Gifts of life insurance offer a way to benefit Messmer at a relatively low cost for the donor.

Many donors choose to use life insurance as a way to support their favorite charities. Life insurance may make it easier for a donor to give a larger gift than he or she could have otherwise afforded. Donors can make a gift of an existing life insurance policy or name Messmer as a beneficiary of an existing policy, establish a new policy and name Messmer as the owner and beneficiary of the policy or use life insurance to replace the value of gifts to Messmer.

Life Insurance Options

Making the Charity a Beneficiary of Your Life Insurance Policy

You may wish to make Messmer the beneficiary (or a contingent beneficiary) of a life insurance policy as a way to make a sizable future gift. You retain lifetime ownership of the policy, keeping the right to cash it in, borrow against it, and change the beneficiary. A gift of this nature is treated much like a bequest made through your will. Because you retain the ownership of your asset (the policy), you will not receive an income tax charitable deduction for this future gift or for your premium payments during your lifetime. The policy's proceeds will be included in your gross estate, and your estate can take an estate tax charitable deduction.

Making a Gift of Your Policy

You may wish to transfer ownership of a policy to Messmer, or purchase a new policy with the charity as owner and beneficiary. If you make a charity the owner and beneficiary of a policy, you are entitled to certain tax advantages. In order to deduct premium payments as charitable deductions the donor must name the Messmer as both owner and beneficiary of the policy. A new policy or a fully paid-up policy can be contributed to Messmer. The donor of the policy may specify the use of the proceeds or leave them unrestricted. The donor is allowed an immediate federal income tax deduction for the lesser of either the policy's fair market value or the net premiums paid.  When the policy is not paid up, the donor may take an income tax deduction for contributions to Messmer to offset Messmer's payment of subsequent premiums.

Wealth Replacement Using Life Insurance

A donor may make a current gift to Messmer and receive a charitable tax deduction. At the same time, the donor may purchase life insurance to replace the donated amount or perhaps, the amount after estate tax that the beneficiaries would have received. Depending on the circumstances, the charitable tax savings and any life income resulting from the gift may defray the cost of the wealth replacement insurance premiums.

For more information about life insurance, please contact Messmer’s Development Office at 414-264-5440 or