Estate Giving

Build a Lasting Legacy

Philanthropy offers valuable estate planning benefits and allows you to build charitable giving into your estate plans. In addition to providing for your loved ones, you may choose to create a unique fund at The Columbus Foundation or add to one you have already established so that you can make a difference for future generations.

The correct plan for you should balance what you wish to accomplish for yourself, your family, and your charitable interests in your overall estate and financial plans. We can work with you and your attorney or financial advisor to help you prioritize your goals, while achieving the most favorable income tax benefits available. Some future gifts may allow you to receive an income during your lifetime and benefit your favorite causes after you have passed.

Learn more about donors who have established an estate plan or community initiatives and grants through our Stories section found here.

The Columbus Foundation Legacy Society

Recognizes individuals who intend to leave a future gift to the community through a bequest, trust, life insurance policy, retirement plan, or charitable annuity. As a Legacy Society member you become a part of the Foundation donor family and you are acknowledged at our events. If The Columbus Foundation is part of your future giving plan, please let us know by contacting Judy Renner at 614/251-4000 or

Planned gifts include:

  • Bequest by Will or Trust
  • Retirement Plan Assets
  • Charitable Gift Annuity
  • Gift of Life Insurance
  • Charitable Remainder Trust
  • Charitable Lead Trust
  • Gift of Residence or Farm

Bequest by Will or Trust

Naming The Columbus Foundation in your will or trust means you can support your favorite causes and benefit the community in the future.

  • Leave a specific dollar amount, percentage of your estate, or what remains after other bequests have been satisfied.
  • Create a named fund or give to an existing Columbus Foundation fund
  • You can arrange for your heirs to receive lifetime income from your estate with the remainder going to the Foundation for charitable purposes
  • Bequests to TCF qualify for a charitable deduction for the full donation so your heirs will not pay estate tax on these assets.

Retirement Plan Assets

Having assets in your IRA or other qualified retirement plans naming The Columbus Foundation is a simple and effective way to benefit the community while avoiding significant, often unanticipated taxes.

  • You can designate that after your death, assets remaining in the plan are to be contributed to a named fund at TCF.
  • This can be far more advantageous than including assets in your taxable estate or leaving them to heirs, which may be heavily taxed.
  • No estate tax or income tax is due on the retirement assets that pass to TCF.

Retirement Plan Assets (PDF)

Charitable Gift Annuity

With a charitable gift annuity you can make a charitable gift and secure a stream of income for life.

  • A charitable gift annuity is a contract between you and The Columbus Foundation.
  • You may transfer assets to the Foundation in exchange for the Foundation’s commitment to pay a fixed amount to you for the remainder of your lifetime.
  • Upon the termination of the gift annuity, the remaining assets are then contributed to establish a fund or add to an existing fund at the Foundation.

Charitable Gift Annuities (PDF)

Gift of Life Insurance

For those whose need for life insurance has decreased, making a gift of an unneeded policy can be a convenient and effective way of meeting your charitable goals.

  • Transferring ownership of a cash value policy to TCF makes you eligible for a charitable tax deduction based on its current value. You also reduce estate taxes, since the value of the policy is removed from your estate.
  • You can make life insurance part of your estate planning by naming TCF as a partial and/or contingent beneficiary of any insurance policy’s death benefit.

Life Insurance Gifts (PDF)

Charitable Remainder Trust

Giving through a charitable remainder trust allows you to receive income for the life of the trust, with the remainder going to your community.

  • It is a trust that pays either a fixed or variable income to you or your named beneficiaries’ for life or for a fixed term not exceeding 20 years, or a combination of the two.
  • When the trust term expires, the remaining assets in the trust pass to TCF to establish a fund or add to an existing fund at the Foundation.
  • You receive a tax deduction for the present value of the gift the year the trust is funded.

Charitable Lead Trust

A charitable lead trust (CLT) enables you make a significant charitable gift now while transferring substantial assets to beneficiaries later.

  • A trust is set up from which TCF receives annual payments through your lifetime for a specific number of years.
  • The distributions go to your fund at TCF and then to the charities you specify.
  • When the trust terminates, the remaining principal is returned to you or, more typically, your children or other loved ones at reduced tax cost or tax-free.

Gift of Residence or Farm

You can use your property’s value to benefit the community through a charitable gift of real estate.

  • You can enjoy the property as long as you like while giving future ownership to TCF.
  • Proceeds of the property’s sale go to a fund named at TCF or to a specific nonprofit organization.
  • You receive an income tax deduction the year the contribution is arranged through the gift of "remainder interest."

Guidelines for the Acceptance of Real Estate Gifts (PDF)

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