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Planned Giving

“We make a living by what we get, but we make
a life by what we gave.”
—Winston Churchill

Those words are as apt today as in Churchill's time. There is no greater act of generosity than can be demonstrated by supporting the work of the MSF through one of the many types of planned giving strategies. Your thoughtfulness can impact the scope of our services in the years ahead. The MSF recognizes and honors those with philanthropy in their heart who have employed certain types of planned giving strategies by including them in our honorary organization, the Philanthropic Leadership Council. Simply call us, request, complete, and return a statement of intent. That's all there is to it!

The following are examples of Planned Giving Strategies (consult your legal and tax advisors for suitability).

Surprisingly, many of us do not have a Will in place. It is a topic many would rather not think about. However with life's uncertainties, it is never too soon for an adult to have one drawn up regardless of marital status. Having a Will is important. It provides peace of mind in that the distribution of assets will be conducted per one's wishes for the benefit of designated loved ones and charitable organizations. Dying without a Will results in your assets being distributed per state law. Close relatives will share in your estate, but often not in a manner that you would have preferred.

If you are contemplating having a Will drawn up, it is highly recommended that you seek the services of an experienced attorney. Some prefer the do-it-yourself approach. Unfortunately, with periodic changes in federal and state statutes, it is difficult to draw up a properly prepared Will without the assistance of a qualified professional.

Prior to meeting your attorney, it is suggested that you take written inventory of all your assets, determine their current market value. Be sure to include life insurance and retirement benefits as well (policies you own plus any offered as part of your employment benefits package). You may calculate your net estate by deducting your debts. Most people are surprised to learn they have an estate larger than they had originally thought. Next, list those persons and/or organizations you wish to remember in your Will.

A bequest to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation is a meaningful way to create a memorial that lives on to help those affected by MS. There are four common options for structuring a bequest to the MSF. Your attorney can suggest the most appropriate option and wording for you.

  1. PERCENTAGE. A designated percentage of your estate. Your bequest grows as your estate grows.
  2. FIXED AMOUNT. A specific dollar amount or property (i.e. securities or real estate).
  3. RESIDUAL. A bequest made of the remainder of an estate after other bequests have been made.
  4. CONTINGENT. In the event other named beneficiaries do not survive, a bequest is designated to the MSF.

Specific reference to the MSF as a beneficiary in a Will should be as follows:

Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Inc.
(EIN 59-2792934)
6520 North Andrews Ave
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309-2130

By giving MSF appreciated securities, shares in a mutual fund or certain other types of property, you can enjoy tax benefits in addition to a charitable income tax deduction. MSF welcomes contributions of publicly traded stock and securities as well as improved or unimproved real estate.

A gift of real estate can benefit both you and MSF. Commercial property, residence, or other real estate assets can be given to MSF. A gift of a personal residence can be structured so that you or your spouse can continue to occupy the residence for your entire lifetime or for a term of years-while still obtaining significant tax benefits.

By giving assets held in a qualified retirement plan-such as employer sponsored pension or profit sharing plans, Individual Retirement accounts (IRAs) and Keogh plans you can enjoy certain tax savings. Even though contributions to theses plans are made with after tax dollars and earnings accumulate tax-free, there may be a substantial tax assessment to the participant and his or her spouse when plan assets pass to their heirs. By giving retirement plan assets to MSF, donors can save taxes and make a gift to MSF at a very low actual cost. A donor can name MSF as the beneficiary of plan assets following the death of the surviving spouse.

Life income gifts are a solid investment in the MSF and the programs and services it provides and provides a guaranteed income for the donor or beneficiary. To make a life income gift, the donor transfers to a trust, cash, securities or other capital assets, which are then invested to pay income for life to the donor or any beneficiaries named. Following the death of designated beneficiaries, the remainder interest passes to the MSF. Life income gifts can be made in many ways, such as through: Pooled Income Funds, Charitable Gift Annuities, Charitable Lead Trusts and Charitable Remainder Trusts.

You can make a contribution of a life insurance policy to us by naming the MSF as the owner and beneficiary of the policy. You may give an existing policy or fund a new one. When you transfer complete ownership of the policy to the MSF during your life time, you are entitled to an immediate tax deduction. You can also name the MSF as a beneficiary in an existing or new life insurance policy.

Your company may be able to help increase the amount of your gift to the MSF, through a matching gift policy. Many employers have a policy that can effectively double or even triple the amount of contributions of cash or securities by employees and their spouses. Donors should inquire whether their employer sponsors such a program and if so, obtain the proper forms to forward to the MSF.

Contact MSF national headquarters to discuss planned giving strategies that may be appropriate for your situation.


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