Volume 27, Number 1, Fall 2008

Remember the LFS

By Michael Grossberg

With the end of the year approaching, it’s time to think about holiday giving—and remembering organizations near and dear to your heart.

With the price of gold near historic highs, making an extra contribution to the LFS can help to sustain the Prometheus Awards, which include a one-ounce gold coin annually to Best Novel winners and smaller gold coins in other Prometheus categories.

One good way to introduce younger freedom-loving sci-fi fans to libertarian activism is by giving a gift membership at the Basic or Full level to a friend or relative for the holidays. Such gifts can be made last-minute, too, by using PayPal at our website www.lfs.org

As a nonprofit-tax-exempt 501c3 organization, the Libertarian Futurist Society is eligible for tax-deduction donations in two ways:

1) Consider making a 2008 donation to the LFS, above and beyond any annual membership dues (also considered tax-deductible.). Checks must be dated and postmarked before the end of the year to be tax-deductible for 2008.

2) Add the LFS as a beneficiary to your will, or better yet, as one of the beneficiaries of your retirement funds (such as 401K or IRA accounts.)

People naturally want to leave most of their estate to loved ones, but including even a small percentage or token amount to the LFS can make a big difference—and help to ensure the organization’s survival long after you’re gone.

The simplest way to do this is to add a sentence or codicil to your will, the next time it’s updated, leaving $1,000, $5,000, $10,000 or more to the Libertarian Futurist Society. (Make sure you include the LFS’s mailing address and website, as well as the name, address and phone number of an LFS officer in a separate list of beneficiaries’ contact information, to make it easier for your executor to locate us.)

One smart wrinkle I learned recently from my accountant is a way to remember the LFS and other groups I care about while avoiding more taxes when I die. So here’s something else you can do: List the LFS and other tax-exempt nonprofit organizations you care about among the beneficiaries of your tax-protected retirement funds, instead of directly within your will and estate. The big advantage: While the income tax is postponed for 401K and traditional-IRA accounts and therefore must be paid when money from those accounts is distributed, that can be avoided to the extent such distributions bypass your will and estate and go directly to 501c3 tax-exempt groups like the LFS.

In some cases, company 401K accounts require that beneficiaries be listed by percentages rather than dollar amounts. A good way to handle that might be to leave most of the account to your estate, and divide the rest among nonprofit organizations. Even a few percent of a growing retirement account can mean a significant contribution, and you can always adjust the percentages periodically as your retirement accounts fluctuate (hopefully grow) in size.

Because estate planning can be complex, it’s wise to consult with your accountant and attorney. If you have any questions (including the LFS’ tax-ID number, which is required for identification purposes like Social Security numbers by many company 401K accounts), though, please contact Michael Grossberg .

[Editorial legal disclaimer—The statements contained herein are not intended to and do not constitute an opinion as to any tax or other matter. They are not intended or written to be used, and may not be relied upon, by you or any other person for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under any Federal tax law or otherwise.]

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