Legacy Gift Planning – Life Insurance


A Thoughtful Charitable and Estate Planning Tool

Life insurance is sometimes overlooked as a thoughtful and effective way to make a significant gift to a charity you care about. If you are considering an estate gift to gift to benefit the Seattle Symphony endowment or other programs, you should know that gifts made through life insurance may be much larger than would have been possible with an outright gift during one’s lifetime. Gifts of life insurance can help donors make a significant philanthropic impact and may also reduce or eliminate estate and income taxes for heirs. Considering a gift of life insurance allows you to take care of your family, and at the same time, fulfill your charitable legacy. As financial and family circumstances differ widely, it’s best to discuss your individual situation and goals with a qualified estate or tax attorney.

Life Insurance Gift Options

Name the Seattle Symphony as beneficiary

Benefit to you: Retain full control of your policy and any value it accrues; change your mind if circumstances change; estate receives a charitable deduction with potential tax-savings for your heirs. Lifetime membership in the Musical Legacy Society is the Seattle Symphony’s way of thanking you.
Benefit to the Symphony: A generous gift is realized upon your death - the Symphony will receive the amount or percentage you have designated.


Leave your heirs life insurance rather than your IRA

Benefit to you: A tax-wise strategy that results in savings for your heirs and estate, as IRAs are among the most highly-taxed inherited assets. Donor can: use life insurance to replace retirement assets gifted to charity; name the charity as sole or partial beneficiary of an IRA; retain control and change your mind if circumstances change. Lifetime membership in the Musical Legacy Society is the Seattle Symphony’s way of thanking you.
Benefit to the Symphony: A generous gift is realized upon your death and the Symphony receives the amount or percentage designated on the beneficiary form.


Donate a no-longer needed policy

Benefit to you: Receive an immediate income tax deduction (based on value of paid-up policy); donor eligible for certain naming opportunities. Lifetime membership in the Musical Legacy Society is the Seattle Symphony’s way of thanking you.
Benefit to the Symphony: A generous gift is received upon your death; Symphony can recognize the donor during their lifetime; gift may be counted as a Symphony asset.


Establish and donate a new policy

Benefit to you: Receive an income tax deduction (varying depending on policy’s cash value); ability to make a larger gift and impact than would be possible during one’s lifetime; donor may be eligible for naming opportunities. Lifetime membership in the Musical Legacy Society is the Seattle Symphony’s way of thanking you.
Benefit to the Symphony: A generous gift is received upon your death; Symphony can recognize the donor during their lifetime; gift may be counted as a Symphony asset.


To download a PDF of this information, click here.

For more information, please contact Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving Becky Kowals at 206.215.4852 or becky.kowals@seattlesymphony.org or by mail at Seattle Symphony, PO Box 21906, Seattle, WA  98111-3906

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