When you give to the Museum, you support our scientists' research on the planet's biodiversity. You are also creating tomorrow's scientists. Our teacher resources make each field trip a learning experience, our education outreach brings the science of discovery to schools all over LA.
Through various types of bequests to the Natural History Museum, you may secure a charitable estate-tax deduction for the value of the gift. Best of all, you will know that your generosity will support our mission for years to come.
You may prefer to state in your will or trust a sum of money or a percentage of your estate that you wish to give to the Natural History Museum.
Whatever form of bequest you choose, it is not subject to federal estate taxes and so significantly reduces the tax burden of an estate. The value of the bequest may be deducted when the taxable estate is determined, and there is no limit to the deduction.
Myth: "Only rich people need wills."
Quite the contrary. In fact, the families of those who are not rich are most apt to be hurt by intestacy. As noted, most state laws provide, in the absence of a will, more adequately for children than for the surviving spouse. Not to be overlooked is the fact that many people are worth more than they realize—when they take into account their life insurance, retirement benefits, home, savings, and securities.
Myth: "People without dependents do not need wills."
Just the opposite. A person without dependents who does not have a will may find that under state law his or her property will go to his or her parents and perhaps brothers and sisters in specified, rigid shares. Friends, worthy charities, and other organizations the person may have wished to support will be left out.
Myth: "Younger people do not need wills."
Wrong again. Every adult is likely to need a will, especially young married people with children. Accidents occur, and it is not uncommon for fatal accidents to involve both parents.
Myth: "All my property is in joint ownership—why do I need a will?"
Comments: It is unlikely that all of your property is jointly owned—for example, retirement benefits, death benefits from your employer, income-tax refunds, etc. More important, if the creation of joint ownership in property creates a gift, then federal and state gift-tax and estate-tax consequences may need to be considered. And what happens if you and the joint tenant die in a common accident?
A majority of adult Americans do not have wills.
Some 70% of us will spend a lifetime of working, accumulating an estate, and caring for a family and loved ones and then leave the distribution of our property up to state law, which may not be in accordance with our wishes. Probably no other document in your lifetime is as important as your will.
With a will you can:
A will should not be made and forgotten; it needs to be reviewed periodically and revised.
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