How to leave your legacy without changing your will

An increasing number of benefactors are providing for Mount Angel Abbey's future, without changing their will or living trust. They simply name The Abbey Foundation of Oregon as a beneficiary of their retirement savings plan or life insurance policy.
• Retirement savings

If you participate in pension plans, individual retirement accounts, 401(k) plans or another qualified retirement savings plan, you may have an opportunity to contribute a significant planned gift, by making a simple change to the beneficiary designation. This generous action also may be good tax planning. With such designations, your heirs could avoid having to deal with taxes or complicated rules, because the Abbey Foundation, as a nonprofit, does not pay taxes. Your estate planning advisors may suggest that your heirs would be better off if they receive a portion of your inheritance with fewer tax and regulatory issues.

Please keep in mind that some retirement plans have special rules about changing beneficiaries. It is important to check with your retirement plan administrator and your estate planning advisors before making any change in your designated beneficiaries.

• Life insurance policies

Similarly, life insurance policies protect your family and peace of mind. They may also protect the future of Mount Angel Abbey! If you name The Abbey Foundation of Oregon as the death beneficiary of your policy, you can maintain your lifetime ownership rights in the policy (including the right to borrow against the policy, cash it in or change the beneficiary again).

Your estate will receive a charitable deduction for the proceeds that pass to the Foundation. Other options include making the Foundation a co-beneficiary, so the proceeds are shared with another, or a contingent, beneficiary so that the Foundation will receive proceeds only if your primary beneficiary precedes you in death.

• Changing beneficiary designations

It's surprisingly simple to change the beneficiary designations of your retirement plan or life insurance policy to benefit Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary. Here are four easy steps:
1) Request a change-of-beneficiary form from your retirement plan administrator or insurance company.
2) Determine the percentage you would like the Abbey and Seminary to receive.
3) Name The Abbey Foundation of Oregon, and the percentage amount, along with any other beneficiaries, on the form.
4) Return the form to your plan administrator or insurance company.

Disclaimer: Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary and The Abbey Foundation of Oregon are not engaged in providing legal or tax advisory services. We encourage you to seek your own legal and tax-planning counsel when considering charitable estate gifts.


Please feel free to contact us if you have questions.