I started Insurance Blog by Chris™ because I have a passion for insurance. Here at the blog, our job is to educate and inform people about the best insurance for them. Since then, we have grown into national brands with a large team of researchers helping people understand all forms of insurance.

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insu...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 24, 2021

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Do you have a favorite cause that you feel passionate about?

Would you like to help them out even more so they can continue their good work?

Perhaps you’ve considered ways to gift life insurance to charity by donating some or all of your life insurance policy, but didn’t know how to get started.

Well, we have the perfect solution!

In this post, we’ll show you 3 creative ways to gift life insurance to a charity, including how to maximize your donation with life insurance, and how to get a charitable tax deduction while you’re still living.

Quick Guide to Gifting Life Insurance to Charity

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Benefits of Charitable Giving and Life Insurance

3 creative ways to gift life insurance to charity

A marriage made in heaven!

Using Life Insurance to fund your charitable giving creates a much greater gift than you could possibly contribute on your own.

It can provide a sizeable gift while leaving your other assets and investments intact.

Your heirs can still receive the benefits you wish to bestow on them, and your estate can enjoy tax advantages as well.

Life insurance proceeds are paid to the charity without delay or probate, and such a gift is private, not a matter of public record.

While there are a myriad of ways to use Life Insurance or make provision in your estate plan for Charitable Giving, let’s look at just a few of the most popular approaches.

RELATED: 5 Critical Tips You Must Know Before Buying Life Insurance

#1 – Make the Charity the Owner and Beneficiary of your Life Insurance

In our first case, the donor gives an existing policy to a charity, making the charity the owner and beneficiary.

In this scenario, the gift qualifies for an income tax charitable deduction for the current fair market value of the policy, or the donor’s cost basis, whichever is smaller.

One can donate a term or permanent policy to a charity, however, a donor can, of course, outlive a term policy, which would leave the charity without the gift of the death benefit.

In our example, the insured gentleman took out a $500,000 permanent policy at age 50, for the benefit of his wife.

He paid premiums for 5 years, and then his wife died, leaving him without further need for his policy.

Instead of losing the investment he had already made in his policy, he decided to make a gift of the policy to their favorite charity.

He gifted his existing policy, and continued to make his premium payments, all of which are tax-deductible.

When he dies, the full death benefit is paid immediately, and confidentially to his charity – a much larger gift than he would have made if donating the cash equivalent of his premium payments.

#2 – How You Can Use a Charitable Donation to Buy Life Insurance

In our second case, the donor, who has been supporting his favorite charity for a number of years, wants to increase the amount he’s able to give, through life insurance.

He knows that if he simply donates cash, say $5,000 a year for 10 years, he will have donated $50,000 to his charity.

However, he chooses to use life insurance to amplify his donation by investing the same $50,000 in a life insurance policy.

To receive the best tax advantage, he will donate the $50,000 to the charity, and they will purchase a life insurance policy on the donor.

As a preferred non-smoker, he is able to increase his donation from $50,000 to nearly $200,000 – now that’s quite a gift!

His tax deduction is basically the same, but his donation is greatly increased, just by using life insurance!

RELATED: Check Sample Life Insurance Rates by Age (No Personal Info Required)

His wife suggests she may be the better donor – and she may indeed, as life insurance is less expensive for women then for men, assuming they are the same age, and both rated the same.

Her $50,000 gift could be used to purchase over $220,000 in life insurance.

Or, they could choose to pump up their donation even more, and instead of selecting separate policies, choose one second-to-die policy, which offers the best value possible, since it only pays the death benefit upon the second death.

That same $50,000, used to purchase a second-to-die policy would yield a whopping gift to their favorite charity of over $300,000!

#3 – Name your Favorite Charity as Beneficiary

In our last example, our donor wants to keep control of their policy, so they retain ownership of the policy, and simply name their charity as beneficiary.

There is no tax deduction, as they have full control, and can always elect to change their beneficiary.

However, upon the donor’s death, the death benefit would be paid directly to the charity as beneficiary, and his estate will benefit from a tax deduction of the full gift.

In this manner, the donor is able to make a generous gift to his charity and receive a substantial tax deduction, leaving more of his assets for his heirs.

As you can see, there are a variety of ways that you can make a significant contribution to your beloved charity using life insurance.

If you want to learn more about you can use life insurance to help out your charity, call us at 888-603-2876 today as we can help!