Bequests, Legacy, and Reducing Taxes


One of the most wonderful parts of the Christmas season is the gathering around of family to celebrate Christ’s birth together. This Christmas as your hearts turn toward home, family, and, of course, our Savior, perhaps it is a good idea to look to the future and caring for your family and leaving a lasting legacy for the next generation.

One popular way that you can do this is through bequests. A bequest is a form of planned giving in which you retain and use assets during your lifetime and then leave the bequest to your family and charity.

Specific Bequests

Many people choose to leave specific items (such as land, real estate, stocks, art, and so on) to non-profits. The non-profit can then either use or sell the items in order to further their mission. Another option is a specific bequest of an amount of cash or a percentage of the estate.

Gift of Part of the Residue of the Estate

After all of the specific bequests have been made and your estate costs and taxes have been paid, the balance of the estate is called the residue. You probably will choose to distribute the residue on a percentage basis. Consider contributing to the spread of the gospel and the message of biblical authority by including Answers in Genesis in your giving.

IRA or 401(k)

If your estate includes an IRA or 401(k), and you want to help us accomplish our mission, you might consider a beneficiary designation to Answers in Genesis. Most IRAs are an excellent asset because the plan is funded with pretax dollars and grows tax-free. But you or your beneficiary pays income tax when they withdraw the funds. If you bequest an IRA to family members, it comes with a very substantial “you-owe-the-IRS” tax bill attached. Therefore, if you are planning to leave assets to a non-profit like AiG, the transfer of an IRA may be a good plan because non-profits are tax exempt and aren’t charged a large income tax. Naming Answers in Genesis as the beneficiary of a retirement asset is easy.

You can make a beneficiary designation by completing a simple form provided by your plan administrator. Then, leave your heirs the assets like your home or stocks that can step-up in basis to fair market value when you pass away. This permits your heirs to sell these assets with little or no tax due and make use of their full inheritance.

Bequest for a Purpose

A bequest also enables you to select a specific purpose for your assets. Perhaps you have a heart for something specific that we do: you can specify that the money is used for that purpose.

Bequests to non-profits, after your family has been cared for, can be a great way to establish a lasting legacy that will make a difference for the kingdom of God. Making a bequest to Answers in Genesis can be one way of investing in the next generation. Your gift will help us spread the message of biblical authority and the gospel to millions of people. You can learn more about bequests or more about planned giving at


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