Create a legacy of love

Gain financial benefits for you and your loved ones while also providing hope to young people experiencing homelessness and escaping trafficking.

Planning your estate is an opportunity to reflect on who you are and what matters most to you. By considering Covenant House Georgia in your will or other estate plans, you are demonstrating your enduring care for young people who have nowhere else to turn. Legacy gifts of all sizes can make a life-changing difference to the youth we serve. Thank you!

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You can designate your legacy gift toward our general fund, which provides Covenant House Georgia with the flexibility to apply your gift where it will have the greatest impact. Or, you can choose to designate your legacy gift toward a specific Covenant House Georgia program.

Questions? To arrange a personal discussion with no obligation, contact Heather Karellas, CFRE, at hkarellas@covenanthouse.org or by phone at 470-889-3711.

cornerstone LEGACY society 

When you name Covenant House Georgia in your will or other estate plans, please let us know so we can thank you and include you in our Cornerstone Legacy Society. This group is Covenant House's way of thanking and recognizing kind-hearted friends like you who have chosen to leave a lasting legacy of love. You will receive a certificate, special updates about our work, and invitations throughout the year to virtual events for Covenant House's closest friends and supporters.

thoughtful Ways to remember our young people

Making a legacy gift to Covenant House Georgia can be surprisingly easy! Here are a few ways to remember our youth.

Supporting Covenant House Georgia through your will or trust allows you to maintain liquidity and control of your assets during your lifetime while providing an ensuring impact on the lives of young people experiencing homelessness. There may be tax savings depending on the assets you designate for a gift from your estate.

For many young adults, there is no such thing as an inheritance - no nest egg passed from generation to generation. Through your legacy and support of Covenant House Georgia's work, our youth will know that someone remembered them and planned for their future. Your legacy gift will help fund programs that provide these deserving young people with the tools and resources they need to stay off the streets for good.

Sample language to share with your attorney: I give [insert dollar amount, property to be given, percentage of estate, or "the remainder of my estate"] to Covenant House Georgia, a nonprofit organization with Taxpayer Identification Number 13-3523561, located at 1559 Johnson Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30318, for its general use and purposes*. 
*OR to be used for [insert designated program].

Naming Covenant House Georgia as the beneficiary of your retirement account, insurance policy, bank account, or Donor Advised Fund is a quick, easy, and straightforward way to make a long-lasting impact. In many cases, this can be done in a matter of minutes, simply by logging into your online account and adjusting your beneficiary settings.

Beneficiary designations are a popular way of making a legacy gift that will benefit young people experiencing homelessness in the years to come. Designating a beneficiary of a financial account is easy to do. In most cases, beneficiary designations can be created or changed online or by signing a form provided by your account administrator. No lawyer is required, and your beneficiary can be changed at any time if you change your mind. Beneficiary designations also allow your assets to pass outside the probate process, which may reduce costs, time, and the potential for contests.

Retirement Accounts
Funds from retirement accounts are among the most highly-taxed estate assets when passed down to heirs. For this reason, IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, Keough Plans, SEP IRAs, and other retirement plans make great opportunities for charitable beneficiary designations. If you leave your retirement account(s) to your heirs, they will have to pay tax at ordinary income tax rates on distributions from these assets. Because Covenant House Georgia is a tax-exempt organization, IRA distributions received by Covenant House are not subject to income tax. Designating Covenant House Georgia as a beneficiary of your IRA or other retirement plans can mean that those funds will be used to support our work without being reduced by income tax.

Bank Accounts, Donor Advised Funds, and Mutual Fund & Brokerage Accounts
Many different types of accounts, such as bank accounts (either checking or savings), Donor Advised Funds, mutual funds, and brokerage accounts have ‘payable on death’ or ‘transfer on death’ beneficiary designations. Naming Covenant House Georgia as a beneficiary can be an easy and efficient way to ensure your lasting legacy of support.

Life Insurance
Life insurance can also provide an opportunity for a charitable beneficiary designation. After many years, the original need that prompted the purchase of a life insurance policy may have passed, making the policy proceeds an asset that can be used for charitable giving.

If you are age 70 ½ or older, you can make a tax-free distribution from your IRA to Covenant House Georgia to help young people experiencing homelessness and escaping trafficking.

Make a gift directly from your IRA that will lessen your tax burden and help support our life-changing programs. When it's time to file your taxes, your gift to Covenant House Georgia is a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) and does not increase your taxable income (up to $100,000).

