An open letter from Kay Maxwell, former GSNETX Board Member (2002-2013)
“I have been in and out of Girl Scouts since I was a Brownie and continued until I received the Curved Bar Award in high school. While I was in college, I worked two summers as a camp counselor at Camp Whispering Cedars, and when my daughter was young, I was her troop leader. Most recently I served on the board of the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas. Since “my blood runs Green” (i.e. Girl Scout Green), I knew I wanted Girl Scouts to be a part of my estate plan.
Several years ago, I received a letter from GSNETX, asking me if I would consider making a gift. I wrote GSNETX and said that I had already named GSNETX as one of several charitable beneficiaries of my retirement plan, an IRA. While there are many ways to set up a legacy gift, here is why I chose to make my gift via my IRA. If for no other reason, giving all or part of a retirement plan to a charity at death is easy to establish.
A gift of a retirement account at death is not a taxable event for the donor or for the charity. As a retirement plan may have multiple beneficiaries, the named charitable beneficiary will receive its proportionate share at the death of the owner of the retirement account tax-free.
Giving a retirement plan to a charity requires only one step. The beneficiary designation must be changed on the account via a Designation of Beneficiary Form, provided by the financial institution where the retirement account is held. If the beneficiary is not changed on the form, the charity will not receive the gift. The retirement account will go to the name of the person(s) or other charities on the current Designation of Beneficiary form.
There are a couple of caveats to keep in mind: A written letter to the financial institution will not be accepted; a gift of a retirement account through a will does not override a beneficiary designation; and all other IRS or State of Texas rules governing transfer of assets at death must be followed.”