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Planned Giving

You can help to secure the future of Symphony Space with an estate gift or bequest.

Your generosity will ensure that our beloved performing arts center will serve our community of artists, audiences, students, and educators for generations to come.

Gifts Through Your Will

Cash, securities, real estate, and personal property may all be given to Symphony Space through your will. An example of a provision for an unrestricted gift, which would be used by Symphony Space wherever it is most needed, would read as follows:

"I give and bequeath to Symphony Space ___% of my estate (or $____)."

An example of a provision for a restricted gift, which Symphony Space may use only for the purpose you designate and may include principal, income or both, follows:

"I give and bequeath to Symphony Space ___% of my estate (or $____)* to be used for the following: [your purpose here]."

You may also specify any real property that could be sold by Symphony Space to support the purpose you designate.

Please keep in mind that restrictions on gifts may sometimes outlive their purpose, for example, a particular performance series may not be offered in some future year. If you wish to make a restricted gift to Symphony Space, we ask that you discuss your gift in advance with Symphony Space's Director of Development.

We encourage you to seek legal counsel before designing any type of will provision.

Gifts of Appreciated Securities

Gifts of appreciated securities can be made at any time — to make a current year contribution or as your bequest to Symphony Space. Capital gains from the sale of stocks, bonds and other assets normally incur federal and, in some cases, state income taxes, but the capital gains tax may be avoided by using appreciated property such as securities to make a charitable gift to Symphony Space. If you have owned the property for at least a year, you usually may take a deduction based on the property's full value. (The tax savings will vary depending on the type of property, amount of the increased value, etc.)

If securities have decreased in value since you bought them, it is usually better to sell the securities and donate the cash proceeds to Symphony Space. You may then be able to claim tax deductions for both the capital loss and the charitable gift, which can bring your deduction to more than the current value of the property.

Symphony Space's Director of Development will be pleased to advise you on how to make a gift of appreciated securities to Symphony Space.

Gifts Of Real Property

When you make an outright, irrevocable gift of real property (such as real estate) to Symphony Space during your lifetime, you become eligible for a charitable tax deduction equal to the full fair market value of the property, not just its original cost.

Because you benefit from those tax savings immediately, this method may be preferable to leaving the property to Symphony Space in your will. In addition, when you make a gift of appreciated property you avoid the capital gains tax at the time of the gift (if you have owned the property for at least a year).

You can also use investment real estate to fund a charitable lead unitrust or to transfer the deed of your primary residence or vacation home to Symphony Space while retaining the right to live there for your lifetime. You could even extend that right to another person for his or her lifetime, as well. You (or your beneficiary) would continue to take care of the property, pay the taxes, and even receive any income it generates. But, because you had made a gift of the property by deed, it would not pass through probate and you would be allowed an income tax deduction for the year in which you initiated the gift.

Because there are specific issues involved in the donation of certain real property, if your intent is to make such a gift to Symphony Space, we ask that you discuss your gift in advance with us. Symphony Space's Director of Development will be happy to discuss this with you, but you should, of course, consult with your attorney and financial or tax advisors.

Trusts That Generate Income For You

Charitable remainder annuity trusts and charitable remainder unitrusts make payment to you (or someone you designate) for a period of years, after which the "remainder" becomes the property of Symphony Space. These trusts can be beneficial in many situations, including providing retirement income, providing support for relatives, and funding educational expenses.

These gifts may be funded with cash or appreciated property. A charitable remainder trust can:

  • Provide payments annually for life or a term you choose for you and/or another person
  • Reduce your tax bill through a charitable deduction
  • Make it possible for you to increase income from highly-appreciated but low-yielding securities, while saving, delaying, or altogether avoiding capital gains tax
  • Diversify investments without incurring capital gains tax
  • Offer professional investment management
  • Save estate and gift taxes

When you establish either a charitable remainder annuity trust or a charitable remainder unitrust, you may choose to have payments made to you or to another beneficiary for a period of time up to 20 years, rather than for the lifetime of one or more beneficiaries. Some donors decide to provide payments only for the period of time required to meet a fixed need, such as educational expenses.

Trusts can be set up during your lifetime or as part of your will. Annuity trusts and unitrusts are described below, but there are a number of available variants on these plans, with which your financial or tax advisors can help you.

Steady Income through an Annuity Trust

A charitable remainder annuity trust pays to you or the person(s) designated by you (or you, followed by another person(s) designated by you), to receive fixed annual payments for life or for a stated period of time. At your death (or the death of your surviving spouse, partner, or other person you designate), whatever remains in the trust will be distributed to Symphony Space.

Annuity trusts are typically feasible in amounts of $100,000 or more; annual payments will be at least 5% of the amount initially placed in the trust (the exact amount is determined when the plan is created). A charitable income tax deduction is allowed at the time you create your trust. Its size depends on a number of factors, including the age of the person(s) receiving payments, the payment rate and other factors.

Potential Variable Income through an Unitrust

Like the annuity trust, a unitrust provides annual payments to you or the person(s) you designate, but unlike the annuity trust the payments from a unitrust vary with the value of the assets in the trust. In a unitrust, each year, a percentage of the value of the trust's assets is paid to you or to the person(s) designated by you. As with the annuity trust, what remains in the trust at your death (or the death of your designated beneficiary) will be distributed to Symphony Space.

Like annuity trusts, unitrusts are typically feasible in amounts of $100,000 or more. Additions may be made from time to time to a unitrust and you would receive a tax deduction for a portion of each amount contributed.

Trusts That Generate Income For Symphony Space

A charitable lead trust is basically the opposite of a charitable remainder trust. It pays a specified dollar amount or percentage of the trust’s assets to Symphony Space for the lifetime of one or more individuals or for a fixed number of years. At the end of that time, the remaining assets in the trust are returned to you or they are passed on to your designated beneficiary or beneficiaries.

You decide on the trust period and the amount or percentage of the payments when you establish the trust. This type of trust allows you to reduce the amount of your assets that might otherwise be subject to estate and gift taxes.

Charitable lead trusts are typically feasible in amounts of $500,000 or more. Your financial and tax advisors can help you determine how a Charitable Lead Trust would be beneficial for you.

Gifts From Retirement Assets, Savings Or Insurance

Gifts of Savings Accounts and Certificates of Deposit

Another way you can make a significant gift to Symphony Space is to name Symphony Space a joint owner of your savings accounts and certificates of deposit with rights of survivorship only. In this way, funds from these accounts will come to Symphony Space at your death, without delays or unnecessary expense. This is a revocable gift — you may withdraw the money at any time and close the account(s). Thus, you retain complete control of the gift. In addition, the gift amount is deductible from your taxable estate.

A professional advisor at your financial institution can give you more information about this type of gift.

Gifts of Life Insurance

Some of the life insurance coverage you purchased may no longer be needed for the reason it was originally purchased, because of changes in your family circumstances. A simple way for you to make a significant legacy gift is to name Symphony Space to receive all or a portion of the proceeds of a policy that you no longer need for its original purposes. You might also choose to contribute a paid-up policy during your lifetime and receive a charitable tax deduction for an amount approximately equal to the policy's cash surrender value.

You can also purchase a new policy, naming Symphony Space as owner and beneficiary or co-beneficiary. Such a gift may result in a contribution much larger than its cost, possibly making this a convenient way to make a large gift over a period of time.