Including the Committee to Protect Journalists in your estate plans is a wonderful way to help ensure the organization's future, and it is easy to carry out. A charitable bequest to CPJ may be included in your will when it is written or revised. You may also add a bequest through a codicil, a separate document consisting of an amendment to an existing will. All charitable bequests are fully deductible from your gross estate.
The following examples are meant to illustrate a variety of bequest techniques. You should consult an attorney to adapt this language to your individual circumstances as part of an overall estate plan.
A specific bequest is a gift of a particular dollar amount or a particular piece of property. For example:
I bequeath (dollar amount or description of property) to the Committee to Protect Journalists (or its successor).
A residuary bequest is a gift of all or part of the property remaining in your estate after debts, expenses, and specific bequests have been paid. When you use a percentage instead of a specific amount, your gift will stay relatively the same in proportion to your entire estate, regardless of unexpected increases or decreases in its value. For example:
I give, bequeath, and devise (all, or XX percent of) the rest, residue, and remainder of the property, both real and personal, wherever situated, which I may own or be entitled to at my death, to the Committee to Protect Journalists (or its successor).
A contingent bequest is a gift that takes effect only if the primary beneficiary or beneficiaries of the bequest predecease you. For example:
If neither my husband nor any descendants of mine survive me, then I give, bequeath, and devise all the rest, residue, and remainder of the property, both real and personal, wherever situated, which I may own or be entitled to at my death, to the Committee to Protect Journalists (or its successor).
Your may also include CPJ in your retirement plans:
- Retirement Plans: One of the most cost-effective ways of including the Committee to Protect Journalists in your estate plans is to leave either the remainder or a portion of the remainder of your retirement plan to CPJ. If the unused portion of your pension fund, 401k, or IRA is assigned to any individual(s) other than a spouse, it is subject to an estate tax at your death, as well as an income tax when received by the heirs (if your estate is $650,000 or more). The two combined could erode up to 80 percent of the remaining benefits. If bequeathed to CPJ, those funds would escape both income and estate taxes, thereby reducing your taxable estate.
- Life Insurance: If you own a life insurance policy that is no longer needed for the protection of your family or for other purposes, you may use it to make a gift to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The simplest way is to make CPJ both owner and irrevocable beneficiary of the policy, which would entitle you to an income tax deduction based on either the total value of the premiums paid, or the cash surrender value, whichever is less. An alternative is to name CPJ beneficiary of a policy you receive through your place of employment.