Life & Legacy resources

Ways to Give a Promise

The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer and our LIFE & LEGACY Partners are ready to work with you, your family and your professional advisors to meet your estate-planning and philanthropic objectives. No matter how or what you choose to give, we are grateful for your desire to leave a lasting legacy in support of our local Jewish community.

Your legacy gift of any size can be customized and structured to fit your dreams, lifestyle, family and financial needs.

Legacy Commitments Can Be Made Through the Following Ways

Bequest in a Will

What It is: A Charitable Bequest is a gift that is contained within a will or trust. Bequests are one of the easiest ways to leave a legacy.

How It Works: You can elect to provide a bequest to any of our LIFE & LEGACY partners of a specific dollar amount or a specific asset, such as securities or real estate. The charitable bequest can be in the form of a percentage of a donor’s estate or a percentage of the remainder of the estate. Bequests can be made through your will or revocable living trust. You may add a codicil to your will and/or make an amendment to an existing revocable trust. Your estate attorney can best advise you in this regard.


  • You continue to enjoy the assets during your lifetime
  • You may change your estate plan at any time
  • Enjoy the satisfaction of knowing during your lifetime that your Jewish legacy will ultimately have a significant impact on the future of Jewish life in our area and beyond
  • You can establish the legacy in your own name, extend recognition to loved ones, or remain anonymous
  • Donor recognition and memorial opportunities are available
  • Bequests are an effective planning tool to reduce the taxable estate
  • The gift can be professionally managed by the Foundation

Gift of Life Insurance

What It is: Life Insurance allows you to make a present, rather than future gift, which may be much larger than you think might otherwise be possible. Gifts of insurance are generally affordable, especially for younger donors.

How It Works: You name Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer or any LIFE & LEGACY partners as beneficiary of a new life insurance policy. If the gift is irrevocable and the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer or any LIFE & LEGACY partner is the owner and beneficiary of the policy, you are entitled to a charitable income tax deduction for all premiums paid. Existing policies may also be contributed, and you are entitled to a charitable income tax deduction for an amount essentially equivalent to the cash value of the policy.


  • Many (especially young people) find that insurance is an ideal way to create an endowment larger than they could otherwise afford
  • Premiums paid are tax-deductible
  • You can honor or remember a loved one, or create your Jewish legacy in your own name

Gift of IRA or Pension Plan

What It is: You may wish to designate the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer and/or LIFE & LEGACY partner(s) as the beneficiary of all or part of your qualified retirement plan (IRAs, 401Ks, Keogh Plans and others). When children or other heirs are designated as beneficiaries, they may receive only a small fraction of the plan’s value since inherited retirement plan assets are subject to both estate and income tax.

How It Works: You formally change the designated beneficiary for all or a portion of your qualified retirement plan to the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer and/or LIFE & LEGACY partner(s). Upon death, the remaining balance or designated sum transfers directly to the organization(s) of your choice free of estate or income tax.


  • You create a meaningful legacy at minimum cost
  • You enjoy significant estate and income tax savings
  • Allows you to transfer other assets to your heirs

Charitable Gift Annuity

What It is: A Charitable Gift Annuity is a contractual agreement between you and the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer. An irrevocable gift of cash or marketable securities is made to the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer. In return, the donor or one to two other annuitants receive a guaranteed income each year for life.

How It Works: An annuity payment is calculated based on the age(s) of the annuitants on the date of the gift and other factors. This income is paid for life, and then the remaining funds become a permanent legacy in your name.


  • Guaranteed income for life, for you and/or your spouse or another
  • You receive a significant charitable income tax deduction in the year of the gift and favorable tax treatment for the income as it is paid
  • You save capital gains taxes by funding Charitable Gift Annuities with gifts of appreciated property

Charitable Remainder Trust

What It is: A Charitable Remainder Trust also allows you to establish your lasting Jewish legacy while providing income for yourself, your spouse or another beneficiary.

How It Works: Income is provided to you (or another person you specify) for life or for a specified number of years. When the trust ends, the remaining assets are distributed to the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer and/or LIFE & LEGACY partner(s) to fund a permanent endowment in your name.


  • You receive a current income tax deduction for a portion of the gift
  • You and/or a loved one receive a consistent and predictable income, either for life or a specified number of years
  • There are opportunities for diversification of investments and improved rates of return
  • You save capital gains taxes by funding the Charitable Remainder Trust with appreciated assets