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Legacy Giving

There are numerous ways to support Friends Of The Observatory, both now and for years to come. Donating through your various assets, such as securities or life insurance policies, can provide you with considerable tax benefits while enabling us to continue to carry out our mission. Before making any estate planning decisions, we recommend you consult with your account or legal advisor. To learn more about planned giving, contact Friends Of The Observatory at fotofriend@friendsoftheobservatory.org or (213) 473-0879.

Griffith Observatory

Gifts of securities, stocks, and bonds may provide tax advantages when transferred to Friends Of The Observatory before they are sold.

Contact Friends Of The Observatory at (213) 473-0879 to:

  • Transfer stocks from a broker’s account. We will send delivery instructions to your broker or financial advisor.
  • Receive additional information about making a gift of mutual funds, non-marketable stock, or closely held stock.
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Including Friends Of The Observatory as a beneficiary in your will or living trust is the most popular type of planned gift. Many choose this because it is flexible and can be structured to meet your needs.

In order to include Friends Of The Observatory in your will or living trust, we recommend inserting the following language:

"I hereby give to Friends Of The Observatory, a California not-for-profit organization, the sum of $________________ AND/OR the following described property: ________________ [description]
AND/OR ________% [percent] of the residue of my estate. This gift is for Friends Of The Observatory’s unrestricted use OR this gift is designated for ___________________ [describe specific purposes/programs].”

If you choose to include Friends Of The Observatory in your will or living trust, please notify us and use our legal name and federal tax ID number:

Legal Name: Friends Of The Observatory
Address: 2800 E. Observatory Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90027
Federal Tax ID Number: 95-3374645

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An IRA Qualified Charitable Contribution (QCD) provides numerous benefits both to you and to FOTO. If you are 70 ½ years or older, you have the ability to contribute up to $100,000 annually to Friends Of The Observatory directly from your IRA. This amount is not included in your income. It also counts toward your Required Minimum Distributions.

To set up a QCD for Friends Of The Observatory, contact your IRA administrator about making a direct transfer or have the administrator send a check from your account to us. To be tax-free, the donation must go directly from your account to Friends Of The Observatory without passing through your hands.

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Naming Friends Of The Observatory as a beneficiary of your life insurance is a simple way to donate using a pre-existing insurance policy. You also have the option of making Friends Of The Observatory a contingent beneficiary so that we will receive the balance of your policy only if your primary beneficiary doesn't survive you.

Here's how to name Friends Of The Observatory as a beneficiary:

  1. Contact your insurance company for a change-of-beneficiary form.
  2. Decide what percentage (1 to 100) of your benefits you would like Friends Of The Observatory to receive and name us, along with the percentage you chose, on the beneficiary form.
  3. Return the completed form to your insurance company and notify Friends Of The Observatory of this designation.
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Naming Friends Of The Observatory as the beneficiary of your retirement account, such as an IRA or 401(k): Because retirement accounts are generally taxable to the recipient and since FOTO is a tax-exempt organization, the dollar value of the retirement accounts to Friends Of The Observatory is generally higher than the value of the same retirement asset left to an individual.

Here's how to name Friends Of The Observatory as a beneficiary:

  1. Contact your retirement plan administrator for a change-of-beneficiary form.
  2. Decide what percentage (1 to 100) of your benefits you would like Friends Of The Observatory to receive and name us, along with the percentage you chose, on the beneficiary form.
  3. Return the completed form to your retirement plan administrator and notify Friends Of The Observatory of this designation.
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Naming Friends Of The Observatory as beneficiary of a brokerage account (“Transfer on Death” or TOD) or beneficiary of a bank account (“Payable on Death” or POD) gives Friends Of The Observatory the funds remaining in the given account at the end of your life. If you choose to name Friends Of The Observatory as a beneficiary, please notify us at fotofriend@friendsoftheobservatory.org or (213) 473-0879.

Payable on Death: By placing a POD designation on your bank account or certificate of deposit, you can name Friends Of The Observatory as the beneficiary of all funds once you pass away. Friends Of The Observatory would have no rights to the funds until after your lifetime. Until that time, you remain in control and are free to use the money in the bank account, to change the beneficiary or to close the account.

By setting up your bank account or certificate of deposit in this way, the estate planning and administration process is simplified. The executor or administrator of your estate will not have to take any action to ensure that your account transfers to whomever you designated. Simply ask your bank representative about the steps you need to take in order to place a POD designation on your bank account or certificate of deposit.

Transfer on Death: By placing a TOD designation on your brokerage or investment account, that account will be paid to Friends Of The Observatory after your lifetime. It is not necessary for the TOD designation to transfer all of the account solely to charity—you can designate a certain percentage of the account. The beneficiary you name has no rights to the funds until after your lifetime. Until that time, you are free to use the money in the brokerage account, to change the beneficiary or to close the account.

A TOD designation also simplifies the estate planning and administration process. The executor or administrator of your estate will not have to take any action to ensure that your securities transfer to whomever you designated. To set up the TOD endorsement, simply contact your investment advisor and provide instructions regarding the change.

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