On January 1st, 2009 a new law went into effect aimed at protecting animals after the deaths of their owners. Senate Bill 685, initiated by the SF SPCA and authored by Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Marco), is expected to reduce the burden on animal shelters, conserve public services and funds, protect defenseless pets, and guarantee that people's wills are carried out as intended. This is a great step forward in protecting pets throughout California. This law provides the legal basis to make certain that the careful planning of pet owners is carried out and that pets continue to be cared for and safeguarded even after the passing of their owners.
"Pets are an important part of the American family," said Yee. "This law makes pet trusts enforceable and assures that the wishes of the pet owners are respected."
Pet trusts in California had previously only been honorary, not enforceable by law. This new law makes pet trust law consistent with other trust law by requiring trustees to carry out trust instructions regarding pets, and by incorporating oversight to guarantee performance.
"Wills and trusts are the means for people to bestow their possessions and savings as they see fit," Yee added. "Under this new law, a pet owner will be assured that their pet will be properly cared for after their passing while also ensuring that kin are not burdened with undue pressure."
If you would like a copy of the San Francisco SPCA's sample Pet Trust, please contact Jessica Sananes, Legacy Giving Manager, at (415) 554-3027 or JSananes@sfspca.org.
A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the San Francisco SPCA 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 give to the San Francisco SPCA, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 201 Alabama Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, or its successor thereto, ______________ [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."
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 the SF SPCA 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 the SF SPCA 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 the SF SPCA 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 the SF SPCA where you agree to make a gift to the SF SPCA 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.