Bequests and Estate Planning


Name the Garden in Your Will

Donors who have made bequests to the Garden provide critical and lasting support for Brooklyn’s very own horticultural treasure.

A bequest, one of the simplest ways to provide for the Garden’s future, can take different forms and be easily modified to address your changing needs.

Bequests can be unrestricted, allowing BBG’s trustees to apply the gift where the need is greatest. They may also be earmarked for special purposes. If you are considering restricting your gift, however, we would appreciate the opportunity to discuss your ideas, and the language you plan to use, before you finalize the gift.

You may wish to leave the Garden a Simple Bequest, which lists the Garden as recipient of a specific dollar amount; a Residual Bequest, which leaves BBG a percentage of the remainder of your estate after other obligations are met; or a Contingent Bequest, which takes effect only if your heirs predecease you.

You can also add a codicil (an addition that modifies or revokes part of an existing will).

Sample Language for a Simple Bequest:

“I give, devise, and bequeath to Brooklyn Botanic Garden Corporation, located at 1000 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11225, (the sum of $_______) or (____% of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, real and personal) for its general charitable purposes.”

Sample Language for a Residuary Bequest:

“I give, devise bequeath, [all, or ___percent of] the rest, residue, and remainder of the property, both real and personal, wherever situated, which I may own or be entitled to at my death, to Brooklyn Botanic Garden Corporation for its general charitable purposes.”

Sample Language for a Contingent Bequest:

If (insert name) is not living at the time of my demise, I give, devise, and bequeath to Brooklyn Botanic Garden Corporation, the sum of $ _______ (or all or a percentage of the residue of my estate) to be used for its general charitable purposes.”

The full legal name and address of the Garden is as follows:

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Corporation
1000 Washington Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11225

BBG’s Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN) is 11-2417338.

Join the Forsythia Society

Join the Forsythia SocietyThe Forsythia Society was established to honor BBG’s loyal supporters who have made a planned gift or included a bequest to BBG in their wills. In 1940, at the urging of BBG benefactor Mrs. Edward C. Blum, forsythia was proclaimed the flower of Brooklyn and imbued with the message of brotherhood, unity, and understanding. It is a perennial shrub whose golden color announces the arrival of spring each year. Forsythia Society members enjoy benefits that include recognition at an annual Forsythia Society event and invitations to special BBG programs.

If you have made a bequest to Brooklyn Botanic Garden or included BBG in your estate plans in other ways, please let us know so that you can be recognized as a member of the Forsythia Society and we can keep you apprised of upcoming Forsythia Society activities.

For more information about any of these planned gift options or the Forsythia Society, please call 718-623-7246 or email rosullivan@bbg.org.



Charitable Gift Annuities Offer Fixed Payments for Life

“The Charitable Gift Annuity we established through BBG, very simply, made economic sense. The annuity guarantees lifetime payments that are larger than those our bank can offer, as well as a significant charitable deduction. And best of all, the gift will ultimately go to BBG!”
–Bernard and Sondra Kleinman

If you would like to benefit the Garden but would welcome extra income during your lifetime, a charitable gift annuity (CGA) might be perfect for you.

A CGA is an agreement between you and Brooklyn Botanic Garden in which you irrevocably transfer assets to the Garden and receive fixed payments for life in return. This giving process takes place in three simple steps:

  1. Based on the size of your gift and your age, BBG will provide you with a personalized summary report that outlines your tax benefits and payment amounts.
  2. Your minimum gift of $10,000 is made to BBG in cash, stocks, bonds, or other assets.
  3. Gift annuity payments are made to you for the remainder of your life (or the life of another annuitant such as a spouse or family member). The recipient of the payments must be at least 60 years old when the payments begin. Payments to you can be made quarterly, semiannually, or annually. A portion of each payment to you is tax-free.

Call 718-623-7246 or email rosullivan@bbg.org to obtain a quick summary that matches your philanthropic goals and priorities.

Join the Forsythia Society

Join the Forsythia SocietyThe Forsythia Society was established to honor BBG’s loyal supporters who have made a planned gift or included a bequest to BBG in their wills. In 1940, at the urging of BBG benefactor Mrs. Edward C. Blum, forsythia was proclaimed the flower of Brooklyn and imbued with the message of brotherhood, unity, and understanding. It is a perennial shrub whose golden color announces the arrival of spring each year. Forsythia Society members enjoy benefits that include recognition at an annual Forsythia Society event and invitations to special BBG programs.

