If you are like many living on a modest income, you can still make a major charitable donation without affecting your financial needs by naming the Garden as the sole or partial beneficiary in your life insurance policy or your retirement plan. There are different ways a gift of life insurance can be made in order to accomplish your charitable goals while meeting estate or financial needs.
THE GARDEN as Beneficiary: the Garden can be the primary or secondary beneficiary of your life insurance policy, while you still retain ownership and access to the policy's cash. With this type of charitable giving the proceeds will still be included in your taxable estate because the life insurance policy is still under your name. However, you benefit through a charitable estate tax deduction and the insurance proceeds do not go through probate.
THE GARDEN as Owner: This type of donation provides you with immediate tax benefits. When you assign the irrevocable insurance policy to the Garden, you will be allowed an immediate federal income-tax deduction and there will be no estate taxes since the Garden owns the policy. You have the option to pay the premiums directly to the insurance company or to the Garden, which in turn pays the premiums. With an existing policy, you can transfer ownership of the policy to the Garden.
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden fosters the conservation of California's native plants through our gardens, research and education, and serves as a role model of sustainable practices.