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Planned Giving through the ASPCA Legacy Society

Planned giving is a unique charitable tool that allows you to support the ASPCA’s work for animals for many years to come while also fulfilling your own financial goals and objectives.

The ASPCA Legacy Society was established to recognize and thank those of you who have included the ASPCA in your estate plans either through your will, trust, retirement or life insurance plans, bank accounts, or life income gift such as a charitable gift annuity. Through your thoughtfulness, you have made a timeless commitment to continue the work of the ASPCA to combat animal cruelty for years to come.

You can become a member in the ASPCA Legacy Society through any of the following commitments:

  • Including us with a gift in your will or revocable trust
  • A life-income gift that names the ASPCA as a remainder beneficiary, such as a charitable remainder trust, or a charitable gift annuity
  • A gift or assignment of qualified retirement plan assets, such as an IRA, 401(k) or 403(b)
  • A gift of life insurance
  • As a beneficiary of a bank account

Benefits of membership in the ASPCA Legacy Society include:

  • Certificate of Appreciation
  • Bi-annual Legacy Society Newsletter
  • Recognition in the ASPCA Annual Report (if you would like to be anonymous, please let us know)
  • ASPCA Action magazine
  • An opportunity to be a part of our "Legacy Legends," stories about how and why other dedicated donors have decided to join the Legacy Society

If you have already included the ASPCA in a bequest or other planned gift, we hope you will let us know. Your willingness to be listed as a member of the ASPCA Legacy Society encourages others to follow your example. We acknowledge and respect those who wish to remain anonymous, but we urge you to let us know of your plans on a confidential basis, as it allows the ASPCA to plan for the future.

Legacy Legends

A Triple Crown of Giving
The Norse family can’t remember a time when they weren’t animal lovers. They have included the ASPCA in their wills, as beneficiaries of their retirement plans, and they are monthly givers. Read the rest of the Norse's story in ASPCA Action.

Ways to Give Through Planned Giving

Bequest from Your Will

Including the ASPCA in your will or trust is a meaningful way to help us continue to serve animals in need. Many of our programs and services have benefitted from individuals who had the foresight to include the ASPCA in their estate plans.

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Ways You Can Give Through a Will or Trust:

  • Leave a specific dollar amount or asset to the ASPCA.
  • Designate a percentage of your estate to be given through your will or living trust.
  • Give only the remainder, or residue, of your estate, or that which remains after bequests to loved ones have been made.

The following is an example of suggested language to include in your will/trust:

"I give and bequeath to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a not-for-profit corporation, with principal offices presently located at 424 East 92nd Street, New York, NY, 10128, the sum of , or _______% of my estate, to be used for the accomplishment of its general purpose (or for a specific purpose as indicated)".

Ways You Can Give Through Other Means:

  • An outright gift of cash
  • Securities
  • Personal property
  • Real estate (real estate is accepted on a case-by-case basis with minimum valuation considerations and a written appraisal)

You may designate your bequest in two ways:

  • For the general purposes of the ASPCA (an unrestricted bequest)
  • To be used to support a particular program (a restricted bequest)

The material presented in this website is intended as general educational information on the topics discussed herein and should not be interpreted as legal, financial or tax advice. Please seek the specific advice of your tax advisor, attorney, and/or financial planner to discuss the application of these topics to your individual situation.


Charitable Gift Annuity

A gift annuity is a contractual agreement in which, in exchange for a minimum gift of $10,000, the ASPCA will make payments to you, another person, or two people for life. Use our calculator to see the benefits of a Charitable Gift Annuity.

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Individuals aged 60 or older are eligible for immediate payment annuities. Payments can also be deferred to a future date, making gift annuities an excellent retirement vehicle. The gift can be in cash or marketable securities.

The minimum age for those entering into a Deferred Payment Charitable Gift Annuity contract is 50, and the minimum age for payments to begin is 60. People age 60 or older can defer payments for at least one year after the annuity is established.

Establishing a gift annuity accomplishes two things: a contract is made for you, the donor (and another individual if you choose) to receive a fixed payment for life, and a gift is made to the ASPCA. Since a portion of the amount given for a gift annuity will be used for charitable purposes, the donor is entitled to a federal (and perhaps state) income tax deduction the year the gift is made.

