With a planned gift, you can achieve personal financial and charitable planning goals while making a significant contribution to The Farnsworth Art Museum. Discover a range of planned gifts that can have a lasting benefit to the Farnsworth. For more information, please contact Ann Holton at 207.596.6457 x 145 or by email.

Lucy Farnsworth Circle

Through the generous bequest of Lucy Farnsworth in 1936, the Farnsworth Art Museum opened its doors in 1948 with a collection that championed art of Maine and American artists. In 1996, a bequest of sixty-six important Maine- related works from the estate of Elizabeth B. Noyce greatly strengthened the museum’s holdings. This historic museum and its unique permanent collection have, over the years, been further enhanced by other bequests, large and small. By making your own gift to the Farnsworth through a bequest, charitable annuity, trust arrangement or other estate plan, you will join the Lucy Farnsworth Circle and ensure a lasting contribution to the Farnsworth.

Bequest

A bequest made through one’s will is often the simplest way to make a legacy gift to the Farnsworth. You may write a new will or simply add a codicil to your existing will. Bequests may come in any form ─ cash, securities, and other personal property, including real estate and works of art. Your charitable bequest is 100 percent deductible for estate tax purposes. There are a number of ways to structure your bequest so that your gift benefits you and the Farnsworth:

Outright bequest:

A gift by will of a specific sum of money or property, including works of art. Sample language you may choose to use: “I give and bequeath to the Farnsworth Art Museum, a Maine non-profit corporation, 16 Museum Street, Rockland, Maine, the sum of $ ___________ (or specific described property such as a painting) to be used for the general purposes of the museum (or to be used for a specific purpose such as endowment, education, purchase of art, etc.).”

Residuary bequest:

Provides the Farnsworth with a percentage or all of the remainder of a donor’s estate after specific bequests, debts, taxes, and estate expenses have been paid. Sample language you may choose to use: “I give and bequeath to the Farnsworth Art Museum, a Maine non-profit corporation, 16 Museum Street, Rockland, Maine, all (or stated percentage of) the residue and remainder of my estate to be used for the general purposes of the museum (or to be used for a specific purpose such as endowment, education, purchase of art, etc.).”

Contingent bequest:

A gift that benefits the Farnsworth only if other named beneficiaries predecease the person making the will. Sample language you may choose to use: “If any beneficiary named in this will is not living at my decease, then I give, devise and bequeath to the Farnsworth Art Museum, a Maine non-profit corporation, 16 Museum Street, Rockland Maine, any bequest which said beneficiary would have received if he or she had survived me.”

Charitable Gift Annuities

A charitable gift annuity is a simple contract between you and the Farnsworth. In exchange for your irrevocable gift, the museum agrees to pay you (and/or another beneficiary named by you) a fixed sum each year for life. Annuity rates are fixed and are determined based on the age of the annuitant(s). At the end of the annuity term, the gift balance is turned over to the museum. In addition to a secure, lifetime income stream (some of which may be tax-free), you also qualify for an immediate income tax charitable deduction, avoid capital gains tax on the gift transfer, and reduce your taxable estate ─ all while making a gift to the Farnsworth.

Charitable Remainder Trust

When you establish a charitable remainder trust, you make an irrevocable gift which is placed in the trust. You determine the payout rate and structure and direct who oversees your trust, as well as how your trust is managed. Income from the trust is paid to one or more beneficiaries designated by you for a period of years. At the end of the trust term, the trust principal is turned over to the Farnsworth to be used as you set forth in the trust document. When you fund a trust gift, you not only receive an income stream for the life of the trust, but you also qualify for an immediate income tax charitable deduction, avoid any capital gains tax on the transfer, and reduce your taxable estate.

Charitable Lead Trusts

With a lead trust, you donate assets to a trust that makes payments to the Farnsworth for the term of the trust. When the trust terminates, the assets are transferred back to you or directly to your heirs, as pre-designated by you. If the trust assets revert to you at the end of the trust term, your gift entitles you to an immediate income tax charitable deduction. If the trust assets are transferred to someone other than you at the end of the trust term, you enjoy a substantial reduction in estate and gift taxes on the future transfer to your heirs.

Retirement & Pension Plans

When you name children or other non-charitable heirs (other than your spouse) as beneficiaries of your retirement plans, they receive only a small fraction of the plan’s face value, since inherited assets of retirement plans are subject to both estate taxes and income taxes. Many of these taxes can be avoided or reduced through a carefully planned charitable gift. As a tax-exempt organization, the museum will generally receive the full amount of the plan’s value. There are several ways to make a charitable gift using retirement plan assets:
  • A donor can specify this his or her retirement funds pass directly to the Farnsworth as the primary beneficiary
  • Retirement assets can be transferred to a deferred giving arrangement (e.g., trust) that will pay an income for life to family members or other persons of the donor’s choosing, after which the remaining assets pass to the Farnsworth
  • Under the Pension Protection Act of 2006, an individual 70½ or older is able to transfer up to $100,000 directly to the Farnsworth from his or her IRA. Transfers under this provision count towards the donor’s minimum required annual distribution and are not subject to income tax.
These types of gifts can only be accomplished by designating the Farnsworth Art Museum, using the beneficiary designation form available from the plan administrator.

Life Insurance Plan

You may name the Farnsworth as a beneficiary of all or part of a new or existing life insurance policy. Depending on the type of policy donated, you may receive an immediate income tax deduction and be able to deduct any future premium payments on the policy.