Planned Giving

The HIAS Legacy Society offers giving opportunities through a variety of financial, estate, investment and philanthropic planning vehicles. We will partner with you to find customized solutions that integrate your philanthropic and financial planning needs.

You can make a real and lasting difference to the lives of refugees by remembering HIAS in your will. With a gift by will you won’t have to give up your assets or diminish your current cash flow.


A bequest may be designated for a particular purpose or program or may be left without restriction for HIAS to use in its discretion for needs that must be met at the time we receive the payment from your estate.


A bequest may take several forms, including:

  • A specific amount expressed in dollars or in specified items of property.
  • A percentage of the residuary of the estate (the amount available for distribution after specific bequests are paid).

For some of our donors, HIAS became magical in their family after making it possible for a member of their family to find freedom and safety in a new country. If you have the desire to honor a loved one rescued by HIAS, making a memorial gift would be a lasting tribute.


When bequests are made to establish designated, unrestricted or endowed funds, they may provide that the funds be named in honor or in memory of particular individuals, foundations or families.


If you would like to include HIAS as a beneficiary of a bequest and/or need additional guidance, please email, or call 212-967-4100 and follow the prompts to reach the Development Department. Where appropriate, please consult a tax or legal professional. Have you already prepared a bequest naming HIAS as a beneficiary? Let us know by completing our Declaration of Intent.

You can make a real and lasting difference to the lives of refugees by remembering HIAS in your will. With a gift by will you won’t have to give up your assets or diminish your current cash flow.


For those of you that are familiar with the more common Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT), a Charitable Lead Trust (CLT) is essentially a CRT in reverse. While a CLT is a split interest irrevocable trust like a CRT, the initial income stream from the CLT’s assets goes to HIAS first, and only after the trust has ended does the remainder interest revert back to the donor or is transferred to heirs. The type of deduction you receive is based on the type of trust and will ultimately depend on the type of planning you are trying to achieve. Typically, a CLT can be advantageous in transferring assets to family members of a younger generation.


HIAS’ lead interest can be in the form of a guaranteed amount each year (charitable lead annuity trust) or determined by a fixed percentage of the annually re-valued trust assets (charitable lead unitrust). If income is insufficient to make these payments, trust principal must be used to make up the difference. CLTs can yield significant estate and gift tax savings and can be appropriate for transferring appreciated property to family members at low gift and estate tax costs.


It is important to seek the guidance of your estate planning professional as the tax ramifications of lead trusts are complicated and varied.


If you have any questions, please email, or call 212-967-4100 and follow the prompts to reach the Development Department.

There are traps in retirement planning that most people are unaware of. Your retirement plan is probably an important asset for you. With good planning, you anticipate that you (and your spouse) will not exhaust the plan in your lifetimes. This could be a substantial asset to pass on to your heirs.


Retirement plan assets (e.g., an IRA, 401(k), or any other qualified plan) may be subject to a double-tax at the end of lifetime. The assets may be included in your taxable estate to calculate estate tax liability. They may also be subject to income taxes on the individual income tax return filed for the year of your death. The interrelationship of those taxes may generate a tax cost of as much as 70% of their value. While a qualified rollover of the plan assets may defer some of this tax cost, it does not eliminate it. In effect, the government will be paid its taxes either at the end of your lifetime or sometime in the future.


By thinking charitably, your heirs may actually come out ahead. For example, if you intended to include charitable bequests as part of your estate plan, naming HIAS as beneficiary of some or all of the qualified plan will avoid all income and estate taxes. HIAS would qualify to receive the intended amount in its entirety, at no tax cost.


Have you already prepared a gift of a retirement plan naming HIAS as a beneficiary? Let us know by completing our Declaration of Intent.

If you have an existing life insurance policy that is no longer needed to protect your children or your spouse, you can name HIAS as the policy’s owner and beneficiary. Life insurance can represent a significant gift to HIAS at a relatively low cost to you.


There are two ways to make a gift of life insurance

  • Contribute an existing policy — you have a policy on your life transferred into HIAS’ ownership and as the irrevocable beneficiary; if there are additional periodic premium payments to be made, you would make additional contributions to us from time to time from which we may elect to pay the premiums on the policy HIAS owns on your life. All contributions made by a donor which are later used by HIAS to pay premiums on owned policies are deductible by the donor as charitable contributions.
  • Acquire a new policy — with HIAS named as owner/beneficiary and you as insured; if the policy is not fully paid for at the time it is contributed, then subsequent premium payments will be made by us from deductible contributions made by you periodically over the life of the policy.


