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Gift of Retirement Plan Assests

Plan your legacy and help out your heirs by designating the AAS as a charitable beneficiary of any balances remaining in your retirement plans at the end of your lifetime. Retirement plan assets may be reduced by a combination of estate and income taxes, which means, for a large estate, less than 30 cents on the dollar of the plan's balance for your heirs. Avoid the double-tax burden by naming the AAS as the beneficiary of the remainder of your retirement plan — and the AAS will receive 100% of the balance for use in advancing astronomy.

How to Make Your Gift

Contributions that are unrestricted in nature are the most useful, and because your gift will only be realized in the future, we cannot know for sure exactly what projects or programs the AAS may be supporting at the time.

To provide the most flexibility for your future contribution to have the best impact, we ask that you use our template letter to express your desired use for the funds in a way that does not restrict the AAS to any specific project or program.

The language in the letter specifically informs the AAS of your desired use and asks the AAS Board of Trustees to designate the funds for a purpose aligned with your general wishes, but does not mandate that the funds be used in this way.

Be sure to notify your retirement plan's administrator for advice and a beneficiary designation form. If you have questions about gifts of retirement plan assets, please contact AAS Executive Officer Kevin Marvel.

Gifts Through a Will

A bequest is one of the simplest ways to support the AAS and astronomy's future. Assets remain in your control during your lifetime and you can modify your bequest during your life should your circumstances change. When written into your will, your gift is not subject to federal estate taxes and therefore reduces the tax burden of an estate.

How to Make Your Gift

If you wish to include the AAS in your will. please contact AAS Executive Officer Kevin Marvel. Your accountant or financial planner can advise you on estate tax benefits; your attorney can help draw up your will. Sample bequest language follows below.

Unrestricted Bequest:
I give [specific dollar amount; specified asset, or percentage of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate] to the American Astronomical Society, Washington, DC.

Bequest with General Purpose:
I give [specific dollar amount; specified asset; or percentage of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate] to the American Astronomical Society, Washington, DC, and ask that the AAS Board of Trustees, as the governing board for the the Society, consider designating that the funds be used for [NAME GENERAL PURPOSE].

I do understand that the Society will undertake best efforts to fulfill by desire based on programs or projects available at the time, but may allocate the funds to another similar or different purpose. I also understand that the desired use stated above does not obligate the Society to expend the funds on any specific activity, nor to maintain the balance of the donated funds in perpetuity and that the AAS Board of Trustees may designate the use of the funds at the time they are received.

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