How to Leave a Legacy

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1. Support Cedar Lane with your generous commitment of time, talent, energy, and money.  Our gifts build and enhance our mission and affirm the legacy of previous gifts making Cedar Lane what it is today.

2. Give to the church's General Endowment, Social Justice Endowment or the Memory Garden Endowment Funds and/or take advantage of other program specific giving opportunities.  Make tribute gifts to such funds in honor of the living or in memory of those who have died.


Additionally, as your circumstances and commitment permit, please consider the following options (consult with your financial or legal advisors):

3. Make a provision in your Will or Living Trust (see sample wording below).

BENEFITS: You will leave a legacy expressing your deepest values while also removing possible taxable assets from your estate.

4. Designate Cedar Lane as the beneficiary of a paid up Life Insurance policy that you no longer need.

BENEFITS: You will leave a legacy and you will remove it from your estate.

5. Designate Cedar Lane as the beneficiary of an IRA or other qualified retirement plan. Legally, you must specify the church as a beneficiary on the form provided by the owner of your plan. Indicating your intentions in your will alone is insufficient.

BENEFITS: You will leave a legacy and remove completely from your estate assets that, at the minimum, would be subject to income tax in the hands of a non-charitable beneficiary.

6. If you are 60 or older and wish to receive steady, secure, lifetime income, set up a One- or Two-Life Current Charitable Gift Annuity through the UUA in Boston to benefit Cedar Lane. You or other annuitants receive fixed income for life and an immediate tax deduction. The older you are, the higher the payout. Currently, payout rates range between 6.4% for a 60-year-old to 12% for someone aged 90 or older. Payouts to you are partially tax-free and partially taxed as ordinary income, or, if you fund the annuity with appreciated securities, the payout is partially taxed at the low capital-gains tax rate.

BENEFITS:  Income for life, immediate charitable deduction, and a legacy to Cedar Lane.

7. If you are in your 40s or 50s, you can lock in significant income starting at retirement (say age 65) by establishing a One- or Two-Life Deferred Gift Annuity through the UUA in Boston that ultimately benefits Cedar Lane.

BENEFITS:  Certain income during your retirement years, immediate charitable deduction, and a legacy to Cedar Lane.

8. The most popular charitable trust is a Charitable Remainder Unitrust. You can establish one with Cedar Lane as the charitable beneficiary or remainderman when the trust ends. You may also be able to utilize insurance or a wealth replacement trust to benefit beneficiaries. Average payouts range between 5% and 7%. Unlike a standard Charitable Gift Annuity, you can use marketable real estate to fund the trust. A trustee you designate will manage the trust, sell and invest the assets, and make annual distributions. You can make additional contributions.

BENEFITS: Variable income, charitable deduction, and a legacy to Cedar Lane.

9. Give marketable Real Estate outright to Cedar Lane now - a house, farm, vacation home, etc.

BENEFITS: You will receive a significant income tax deduction, remove the property from your estate, and have the satisfaction of making a major gift in support of your religious values. You can also make such a gift through your will or trust.

10. Give marketable Real Estate now to fund a Charitable Remainder Unitrust that pays income for life, or for a period of years up to 20 years to one or more income beneficiaries. See #8.

BENEFITS:  Charitable income tax deduction, total avoidance of capital gains taxes, and a legacy to Cedar Lane.

11. Establish a Life Estate agreement. You give your primary residence to Cedar Lane now, but you will continue to live in it for the rest of your life.

BENEFITS:  You receive a valuable charitable income tax deduction and leave to Cedar Lane property it can sell to support its mission.


The current Planned Giving Committee consists of Ernie Carlson, Bob Harrison, and Barbara Wilson. If you wish to contact any of us our phone numbers and email addresses are in the church directory.

While we are happy to answer any questions you may have, we do not serve as legal or financial advisors. You should retain your own legal/financial/tax counsel. We do pledge to keep your questions and inquiries confidential.


Be prudent. No matter the size of your estate, have a Will and/or Living Trust. Update it periodically as your interests, resources, and family situations change. If you move to another state, re-examine your Will because laws vary from state to state. Retain an attorney experienced in Wills and estate planning matters to assist you. Consider including a bequest(s) to causes that you deeply care about.

Don't delay writing your Will.  Tomorrow may be too late.


Besides contributing cash and property such as marketable real estate, giving appreciated securities outright or to fund gift annuities and charitable trusts offer tax-favorable advantages.


"I give, devise, and bequeath to Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church, 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda, MD, 20814, [here state percentage of estate, or residue, or sum of money, or otherwise describe property] to be used for its general purposes [such as general endowment, unrestricted, social justice, or memory garden.]"


You can amend your will without re-writing the whole document. This is called a codicil.  See your attorney.