When you choose to name HIAS as the owner of an existing policy, you generate an immediate income tax charitable deduction for the cash surrender value of the policy.

Have you already prepared a gift of life insurance naming HIAS as a beneficiary? Let us know by completing our Declaration of Intent.

Do you wish to make a gift to HIAS but cannot afford to give up the income from those assets? Considering a HIAS Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) could be a perfect solution. A CGA is a vehicle which provides individuals with high fixed-rate lifetime payments, much of which may be paid tax-free, and an income tax charitable deduction.


A CGA combines a gift with an investment. A gift annuity agreement is a contract between you and HIAS under which HIAS is obligated to make fixed, lifetime payments to the annuitant(s). A CGA can benefit one or two individuals and can be established for a contribution of at least $10,000.00 in cash or marketable securities. This agreement is regulated by the State of New York and by other states and is subject to certain reserve investment requirements to protect annuitants.


Here are some interesting facts about charitable gift annuities

  • You are your age to your nearest birthday
  • Two-life rates are always lower than the one-life rate for the younger annuitant
  • Some of the capital gain from contributed stock will be taxed in installments in the annual annuity payment
  • The annual annuity continues to be paid even if you outlive the life expectancy tables.

At the end of the term of the gift annuity, the remaining funds are paid to HIAS.


If the annuity is purchased with cash, the income distributed each year will be paid to the annuitant(s) as both ordinary and tax-exempt income. If this is considered together with the available income tax deduction, the actual yield will be significantly higher than the fixed annuity rate. When appreciated securities are used to make the gift, the annual income will also have a capital gain component apportioned annually.


You can calculate your own gift annuity here.


Are you a younger individual looking to reduce income taxes now while gaining fixed rate lifetime income to begin in the future? Choosing to defer payments to a date in the future will generate a higher lifetime annuity rate. This is called a Deferred Gift Annuity (DGA), which is similar to a CGA except that income payments are deferred until a future date. Although the payments are deferred, there is a current income tax charitable deduction. The length of the deferral serves to raise the annuity rate considerably. You can target your annuity payments to begin when you need them, perhaps at the date you anticipate retirement.


For more information, please submit a Charitable Gift Annuity Information Request or email, or call 212-967-4100 and follow the prompts to reach the Development Department.

In a charitable remainder trust (CRT), an irrevocable gift is made to a tax-exempt irrevocable trust. You get back a stream of payments for life. The trustee manages the assets in the trust, makes required payments to the beneficiary and files the annual tax reports for the trust. A CRT is most advantageous with highly appreciated assets. One of the main benefits of these trusts is that you can donate assets whose value has grown significantly while avoiding the tax on the long-term capital gain on contributed appreciated property.


The difference between CRATs and CRUTs

CRTs come in two basic forms: charitable remainder annuity trusts (CRATs) and charitable remainder unitrusts (CRUTs). The major difference lies in the formula used to calculate payments to the income beneficiary.


The CRAT provides for a fixed annuity rate for the life or lives of named individuals. Once the rate is set in the trust, it is multiplied by the value of the initial contribution to determine the lifetime annuity payments. These payments never change throughout the term of the trust. The lowest rate allowed by law is 5%. If a rate is set too high, the trust may not qualify for tax benefits. Payments may be made as frequently as quarterly.


The CRUT also provides for a fixed rate. The fixed rate is multiplied by the value of the assets in the CRUT as determined annually on the last business day of the calendar year or the first business day of the next year. A unitrust’s annual payments vary with the trust’s annual revaluations. For that reason, your payout would be more closely tied to investment markets. Assuming the assets in the CRUT increase in value over the prior annual period, the payments to the individuals in the next year will also increase by the fixed rate multiplied by the increase in value. The CRUT is anticipated to be a hedge against inflation.


Which is right for you?

CRUTs are often used for contributions of illiquid assets such as real estate or works of art. They are often recommended for donors with a longer life expectancy who seek inflation protection and can usually assume more risk. By contrast, CRATs are often considered most appropriate for older donors who seek protection from market swings and to whom inflation protection is less important.


What makes a CRAT or a CRUT an attractive option for you?

  • A fixed rate of return usually greater than earned previously on the contribution.
  • Avoidance of tax on the initial long-term capital gain on contributed appreciated property.
  • A current income tax charitable deduction for the value of the future charitable gift.
  • Avoidance of estate taxes on the contribution and its appreciation in the trust.

If you want more information, please email, or call 212-967-4100 and follow the prompts to reach the Development Department.

Give Now

Give Now

Give Now

Help HIAS provide vital services to refugees and asylum seekers around the world

Search HIAS