coverage.