Estate Planning

Help Us Help More People in Need

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Fort Wayne has been providing direct human services to those in need since 1946. Your Planned Gift will help the Society fulfill its mission now and long into the future. A planned gift is arranged by you legally during your lifetime. The principal benefits accrue to St. Vincent de Paul at a later time, after your death or the death of your last named beneficiary. Planned Gifts take many forms, providing additional income for you and/or your heirs, reducing income and estate taxes, relieving you and your heirs of complicated financial management responsibilities and helping to fulfill your personal, humanitarian and charitable objectives. Planned Gifts can be made in cash, real estate, stocks, bonds, personal property or life insurance. Listed below are some of the many opportunities to give back, many of which offer significant tax benefits.

Contact us to learn more about arranging a gift that makes a lasting impact and meets your personal financial goals. For more information on including St. Vincent de Paul in your estate plans, please contact the Development Office.

The most common types of planned gifts

Cash, appreciated securities or closely held stock may be donated outright or pledged over a period of up to five years. If donors itemize their tax deductions, the gift is fully deductible up to 50% of their adjusted gross income. Any excess may be carried forward for up to five additional years.

Stocks, Bonds or Mutual Funds

Make a donation to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul using appreciated stock, bonds, or mutual fund shares instead of a cash donation.  A gift of appreciated securities provides increased tax benefits to you.  The benefits of gifting securities that you have owned for more than one year or have inherited are twofold:  you are able to take a tax deduction for the current full market value of the securities and you avoid capital gains tax that is incurred when you sell a security.

Bequests by Wills

One of the simplest planned gifts is a bequest through your will in which you designate either a specific dollar amount or a percentage of your estate after other disbursements. In addition to supporting St. Vincent de Paul, it serves as an example to your heirs of the values and ideals you hold dear. A bequest also can reduce the amount of your taxable estate, which may increase the actual amount available to loved ones.


An endowment is a perpetual gift that can be designated for a specific St. Vincent de Paul location or program. The original gift remains intact, and the income is used toward the designated area of serve. An endowment can be established in memory of a loved one or a donation can be added to an existing fund that will contribute to a local SVdP Conference indefinitely.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

A charitable trust transfers ownership and management of cash and/or appreciated securities to St. Vincent de Paul. SvdP manages the trust and pays income to you for the remainder of your life and/or the life of another beneficiary. An annuity trust provides a fixed annual income for those wanting consistent, predictable payments. A trust pays a variable return based on market changes, providing an effective hedge against inflation.

Retirement and Personal Planning

In 2006 and 2007, we learned about the IRA Charitable Rollover – the option to order a distribution from an IRA directly to our organization. The distribution was excluded from the IRA owner’s income for federal tax purposes, though it did count towards the owner’s required minimum distribution for that year. Donors really appreciated the simplicity of the IRA Charitable Rollover. But Congress had put a time limit on the IRA Charitable Rollover and this opportunity closed at the end of 2007…

But the IRA Charitable Rollover has returned! Congress revived it with a new law, and this giving opportunity is now available through the end of 2009. Here are some details about the IRA Charitable Rollover for your consideration.

Lead Trusts

Income in a lead trust is paid first to the Society and, after a period of years, the remainder is returned to the grantor (grantor lead trust) or to the grantor’s heirs (non-grantor lead trust). The grantor lead trust offers a substantial income tax deduction to the donor while the non-grantor lead trust enables the heirs to avoid potential gift and estate taxes.

Life Insurance

Contributions of life insurance can provide a substantial gift to St. Vincent de Paul. The value of an ordinary policy at the time of the gift is tax deductible. If you continue paying the premiums, they also are deductible as charitable contributions. If a paid-up policy is given, the cost of purchasing a new paid-up policy at your current age is the value of the charitable deduction.

Gifts through Your Real Estate

A gift through your estate is a versatile way to donate a variety of assets including cash, securities, real estate and tangible personal property. Donations can be made through a will or trust, which distributes your gift in any desired amount or proportion. Several types of bequests are included, which allow donors to make a major gift while preserving assets during their lifetime and reducing federal estate taxes.

Gift Annuities

A gift annuity is an agreement between you and St. Vincent de Paul. In exchange for your irrevocable gift, St. Vincent de Paul pays a fixed dollar amount during your life and/or the life of a designated loved one. The amount you receive is determined by the size of your gift, our age and age of your beneficiary. Your income is guaranteed, regardless of market fluctuation. A major portion of your income is a tax-exempt return of principal and the income may be deferred until a later time as part of your retirement plan.

Pooled Income Fund Trusts

A pooled income fund is a trust designed to provide variable yet reliable income. Like a commercial mutual fund, it combines your gift with the contributions of other fund participants, wisely investing the sum for a balance of income and growth. Dividends are paid to the shareholders in proportion to each person’s contribution. Your donation results in a tax-deduction for the year your gift was made, elimination of capital gains tax if you invest appreciated securities, and reduction of estate taxes for your heirs.

Estate Planning:

How Have Tax Law Changes Affected Estate Planning?

Years ago, Congress passed laws that severely impacted estate planning: Estate tax rates have gradually lowered, and the estate tax credit (equal to an exemption) has increased since the laws went into effect in 2001. But has the need for estate planning gone away? The 2001 laws have various phase-in and phase-out provisions that affected the estate tax over the past nine years (2001-2009). In fact, the biggest change of all is still scheduled to happen – In 2010, there will be no federal estate tax at all. No problem, right? But, Congress did not make these estate tax laws permanent. In 2011, the estate tax laws “sunset” and the laws revert to tax rates and credit amounts before the 2001 laws went into effect. So we will be back where we started in 2001… unless Congress passes a new estate tax law.

Making a Difference: Creative Ways to Leave Your Own Legacy

Most of us, if given the chance, would like to leave some kind of lasting legacy to show that our lives have made a difference in society; that in some way, we have contributed to an important work or cause that will benefit the lives of others for generations to come. In the past, only a privileged few could create such legacies. But today, with the tax-favored ways of giving, many more of us can participate in this adventure and experience the intense joy that comes from being able to make a difference. Giving can be very satisfying and rewarding, especially when donors combine it with their financial and estate planning. This process (often called planned giving) is becoming increasingly popular with donors – and for good reason. Many donors are able to do more for their favorite charities while also enjoying greater tax and financial benefits. You may very well be able to save more taxes, increase your retirement income, or provide more cost-effective support for a loved one such as a spouse, child, grandchild, or an elderly parent. But you also have the opportunity to make your personal statement, to make a larger gift than might otherwise be possible, to help shape our future, and to leave a lasting legacy for generations to come. In this booklet we will highlight some of the opportunities available to you in planned giving – to give you food for thought. What specific plan is best for you will depend on your personal circumstances. Your tax and financial advisors should always be consulted in the decision-making process. Of course, we are willing and able to work with both you and your advisors to help ensure the intended result of your planned gift.