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Beneficiary Designations

3 Ways to Make an Impact at MSK—Beyond Your Will

Not everyone wants to commit to making a gift in their wills or estates. Some prefer the increased flexibility that a beneficiary designation provides by using: 

  • Life insurance policies
  • Savings accounts/certificates of deposit
  • IRAs and retirement plans

 

Life Insurance

Make a Major Gift With Ease

A life insurance policy may provide a way for you to make a much larger contribution to cancer research and patient care than you ever thought possible. As your life evolves, your need for life insurance may as well.

Ways to Give

  • Name MSK as the recipient of all or part of the proceeds of a life insurance policy that is no longer needed for family protection.
  • Contribute a paid-up policy during your lifetime, resulting in a charitable deduction if you itemize for an amount approximately equal to your policy's cash surrender value.
  • Depending on state law, purchase a new life insurance policy in which you name MSK as owner and beneficiary or co-beneficiary.

Next Steps

  1. Contact your life insurance company to request a change-of-beneficiary form.
  2. Name Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) as a beneficiary of all or a percentage of the policy’s value.
  3. Return the updated form to your insurance company.
  4. Contact our Office of Planned Giving staff for information or assistance. Notifying us of your intended gift allows us to thank you and make sure we have a clear understanding of your plans. It also gives us an opportunity to welcome you into the Cullum Society. Your notification will be treated confidentially, if you so desire. Toll free: 800-688-1827
    Email: plannedgiving@mskcc.org
  5. Please use our legal name, address, and Federal Tax ID if incorporating MSK into your plans:

Legal Name: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Address: 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065
Federal Tax ID Number: 13-1924236

 

Savings Account/Certificate of Deposit

Your Savings Can Help Save Lives

A savings account or certificate of deposit can provide immediate support to MSK after your lifetime when you name MSK as a beneficiary on a payable-on-death account.

Advantages

  • It's easy. Just ask your bank representative to explain the one or two easy steps you need to take.
  • Avoids delays or unnecessary expenses to your loved ones.
  • Allows you to maintain control of the assets throughout your lifetime. If your circumstances change, you may revoke the gift, withdraw the assets, or close the account.

Next Steps

  1. Contact your financial institution for the forms needed to change the ownership of your account or certificate of deposit.
  2. Name Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) as a beneficiary of all or a percentage of the account's value.
  3. Return the updated form to your financial institution.
  4. Contact our Office of Planned Giving staff for information or assistance. Notifying us of your intended gift allows us to thank you and make sure we have a clear understanding of your plans. It also gives us an opportunity to welcome you into the Cullum Society. Your notification will be treated confidentially, if you so desire. Toll free: 800-688-1827
    Email: plannedgiving@mskcc.org
  5. Please use our legal name, address, and Federal Tax ID if incorporating MSK into your plans:

Legal Name: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Address: 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065
Federal Tax ID Number: 13-1924236

A payable-on-death account is not available in all states. Please consult with a financial advisor.

 

Retirement Account

A Tax-Smart Way to Support Memorial Sloan Kettering

Donations of retirement account assets are among the most tax-smart gifts you can make to MSK. Although IRAs and 401(k) accounts are excellent vehicles for accumulating assets for your use during retirement, they are far less effective for transferring wealth to your loved ones. Those who inherit your retirement plan assets could see up to 37 percent of the value depleted by federal income taxes. The only exceptions are distributions from a Roth IRA, which are usually tax-free, and distributions on nondeductible contributions made to a conventional IRA.

If you choose to contribute all or part of these assets to MSK, however, our status as a nonprofit organization means that we can use 100 percent of your gift to support our lifesaving work.

Next Steps

  1. Contact the administrator of your IRA or retirement plan to request a change-of-beneficiary form.
  2. Name Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a beneficiary of all or a percentage of the plan’s value.
  3. Return the updated form to the plan administrator.
  4. Contact our Office of Planned Giving staff for information or assistance. Notifying us of your intended gift allows us to thank you and make sure we have a clear understanding of your plans. It also gives us an opportunity to welcome you into the Cullum Society. Your notification will be treated confidentially, if you so desire. Toll free: 800-688-1827
    Email: plannedgiving@mskcc.org
  5. Please use our legal name, address, and Federal Tax ID if incorporating MSK into your plans:

Legal Name: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Address: 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065
Federal Tax ID Number: 13-1924236

A man and woman smiling outside

Learn More

Create your legacy with our complimentary guide, or browse the information on this page to discover how to make a gift through a beneficiary designation.

If you are 70½ or older, you can make an impact today by transferring any amount up to $100,000 directly from an IRA to MSK without tax complications.

 

We Can Help

Contact the Office of Planned Giving at 800-688-1827 or plannedgiving@mskcc.org for additional information on beneficiary designations and how they can help support MSK with our mission. Talk to your financial or legal advisor to learn which assets will or will not trigger taxable income when paid to a beneficiary.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

An individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust, or retirement plan.

I bequeath to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, a New York nonprofit corporation having a principal place of business at 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, Federal Tax ID #13-1924236, ____percent of my total estate (or $_____, or other property) to be used or disposed of as Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in its sole discretion deems appropriate.

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor-advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to MSK or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate, or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property, or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to MSK as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to MSK as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and MSK where you agree to make a gift to MSK and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

A tax imposed at one's death on the transfer of most types of property. Currently federal estate taxes are assessed in 2019 on estates worth more than $11.2 million. The maximum estate tax rate is 40 percent. Some states also impose taxes at death that vary depending on state law.

A written legal instrument created by a grantor for the benefit of him/herself (during life) or others (during life or at death).

A revocable trust established by a grantor during his or her lifetime in which the grantor transfers some or all of his or her property into the trust.

Equity or debt instruments, typically shares listed on a stock exchange, which can be readily bought or sold.