Support the Zoo

Life Insurance Gifts

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Make a gift of Life Insurance 

A New Policy

You can provide right now for a future gift to The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore by naming the Zoo as owner and beneficiary of a new life insurance policy, while you deduct the cost of premium payments from your income taxes.

If you don’t expect to accumulate large amounts of capital during your lifetime, and your family will have first call on your estate, you can still make a significant gift to the Zoo.

Life insurance uses manageable payments made from income — the premiums — to create a large future gift.   You can build the Zoo’s long-term financial strength without diminishing your own.


A gift of a new life insurance policy is for you if:

  • You are a younger donor who wants to make a significant gift.
  • Your estate probably won’t have substantial assets to distribute to non-family members.
  • You can make a commitment to provide yearly gifts to the Zoo that will offset our premium payments on the policy.

How it works

  • Make the gift by taking out a new policy on your life, naming The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore the irrevocable owner as well as beneficiary (this arrangement makes the gift complete in the eyes of the IRS). 
  • The Zoo will receive the premium notices, and you will make yearly donations to the Zoo to offset the payment of the premiums.  These gifts will, of course, be tax-deductible.  There is no deduction for setting up the policy itself.
  • When the policy matures the proceeds are paid to the Zoo, and we apply them to the purpose you have designated.

Benefits

  • You can make a significant gift from income instead of from capital.
  • Your yearly gifts offsetting the Zoo’s premium payments on the policy are fully tax deductible.

A Policy You Already Have

Donate an existing policy, take a deduction, deduct future premium payments, if any, and make an extraordinary gift. You’ll also get the proceeds out of your taxable estate.

This gift will generate an initial tax deduction: the lesser of the policy’s fair market value or the total of your net premium payments.  If premiums are still payable, we will ask you to make tax-deductible contributions to the Zoo offsetting our payment of those premiums.  The Zoo can either keep the policy in force during your lifetime or to terminate it sooner for its cash-surrender value.


A gift of an existing life insurance policy is for you if:

  • You are a younger donor who wants to make a significant gift.
  • Your estate probably won’t have substantial assets to distribute to non-family members.
  • You can make a commitment to provide yearly donations to the Zoo that will offset our premium payments on the policy.

How It Works

  • You simply contact your insurance company and request a Change of Beneficiary Form. 
  • Make the gift by naming The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore the irrevocable owner as well as beneficiary (this arrangement makes the gift complete in the eyes of the IRS.) 
  • The Zoo will receive the premium notices, and you will make yearly donations to the Zoo to offset our payments.  These gifts will, of course, be tax-deductible.  There is no deduction for setting up the policy itself.
  • When the policy matures the proceeds are paid to the Zoo, and we apply them to the purpose you have designated.

Benefits

  • You can make a significant gift from income instead of capital.
  • Your gifts offsetting our premium payments are fully deductible.

A Paid Life Insurance Policy

Are you still carrying life insurance policies your family no longer needs?  Consider giving those surplus policies to The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.  You may be able to make a larger gift than you ever thought possible by using an asset you no longer need.

You can donate your paid-up life insurance policy, take a tax deduction, and make an extraordinary gift to the Zoo.  You’ll also get the proceeds out of your taxable estate.


A gift of a paid-up life insurance policy is for you if:

  • You are maintaining insurance coverage that your family no longer needs.
  • You hold few appreciated securities that you wish to donate.
  • A significant charitable deduction would be useful to you this year.

How It Works

  • You make your gift by naming The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore the irrevocable owner and beneficiary of a paid-up insurance policy on your life (this arrangement makes the gift complete in the eyes of the IRS).
  • The Zoo can either keep your donated insurance policy in force during your lifetime or decide to terminate it sooner for its cash-surrender value.

Benefits

  • You have the satisfaction of making a substantial gift to the Zoo using a policy that you and your family no longer need.
  • You receive gift credit and an immediate income tax deduction for the lesser of the policy’s fair market value or the total of your net premium payments.
  • In some cases, you can use the cash value in your policy to fund a life-income gift, such as a charitable gift annuity.


Questions?

Contact us privately at legacy@marylandzoo.org or call 443.552.5290 to learn more.  We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.

Please recognize that The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is not in the business of giving tax advice.  Please consult your legal counsel when considering these types of gifts, and please see our full disclaimer by clicking here.