The contributed irrevocable gift becomes an asset of the ASPCA and the payments are a general obligation of the organization. The annuity is backed by the full assets of the ASPCA, and the funds are separately invested according to conservative and disciplined financial standards.

For a period of years, a portion of each payment received is tax-free. This further increases the after-tax dollars available to the donor for spending or investing. An annuity funded with appreciated securities has even more advantages: The gain allocated to the gift portion is not subject to the capital gains tax, and the portion of the gain to be recognized can be spread over the expected term of the contract.

The material presented in this website is intended as general educational information on the topics discussed herein and should not be interpreted as legal, financial or tax advice. Please seek the specific advice of your tax advisor, attorney, and/or financial planner to discuss the application of these topics to your individual situation.


Retirement Assets

Retirement assets are one of the most beneficial gifts you can give to the ASPCA. These funds grow tax-free until the time of withdrawal. With the innovative use of these assets, you are able to contribute generously to the ASPCA as well as provide for your loved ones. Many taxes on these plans can be avoided or reduced through a carefully planned charitable gift.

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Consider these charitable approaches:

Outright gift through beneficiary designation.
You can name the ASPCA as the beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of your retirement assets after your lifetime. When a retirement account is left to a charity, the organization does not pay any income tax whereas your heirs may pay income tax if they inherit your retirement funds. Your retirement plan’s administrator can provide a beneficiary form for you to name the ASPCA as your sole or partial beneficiary.

Charitable remainder trust after a donor's lifetime.
You can name a trust as the ultimate beneficiary of excess or unused retirement assets. After your lifetime, the trust can provide income to heirs for a period of years, after which time the trust monies can fund charitable endeavors. Since it is a charitable trust, there is more money available to generate income for heirs.

The material presented in this website is intended as general educational information on the topics discussed herein and should not be interpreted as legal, financial or tax advice. Please seek the specific advice of your tax advisor, attorney, and/or financial planner to discuss the application of these topics to your individual situation.


Life Insurance

Life insurance is often overlooked as an asset that you can use to make gifts to the ASPCA. There are a number of ways to support the ASPCA’s many programs with an insurance-related gift.

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Add a beneficiary to your policy.
It is relatively simple to make a change to the beneficiary/beneficiaries of your insurance policy without changing your will or other aspects of your estate plan. Just ask your insurance company for a form that will allow you to make the ASPCA a beneficiary of your insurance policy.

Give a paid-up policy.
You can transfer ownership of a paid-up life insurance policy to the ASPCA. After the transfer, the ASPCA can elect to either cash in the policy right away or keep the policy and receive the death benefit later. You would receive an immediate income tax deduction for either the cash surrender value or the basis (usually the cost), whichever is less.

Making the ASPCA the owner and beneficiary.
You can take out a policy and make the ASPCA the owner and beneficiary of the policy. Premium payments can be made by you directly to the insurance company or by the ASPCA, by way of your annual gift to the organization. Whichever way the premiums are paid, you can take an income tax deduction.

The material presented in this website is intended as general educational information on the topics discussed herein and should not be interpreted as legal, financial or tax advice. Please seek the specific advice of your tax advisor, attorney, and/or financial planner to discuss the application of these topics to your individual situation.


Charitable Remainder Trust

A Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) is a life-income arrangement that provides you and/or other beneficiaries with a stream of income for life or for a period of years. After the trust terminates, the principal, or “remainder interest,” goes to the ASPCA. Unlike other life-income arrangements, CRTs are separately invested and managed trusts. Please note that the ASPCA does not manage these trusts for donors.

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This is the most flexible of life-income plans, and a powerful way for you to benefit along with your heirs and the ASPCA. Some versions of CRTs can be funded with closely held stock, partnership interests, real estate, and in some instances, tangible personal property such as works of art. You can choose to receive a variable or fixed income (beginning immediately) for life or a term of years. There is no limitation on the number of beneficiaries of a CRT.

CRT Benefits:

  • When appreciated assets are donated to the trust, they can be sold without incurring capital gains tax, allowing the entire proceeds from the sale to be reinvested.
  • You can receive a charitable income tax deduction in the year the gift is made, with an additional five years to carry over any unused deduction.
  • You can add to certain types of CRTs at any time.
  • Through reinvestment within the trust, you can achieve diversification of a previously concentrated asset.
  • Any assets that you contribute to a CRT are immediately removed from your estate, reducing your estate tax exposure.