Important Note: Increased Age for Required Minimum Distributions (as of January 2020)
The SECURE Act, passed on December 20, 2019, included many changes to the rules governing retirement plans.  Of note, the age at which the owner of an IRA must begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) has increased from 70 ½ to 72 years old. You are still permitted to make Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) starting at 70 ½ years old, but you are no longer required to fulfill an RMD until the age of 72.  This change applies to donors who turn 70 ½ after January 1, 2020, and applies to 401(k)s and other qualified retirement plans.

Contact your IRA Administrator for instructions on making an IRA Charitable Rollover gift to Covenant House Georgia.

A Charitable Gift Annuity enables you to transfer cash or stocks/securities to Covenant House Georgia in exchange for an immediate income tax deduction (the year you make your gift) as well as guaranteed fixed payments for life. Your Charitable Gift Annuity will also provide young people in our community with the skills and opportunities to build a better life.

The minimum donation to create a Charitable Gift Annuity is $5,000 and there is no maximum amount. The Covenant House Charitable Gift Annuity guarantees quarterly payments for life to you or a person you designate, beginning immediately. The rates are generous and are calculated based on your age at the date of the gift. 

Sample Maximum Gift Annuity Rates
(Single-Life Immediate Annuity Rates as of January 1, 2020)

Age | Rate
65 - 4.7%
70 - 5.1%
75 - 5.8%
80 - 6.9%
85 - 8.0%
90 & Up - 9.0%

Create a Charitable Gift Annuity With a Gift of Cash or Stock/Securities
You can create a Charitable Gift Annuity with a donation of cash or stock/securities. Gifts of appreciated stock/securities may provide even more benefits, as both the annuity amount and the income tax deduction are based on the full value of the gift. No capital gains tax on the appreciation will be due at the time of the gift as long as the donor is an annuitant. For gifts of appreciated securities, the tax-free portion of the annuity payments is reduced.

A Note on Tax Deductions
If you itemize your deductions in the year you make the gift, you will receive an immediate income tax deduction that will usually exceed one-third of the contributed value. The tax deduction will be greater if you choose a lower annuity rate. IRS regulations limit charitable deductions to 50% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) for cash gifts (30% of AGI for stock gifts) in any year. Any unused deduction can be carried forward for five additional years.

Provide Enduring Support for Young People Experiencing Homelessness
After the annuity payments have ended, your gift will support programs that provide critical resources and support for the young people at Covenant House.

Be sure to seek the advice of your tax advisor before entering into a Charitable Gift Annuity.

Charitable remainder trusts provide income for life to you or someone you designate. After that time, your trust remainder will support Covenant House Georgia's critical programs and resources for young people experiencing homelessness and escaping trafficking.

Each trust with Covenant House is individually planned, funded, and administered.  This personal handling allows the greatest flexibility in the assets used to fund the gift, the type and duration of income, and the ultimate use of the gift by Covenant House Georgia. Unlike a Charitable Gift Annuity, the payments from a Charitable Remainder Trust can be customized to your needs. For example:

  • Payments can be fixed or variable to grow with the market.
  • Payments can be deferred into the future.
  • Payments can stop after a period of years.
  • Payments can continue to you for life and then be transferred to another person for life (or a period of years).
  • Payment options are almost unlimited to meet your needs.

How to Establish a Charitable Remainder Trust
You may use cash or publicly traded stock to establish a charitable remainder trust, as well as real estate, shares of a closely held corporation, tax-exempt bonds, IRA leftovers, or even artwork. Virtually any substantial asset that has appreciated in value can be used to good advantage to fund a charitable remainder trust, thereby avoiding capital gains tax. The minimum for funding a trust with Covenant House is $100,000. Covenant House's Charitable Remainder Trusts receive high-quality administration at no cost to you or to the trust. Asset allocation and investment selection are obtained through Vanguard, with independent evaluation through Morningstar. You choose from among a wide variety of highly-rated Vanguard funds for the investment of your trust. Each trust is individually planned, funded, and administered. This individual handling allows the greatest flexibility in the assets used to fund the gift, the type and duration of income, and the ultimate use of the gift by Covenant House. A charitable remainder trust is a personalized, meaningful contribution.

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Ready to create your legacy?

Helpful information to leave Covenant House Georgia in your will or other estate plans.

Questions? Contact Heather Karellas, CFRE, at hkarellas@covenanthouse.org or by phone at 470-889-3711.

Contact your legal or tax advisor to discuss specific benefits for your legacy giving. While we are delighted to share these materials with you for informational purposes, Covenant House does not provide tax, legal, or financial advice.