Not everyone wants to commit to making a gift in their wills or estates. Some prefer the increased flexibility that a beneficiary designation provides by using:
- IRAs and retirement plans
- Life insurance policies
- Commercial annuities
It only takes three simple steps to make this type of gift. Here's how to name the Smithsonian Institution as a beneficiary:
- Go online or contact your retirement plan administrator, insurance company, bank, or financial institution for a change-of-beneficiary form.
- Decide what percentage (1 to 100) you would like us to receive and name us, along with the percentage you chose, on the beneficiary form.
- Return the completed form to your plan administrator, insurance company, bank, or financial institution.
An Example of How It Works
Robert and Carol treasure the financial help they've been able to give their children and the Smithsonian over the years. The couple recently updated their will to leave stocks to their kids. They left the Smithsonian a $75,000 IRA to be transferred following their lifetime. Because the Smithsonian is tax-exempt, all $75,000 will help support our mission.
If Robert and Carol had left the IRA to their children, approximately $18,000* would have gone to pay federal income taxes—leaving only $57,000 for their family's use. Robert and Carol are happy knowing they are making the most of their hard-earned money thanks to their updated estate plan.
*Based on an assumption of a 24 percent marginal income tax bracket.