A Better Life for Cats in St. Louis

Planned Giving

How You Can Participate in Planned Giving with Animal House

Why participate in planned giving with Animal House?
Through planned giving, you are making life-changing, long-lasting impacts on the hundreds of homeless cats and kittens of Animal House both in the immediate future in for many years to come. Additionally, many planned giving options offer substantial tax credits that will benefit you and your family.


Step 1: Choose from below which type of gift is best for you


Appreciated Assets

Gifts of appreciated assets (e.g. securities and mutual funds) that have been held for more than one year are ideal for transfer, as you generally pay no federal capital gains taxes and are eligible for an income-tax charitable deduction based on the fair market value of the securities at the time of the transfer.

Securities are the most popular choice and are typically seen in the forms of:

  • An outright gift. When you donate securities to Animal House, you receive the same income tax savings that you would if you wrote us a check, but with the added benefit of eliminating capital gains taxes on the transfer, which can be as high as 20 percent.
  • A transfer on death (TOD) account.* By placing a TOD designation on your brokerage or investment account, that account will be paid over to one or more persons or charities after your lifetime.
Bargain Sale

Want to sell us your property for less than the fair market value? A “bargain sale” may be the answer. When you make a bargain sale, you sell your property to our organization for less than what it’s worth. The difference between the actual value and the sale price is considered a gift to us. A bargain sale can be an effective way to dispose of property that has increased in value, and it is the only gift vehicle that can give you a lump sum of cash and a charitable deduction at the same time.


A bequest under your will or revocable trust instrument describes the portion of your estate that you choose to leave to the Animal House and should qualify for an estate tax charitable deduction.

Charitable Gift Annuity

Through charitable gift annuities, you can support Animal House and feel confident that you have dependable income in your retirement years. In exchange for a gift to Animal House, Animal House agrees to pay you and/or another person a lifetime, fixed income on a regular basis. You can also receive a variety of tax benefits, including a federal income tax charitable deduction.

  • Deferred Charitable Gift Annuity: Similar to a charitable gift annuity, income payments to you or a designated beneficiary begin at a future date. You receive an immediate tax deduction when the annuity is established. “Mid-life” people may find this a useful tool to supplement retirement income. A gift of unmortgaged property to fund a deferred gift annuity is preferable and generates the greatest tax benefit.

Charitable Lead Trust

A charitable lead trust allows you to transfer the benefit of income-producing properties and other assets to Animal House for a specific number of years. Payments from the trust are made to the Animal House during the years of the trust, after which all remaining assets are returned to you or any person/family member you designate.

There are two ways that charitable lead trusts make payments to Animal House:

  • charitable lead trust pays a fixed amount each year to Animal House and is more attractive when interest rates are low.
  • charitable lead unitrust pays a variable amount each year based on the value of the assets in the trust. With a unitrust, if the trust’s assets go up in value, for example, the payments to Animal House go up as well.

Donor Advised Fund

donor advised fund, which is like a charitable savings account, gives you the flexibility to recommend how much and how often money is granted to Animal House and other charities.

You transfer cash or other assets to a tax-exempt sponsoring organization such as a public foundation. You can then recommend-but not direct-how much and how often money is granted. In addition, you avoid the cost and complexities of managing a private foundation.

In return, you receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction at the time you contribute to the account. This also allows for a centralized giving and record-keeping system in one location.

Life Income Plans

With life income plans, cash or property is transferred into a pooled income fund sponsored by Animal House in return for a lifetime of guaranteed income for you. Life income plans pay an income to you or your named beneficiary for life or for a term of years while leaving the remainder to Animal House.

Life Insurance

Life insurance policies are flexible and may be used to make a charitable gift to Animal House in three ways:

  • Name us a beneficiary of the policy. This gift is as simple as updating your beneficiary designation form with the policy holder. You can designate us as the primary beneficiary for a percentage or specific amount. You can also make us the contingent beneficiary so that we will receive the balance of your policy only if your primary beneficiary doesn’t survive you. Contact your retirement plan administrator, insurance company, bank or financial institution for a change-of-beneficiary form, then return the completed form to them.
  • Make an outright gift of an existing policy. You can name us as owner and beneficiary of an existing policy. You may receive a federal income tax charitable deduction and reduce your future estate tax liability. If you continue to pay premiums on the policy, each payment is tax deductible as a charitable gift.
  • Make an outright gift of a new policy. You can take out a new policy and irrevocably name Animal House as the owner and the beneficiary of the insurance contract. This method may be particularly attractive for the younger donor. Whether you make one single premium payment for the policy or pay annual premiums, each payment is tax deductible as a charitable gift.

Real Estate

A gift of real estate through your will or living trust allows you the flexibility to change your mind and the potential to support our work with a larger gift than you could during your lifetime. In as little as one sentence or two, you can ensure that your support for Animal House continues after your lifetime, and that your estate will benefit from a federal estate tax charitable deduction (whose amount equal to the property’s full fair market value). This deduction lets you reduce the cost of making the gift and frees cash that otherwise would have been used to pay taxes. By donating the property to Animal House, you also eliminate capital gains tax on its appreciation. Furthermore, the transfer is not subject to the gift tax, and the gift reduces your future taxable estate.

  • Retained Real Estate: Perhaps you like the tax advantages a gift of real estate to our organization would offer, but you want to continue living in your personal residence for your lifetime. You can transfer your personal residence or farm to Animal House but keep the right to occupy (or rent out) the home for the rest of your life. You continue to pay real estate taxes, maintenance fees and insurance on the property. Even though we would not actually take possession of the residence until after your lifetime, since your gift cannot be revoked, you receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction for a portion of your home’s value.

Be sure to choose a legal professional, as well as an executor, who will ensure that your will is correct, legally binding and truly reflects your wishes.

Retirement Assests

A gift of your retirement assets, such as a gift from your IRA, 401(k), 403(b), Keogh, tax sheltered annuity, pension, or other tax-deferred plan, is generally an attractive asset to leave to Animal House because such an asset may otherwise be subject to both income and estate taxes.. If you are like most people, you probably will not use all of your retirement assets during your lifetime. Why not allocate the remainder to benefit the homeless cats and kittens in our care?

Typically, retirement plan balances are subject to both income and estate taxes. Because Animal House is a nonprofit organization, we won’t pay income tax on the distribution nor will the gift be subject to estate tax. Your retirement assets may be transferred to Animal House by completing a beneficiary designation form provided by your plan custodian. If you designate Animal House as a beneficiary, our cats will benefit from the full value of your gift because your IRA assets will not be taxed at your death. Your estate can also benefit from an estate tax charitable deduction for the gift.

NOTE: Under the IRA Charitable Rollover Provision, an individual 70 1/2 and older can make charitable donations of up to $100,000 directly from IRA and Roth IRA accounts without having to count the distributions as taxable income. Furthermore, eligible IRA owners can use these charitable gifts to satisfy their annual minimum distribution requirement.

Stocks, Bonds, & Cash

Publicly traded stock, closely held stock, corporate bonds, and cash gifts generally entitle you to current income tax deductions.


Step 2: Contact a legal professional
An attorney or advisor can assist you in making a final decision in your best interest.


Step 3: Create a letter of intent
Declaring your intent is an important step in creating a lasting legacy and better lives for the cats at Animal House. A letter of intent is a non-binding agreement that states your intention to make a gift during your lifetime or as a part of your estate plan. Have a legal professional assist you in drafting this.


Step 4: Contact Animal House
Ask any additional questions at (314) 531-4626 or at animalhouse@stlcats.org before sending us a final copy of your letter of intent.