Basic Types of CRTs:

  • Unitrust (CRUT): This type of trust pays a variable income based on a fixed percentage (for example, between 5 and 6 percent) of the trust assets, revalued once each year. One advantage of a unitrust is that your income can increase as the trust principal grows over time. This type of CRT allows you to make additional contributions at any time.
  • Annuity Trust (CRAT): This type of trust pays a fixed annual income that is determined when the trust is established. The annuity trust is often preferred by those who are interested in the security of a constant return. See how a Charitable Remainder Trust will benefit you with our gift calculator.

The material presented in this website is intended as general educational information on the topics discussed herein and should not be interpreted as legal, financial or tax advice. Please seek the specific advice of your tax advisor, attorney, and/or financial planner to discuss the application of these topics to your individual situation.

Other Ways of Planned Giving

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Bank and Investment Accounts
"Payable on death"(POD) or "Transfer on Death"(TOD) accounts name a beneficiary to receive the proceeds upon your passing. You do not have to change your will or work with an attorney or accountant. There are no fees to arrange such a gift. You simply complete the beneficiary form given to you by the financial institution with the information below. You retain complete control over the funds or assets in the account while you are living, and these gifts are completely revocable.

U.S. Savings Bonds
Although it is not possible to make a lifetime charitable gift of a savings bond without first paying the tax on the interest earned, it does make an excellent asset to bequeath to the ASPCA. That’s because savings bonds generate “income in respect of a decedent.” That means if you die owning them, the accumulated interest is taxed before your heirs inherit them. However, if they are left to an organization like the ASPCA, that tax is not due. We suggest that you check with your advisors about the best way to bequeath your savings bonds to the ASPCA.

Retained Life Estate
A retained life estate is a gift plan defined by federal tax law that allows you to donate your home or farm to the ASPCA while retaining the right to live in it for the rest of your life, a term of years, or a combination of the two. You may also use a vacation home to create this kind of gift.

While you retain the right to live on your property, you continue to be responsible for all routine expenses, including maintenance fees, insurance, property taxes, repairs, etc. If you later decide to vacate your property, you may rent all or part of the property to someone else or sell the property in cooperation with ASPCA.

When your retained life estate ends, the ASPCA can then use your property or the proceeds from the sale of your property for the purpose you designate. As part of our gift acceptance policy, all gifts of real estate are examined on a case-by-case basis.

Gifts of Real Estate
When including real estate in your will, it is important to clearly identify the address and include a legal description of the property, such as lot and block number. When we are notified that we are a beneficiary of real estate we will likely sell the asset. The executor of the estate has the real estate appraised for tax purposes, and if there is a mortgage on the property, the mortgage is paid off and the ASPCA receives the balance. Please be aware that as part of our gift acceptance policy, all gifts of real estate are examined on a case-by-case basis.

Gifts of Stock and Securities
Please inform your broker of the following account numbers to make the transfer of stock or securities to the ASPCA:

Merrill Lynch Account Number: 546-02087
Merrill Lynch DTC Number: 5198
Merrill Lynch Representative: Joseph Cruz at (212) 415-7903
ASPCA Federal Tax ID #: 13-1623829

Prior to transfer, please call Racquel Alston with the name of the stock and number of shares to be transferred:

Racquel Alston
Director, Gifts & Data
212-876-7700 ext. 4517
[email protected]

The material presented in this website is intended as general educational information on the topics discussed herein and should not be interpreted as legal, financial or tax advice. Please seek the specific advice of your tax advisor, attorney, and/or financial planner to discuss the application of these topics to your individual situation.

Contact the ASPCA Planned Giving Team

Important Information for Estate Planning:

If you are an attorney or advisor working on a client’s estate plans, or if you are an executor working on an estate in probate, please email [email protected] or call (212) 876-7700 with the extension below:

Nicole Nahas, Director, Trusts & Estates and Planned Giving: ext. 4665

Organization Information:

Legal Name: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
Principal Address: 424 East 92nd Street, New York, NY 10128
Telephone: (212) 876-7700
Federal Tax ID # 13-1623829

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is recognized as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization by the Internal Revenue Service.

The material presented in this website is intended as general educational information on the topics discussed herein and should not be interpreted as legal, financial or tax advice. Please seek the specific advice of your tax advisor, attorney, and/or financial planner to discuss the application of these topics to your individual situation.