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World Wildlife Fund

Beneficiary Designations

Easy Ways to Leave Your Legacy

Many don’t realize that retirement plans, IRAs, life insurance, donor advised funds, and commercial annuities are not affected by a will. These accounts are dispersed according to beneficiary designations. The forms are often easier to update than a will, making them simple ways to support WWF's work and leave a legacy of protecting the Earth for future generations.

  1. Retirement Plan or IRA
    Typically this is the largest source of taxable income when paid to a beneficiary. If you are considering a gift to WWF, including WWF as a beneficiary on taxable assets like retirement plans may have tax advantages over gifts of other assets like stocks or real estate.
  2. Life Insurance
    A gift of life insurance is a good way to maximize your impact. By naming World Wildlife Fund as beneficiary, your small premium payments transform into a sizable gift. Plus, it is revocable at any time during your life if your plans change.
  3. Donor Advised Funds
    Making contributions during your lifetime to a donor advised fund (DAF) can give you flexibility to recommend how much and how often money is granted to WWF. DAFs are set up by community foundations, brokerage houses, or other sponsoring organizations, allowing you to transfer cash or other assets and take an immediate charitable deduction for your gifts.
  4. Commercial Annuity
    Annuities are tax-heavy assets. Income tax is due on the growth of the annuity—in other words, what its value is worth when you die over what you paid for it. Designating WWF as a beneficiary of your annuity contract can help to reduce the tax burden, making these gifts another popular choice for those who wish to leave a legacy of environmental conservation.
Beneficiary Designations

How to Make It Happen

Making World Wildlife Fund the beneficiary of your retirement plan assets, IRA, life insurance, or commercial annuities is easy:

  1. Contact the institution that controls the asset for a change-of-beneficiary form. Many have the forms on their website available for download.
  2. Decide what amount of the account value you would like WWF to receive, between 1-100 percent.
  3. Name World Wildlife Fund, Inc. as the beneficiary.
  4. Return or submit the form as directed by the institution.
  5. Make sure to let WWF and other beneficiaries know that you have included us so we can make sure your legacy is protected.

Keeping Designations Up to Date
Beneficiary designations can be modified at any time. Experts suggest reviewing them every two to three years when reviewing your overall estate plan. This way you can ensure your assets reach the intended recipient(s), even as your needs change.

Beneficiary Designations

Consider This Example

Jordan would like to leave World Wildlife Fund a gift after passing, but would also like to leave something for a family member, Pat. Jordan is trying to decide where a $100,000 IRA should go. Naming WWF as the beneficiary for 100 percent means we would receive the entire $100,000 to help fulfill our mission. By comparison, if Jordan leaves the IRA to Pat, a sizable amount of the IRA would be subject to income taxes.

The value of Jordan’s IRA at death is $100,000.
Chosen Beneficiary Pat WWF
Federal income taxes
(assumes a 24 percent marginal income tax bracket)
$24,000 $0
Net amount to beneficiary $76,000 $100,000
Beneficiary Designations

Next Steps

To learn more about the advantages of designating World Wildlife Fund as beneficiary of your retirement plan assets, life insurance, donor advised fund, or commercial annuities, or to learn more about changing your designations, please contact World Wildlife Fund today.

Office of Gift Planning
Phone: 888-993-9455
Email: legacygifts@wwfus.org
1250 24th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037

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Beneficiary Designations

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