Legacy FAQs

Congregation Beth El Legacy Program FAQ

What is a legacy gift?

It is a gift of an asset after you pass away.

Who should sign up?

Everyone. This is not just for the wealthy or for seniors. There is no minimum gift required, and no expectation of payment during your lifetime.

I’m only in my 40’s (or 50’s or 60’s).  Why would I do this now?

There are two important reasons to make a legacy pledge early.  If you have children, it is a valuable way to communicate your values to them in a tangible and important way.  Also, by becoming a member of the Beth El Legacy Circle, you send a vital message to the Beth El community about the importance that philanthropy plays in the long term sustainability of our community.  Giving (and pledging) is contagious!

Why wouldn’t I leave all of my estate to my children?

Legacy gifts are usually only a percentage or portion of your estate, with your heirs typically receiving the bulk of your assets. A legacy gift to Beth El will demonstrate to loved ones your commitment to Jewish values. And if your estate is subject to the estate tax, a gift to Beth El will reduce your estate tax burden. 

Does the gift have to be money or can other things be given?

Legacy gifts can take many forms: stocks, bonds, real estate, retirement fund assets, cash, life insurance proceeds, etc.
How much should I bequeath?

There is no correct amount – it varies from person to person – and must be what is right for you. Any amount is appreciated. Some people will choose to give a set dollar amount, some will specify a percentage of their estate, or all or part of a particular fund or asset.

Can I change my gift later?

Yes - if your circumstances change you can adjust the amount of your gift.

What are the ways I can leave a legacy gift?

There are many ways, including making a bequest in a will or trust, naming Congregation Beth El  as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy or an IRA or pension fund, giving a gift of cash, property or other assets, setting up a charitable gift annuity or charitable remainder or lead trust. Please consult your professional advisor to determine which method of giving is best for you.

I live paycheck to paycheck and I don’t have any money to give now. Can I still participate?

The advantage of legacy giving is that no money is paid now. The gift is paid after your passing from the assets in your estate.

How can I give without spending money on a will or trust?

A good option for you would be to name Congregation Beth El as a beneficiary of an account you already have such as an IRA or life insurance policy.  We can also recommend estate attorneys in the area.

Where does the money go?

Unrestricted legacy gifts provide flexibility for future leadership to respond to the greatest needs of Beth El.  We appreciate and honor the trust donors place in us and hold the ethical and appropriate use of these funds among our highest priorities.  
The board has also designed several legacy funds for donors with a special interest in supporting a particular area of the congregation’s operation.

How do I sign up?

The first step is to fill out a Letter of Intent. Download one from this website, or contact a team member.