The Authors Legacy Society is a group of members and donors who have elected to beneﬁt the Authors Guild or Authors Guild Foundation through their wills or estate plans. Legacy gifts provide the opportunity to help perpetuate the interests and values a donor considers most important.
The Society was created to honor those who have made bequest or other estate commitments to ensure that the Authors Guild will continue its outstanding record of service as the nation’s largest society of published authors and the leading writers’ advocate for fair compensation, effective copyright protection, and free expression for generations to come.
A GIFT THROUGH YOUR WILL
Gifts made through wills have become a vital part of the American philanthropic tradition, because such gifts enable people to make signiﬁcant contributions that may not have been possible during their lifetimes.
A gift through your will can take a number of forms. You may elect to designate a speciﬁc dollar amount. Or you may wish to include a percentage of what remains in your estate after other bequests are fulﬁlled.
A bequest can be made either to the Authors Guild or the Authors Guild Foundation. It is important to consider which of these two organizations you wish to beneﬁt and the tax implications involved (see the last section below).
A GIFT FROM YOUR RETIREMENT PLAN
You can avoid costly taxes on mandatory IRA distributions after reaching the age of 70½ through the IRA Charitable Rollover provision. This law allows you to rollover up to $100,000 annually to a charitable organization such as the Authors Guild Foundation and pay no taxes on that amount.
Additionally, while retirement plans are highly beneﬁcial during a person’s lifetime, they can become tax burdens on one’s death. This is because they are included in a person’s taxable estate, and are therefore subject to both estate tax and income tax.
By naming a charitable organization as the beneﬁciary of your retirement plan, you can still take distributions during your lifetime, but on your death the entire plan balance will pass, free of taxes, to the organization. If you are married, you can name your spouse as primary beneﬁciary, with the remaining assets going to a designated charitable organization, free of taxes, on his or her death.
A GIFT OF LIFE INSURANCE
An insurance policy that has served its original purpose can be contributed to the Authors Guild or Authors Guild Foundation. If you name the Authors Guild Foundation as the irrevocable beneﬁciary and owner of the policy, you obtain an immediate income tax deduction equivalent to the policy’s cash surrender or replacement value. Any beneﬁt the Foundation receives from the policy will be excluded from your taxable estate.
A GIFT OF APPRECIATED SECURITIES OR REAL ESTATE
A gift of appreciated, long-term capital gain securities or real estate to the Authors Guild Foundation can provide even greater tax beneﬁts to the donor than a gift of cash. In addition to receiving a charitable deduction for the fair market value of such a gift, the donor also escapes any capital gains tax and the sales commission that would be payable on the sale.
When you join the Authors Legacy Society, you help ensure the continuation of the Authors Guild’s valued services through changing times and potentially greater challenges. As the leading professional organization assisting authors in copyright protection, contract negotiation, and professional development, the Authors Guild depends on its members’ support to anticipate and meet authors’ vital needs.
Members of the Society will be listed annually in the Authors Guild Bulletin, unless they choose to remain anonymous.
For information on how to join the Authors Legacy Society, please call (212) 594-2167 or write to the Managing Director at the address below.
IMPORTANT TAX CONSEQUENCES
You may make a bequest or other estate gift to either the Authors Guild or the Authors Guild Foundation. A gift to the Authors Guild will beneﬁt the full range of services the Guild provides, or speciﬁc services can be designated at the donor’s discretion. A gift to the Authors Guild Foundation will beneﬁt the programs the Foundation sponsors.
However, there is an important consideration for those with large estates. The Authors Guild is a professional organization, and therefore cannot be classiﬁed as a charity for IRS purposes. Therefore, a bequest or other planned gift will be subject to estate taxes and to any applicable income taxes.* Making a gift to the Authors Guild would have the same tax consequences as making a gift to a non-spousal family member or friend.
The Authors Guild Foundation, however, is recognized by the federal government as a tax-exempt organization described in section 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and a Type 1 supporting organization of the Authors Guild. By designating the Authors Guild Foundation as the beneﬁciary of your gift you are entitled to the full range of charitable gift beneﬁts.
*Tax laws do change. Please consult your tax advisor.
THE AUTHORS GUILD and
THE AUTHORS GUILD FOUNDATION
ATTN: Managing Director
31 East 32nd Street, 7th floor
New York, New York 10016