Legacy gifts are simple and flexible to support you in how you want to give

The most common form of planned gift is a bequest from a Will or Trust:

  • Bequests may be a fixed amount (ex: $10,000), a percentage (such as 10%), or a remainder after all other specific bequests have been distributed.
  • Specific property such as residential real estate may also be used in a charitable bequest.
  • Sample language to add a bequest to a Will or Trust: “I/We give and bequeath $xxx,xxx (or ___% of my/our estate) to San Diego Opera Association, a California nonprofit corporation, TIN# 95-6044429.”

Click here to request a FREE guide to planning your estate.

Planned Gifts may offer significant tax advantages to you or your heirs. Some options with tax benefits include:
  • Avoiding taxes by utilizing your IRA
    • Make a “Tax Free” gift from your required minimum distribution (RMD). Anyone aged 70½ or older may donate any amount up to $100,000 each year directly to SDO and avoid paying taxes. The gift amount will meet RMD requirements, but will not be reported as taxable income, regardless of your tax bracket.
    • Help your heirs avoid taxes! When deciding which assets to leave to heirs and which assets to leave to charity, choose to make bequests to SDO from retirement plans such as an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Retirement plan gifts are taxable to heirs, but not to charities.
    • Click here to learn more about how to take advantage of these gift strategies to benefit you, your loved ones and San Diego Opera.
  • Donate appreciated assets
    • Gifting shares of stock or a business allows you to avoid capital gains tax when the assets are sold.
    • Click here to request a stock transfer form.
  • Life Insurance: An asset you no longer need can make a wonderful gift to SDO
    • Many people hold paid-up life insurance policies that they no longer need to protect their family.
    • Ownership may be transferred to SDO, who will utilize the value to support our ongoing programs.
    • Receive an income tax deduction equal to the cash surrender value of the policy.
  • Make a gift and receive an income today
    • Some planned gifts even offer a way to increase your income while receiving a charitable deduction! For more information on Charitable Remainder Trusts, Charitable Gift Annuities or any of the options above, call San Diego Opera at 619-232-7636 or click here.

This information is not intended as tax or legal advice. A thoughtful examination and conversation with your advisors should help ensure that you make the best choice for your legacy-giving based on your specific circumstances.

Additional information regarding Retirement Accounts

  • The IRS requires that all taxpayers begin taking minimum distributions from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) in the year they turn 72. This is known as the required minimum distribution, or RMD.
  • RMDs are treated as taxable income, and in some cases may put a recipient into a higher tax bracket, with one exception: people who gift their RMDs directly to charity make this gift completely tax-free!
  • Even donors who won’t be itemizing their deductions may take advantage of this tax-wise way to give.
What to Know about RMD Gifts from Your IRA

Also, known as the Charitable IRA Rollover, RMD gifts are easy to make – just know these simple rules:

  • Funds must come from a traditional IRA account, Inherited IRA, SIMPLE IRA (inactive) or an inactive Simplified Employee Pension IRA (SEP-IRA).
  • Your gift must go directly to the charity – if you cash it out first, you will have to pay the tax and then claim a charitable deduction (if itemizing).
  • Your IRA administrator can process the transfer for you.
  • The maximum contribution is $100,000.
  • The gift will not be reported as taxable income, but will count for the required minimum distribution.
Retirement accounts also make excellent legacy gifts
  • Unlike other assets, retirement accounts do not pass to beneficiaries tax-free. Recipients will pay income tax on all distributions. New laws passed in late 2019 requires the distribution of funds in an inherited IRA within 10-years which could mean an even higher tax bill for your heirs.
  • The one exception: charitable beneficiaries!
  • A bequest for an IRA is one of the easiest planned gifts to set up: all it takes is a simple change of beneficiary form. Your IRA administrator can provide that form or direct to you an online version to complete.
  • Note, retirement fund bequests must be for a percentage, rather than a fixed amount.

For more information on any of the options above, contact the SDO Development Department at 619-232-7636 or email development@sdopera.org.