If you have made a bequest to Brooklyn Botanic Garden or included BBG in your estate plans in other ways, please let us know so that you can be recognized as a member of the Forsythia Society and we can keep you apprised of upcoming Forsythia Society activities.

For more information about any of these planned gift options or the Forsythia Society, please call 718-623-7246 or email rosullivan@bbg.org.



Charitable Trusts Offer Financial Benefits and Tax Advantages

Charitable Trusts allow you to protect your assets while providing support to both BBG and your heirs.

A Charitable Remainder Trust provides lifetime income to you and/or loved ones and significant tax advantages. You may choose a fixed rate of income (Annuity Trust) or a variable rate of income (Unitrust). Here’s how it works:

  • You contribute securities or other assets to a charitable remainder trust.
  • The trust makes annual payments to your heirs for a period of time.
  • When the trust terminates, the remaining principal is paid to Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

In contrast, the Charitable Lead Trust allows you to transfer assets to your heirs while benefitting the Garden now.

  • You contribute securities or other assets to a charitable lead trust.
  • The trust makes annual payments to Brooklyn Botanic Garden for a period of time.
  • When the trust terminates, the remaining principal is paid to your heirs.

Some benefits of this type of gift include the following:

  • Income payments to BBG for a term reduce the ultimate tax cost of transferring an asset to your heirs.
  • The amount and term of the payments to BBG can be set so as to reduce or even eliminate transfer taxes due when the principal reverts to your heirs.
  • All appreciation that takes place in the trust goes tax-free to the individuals named in your trust.

Join the Forsythia Society

Join the Forsythia SocietyThe Forsythia Society was established to honor BBG’s loyal supporters who have made a planned gift or included a bequest to BBG in their wills. In 1940, at the urging of BBG benefactor Mrs. Edward C. Blum, forsythia was proclaimed the flower of Brooklyn and imbued with the message of brotherhood, unity, and understanding. It is a perennial shrub whose golden color announces the arrival of spring each year. Forsythia Society members enjoy benefits that include recognition at an annual Forsythia Society event and invitations to special BBG programs.

If you have made a bequest to Brooklyn Botanic Garden or included BBG in your estate plans in other ways, please let us know so that you can be recognized as a member of the Forsythia Society and we can keep you apprised of upcoming Forsythia Society activities.

For more information about any of these planned gift options or the Forsythia Society, please call 718-623-7246 or email rosullivan@bbg.org.



Designate the Garden as a Beneficiary of Retirement Funds, Life Insurance, and Other Assets

Retirement Assets

Retirement plans such as pension funds, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, IRAs and other assets can be subject to harsh income taxes and estate taxes when left to an individual other than a spouse. If those assets are given to BBG, they escape all income and estate taxes, thus reducing the size of your taxable estate.

If the plan is left to heirs, they may receive only a portion of the benefit, whereas if it is left to BBG, the Garden receives 100 percent of the remaining benefit in your retirement plan. Naming BBG as a retirement plan beneficiary is as simple as contacting your plan administrator and alerting them that all or a portion of the plan should be designated to Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

To name BBG as a beneficiary of your retirement plan, insurance, or other account, please note that the Garden’s full legal name and address are as follows:

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Corporation
1000 Washington Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11225

BBG’s Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN) is 11-2417338.

Life Insurance

A gift of life insurance allows you to make a much larger contribution to Brooklyn Botanic Garden than you might otherwise be able to afford. Although the cost to you is relatively small, the amount ultimately given to the Garden can be quite substantial. Since life insurance proceeds paid to the Garden are not subject to income and estate taxes, probate costs, and other expenses, BBG will receive 100 percent of the intended gift amount.

Join the Forsythia Society

Join the Forsythia SocietyThe Forsythia Society was established to honor BBG’s loyal supporters who have made a planned gift or included a bequest to BBG in their wills. In 1940, at the urging of BBG benefactor Mrs. Edward C. Blum, forsythia was proclaimed the flower of Brooklyn and imbued with the message of brotherhood, unity, and understanding. It is a perennial shrub whose golden color announces the arrival of spring each year. Forsythia Society members enjoy benefits that include recognition at an annual Forsythia Society event and invitations to special BBG programs.

If you have made a bequest to Brooklyn Botanic Garden or included BBG in your estate plans in other ways, please let us know so that you can be recognized as a member of the Forsythia Society and we can keep you apprised of upcoming Forsythia Society activities.

For more information about any of these planned gift options or the Forsythia Society, please call 718-623-7246 or email rosullivan@bbg.org.



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