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Glossary

A - D | E- F | G - P | R - T

Actuarial
As used in Gift Planning, refers to the factors used to calculate the value of lifetime payments to individuals or organizations.

Appreciated Property
Securities, real estate, or any other property that has risen in value since the benefactor acquired it. Generally, appreciated property held by the donor for a year or more may be donated at full fair market value with no capital gains cost.

Annuity
A contractual arrangement to pay a fixed sum of money to an individual at regular intervals. The charitable gift annuity is a gift to ADLF that secures fixed lifetime payments to the benefactor and/or another individual.

Annuitant
One who receives annual fixed payments from an annuity.

Adjusted Gross Income ("AGI")
The sum of an individual’s taxable income for the year is the total at the bottom of the first page of Form 1040. Individuals may deduct outright charitable cash contributions up to 50% of AGI; they may deduct outright gifts of appreciated securities and appreciated property up to 30% of AGI. Any excess deduction may be carried over for up to five years following the year of the gift.

Attorney-in-Fact
An individual who is legally authorized to act on behalf of another by virtue of a power of attorney.

Appraisal
An assessment of the value of a piece of property. Benefactors contributing real or tangible personal property (art, books, collectibles, etc.) must secure an independent appraisal of the property to substantiate the value they claim as a charitable deduction.

Appreciated Securities
Stocks and/or bonds that have increased in value since they were acquired.

Bargain Sale
When an individual sells property to a charity for less than its market value. Tax law considers this part sale and part charitable gift with tax benefits and capital gain apportioned to each part.

Basis
The benefactor’s purchase price for an asset, possibly adjusted to reflect subsequent costs or depreciation. If Mrs. Jones bought stock for $100 per share and sold it for $175, her cost basis in the stock is $100 per share.

Beneficiary
The recipient of a bequest from a will or a distribution from a trust.

Bequest
A transfer of property or cash to an individual or organization through a will. A "bequest" may also refer to a distribution from a living trust or retirement plan.

Capital Gains Tax
A federal tax on the appreciation in an asset when it is sold.

Charitable Gift Annuity
Also "CGA." A planned gift that allows you to make a contribution of cash or assets to an organization which distributes a fixed income to you for life. The greater your age, the greater your annuity return. This gift offers you an immediate tax deduction and partially tax-free annuity payments.

Charitable Remainder Trust
Also "CRT". Transferring cash or an asset to an organization and in return receive annual payments for life or for a specified number of years. This tax-exempt trust provides income directly to you or those who you designate. When the term of the trust is over or the trust is terminated, the trust's remainder is distributed to the designated organization.

Codicil
A simple amendment to a will which avoids the cost and complication of re-writing the entire will. The codicil must be signed and witnessed or notarized as is the original will.

Cost Basis
See Basis, above.

Durable General Power of Attorney
Legally appointing an individual as your "Attorney-in-Fact" for financial matters. This allows that person to take charge of your financial affairs in the event of incompetency or disability.

Endowment Fund
The permanently held capital of a non-profit, income and/or principal from which is used to support ongoing projects and meet institutional needs.

Estate Tax
A federal tax on the value of the property held by an individual at his or her death (typically paid by individual's estate).

Executor
The person named in a will to administer the estate (known in some states as the "personal representative").

Fair Market Value
The price that an asset would bring if sold on the open market.

Gift Planning
Also "Planned Giving." The process of charitable giving in light of financial, estate and/or tax planning. Such gifts often require the assistance of an attorney, financial professional or Gift Planning officer.

Gift Tax
A tax imposed on someone who gives money or property to another person without compensation.

Grantor
The individual transferring property into a trust.

Health Care Power of Attorney
Legally appointing an individual as your "Attorney-in-Fact" for health care decisions. This allows that person to make decisions about your medical treatment in the event you are unable to do so.

Income Interest
In a trust, the right to receive payments from the trust for lifetime or a term of years.

Income in Respect of a Decedent (IRD)
Taxable income earned by a decedent that was not yet received before death. The most common IRD assets are IRAs and qualified retirement plans. Income tax will be assessed on those assets after the decedent's death and in the hands of beneficiaries.

Intestacy
When a person dies without a valid will, state laws will determine how the individual's probate estate will be divided by any heirs. If there are no heirs, then the state absorbs any remaining probate assets.

Irrevocable gift
A gift that cannot be annulled, undone, or changed.

Joint Ownership
The ownership of property by two or more persons, usually with rights of survivorship. The property passes by operation of law to the surviving joint owner. The descendant’s will does not affect the property.

K-1 (also 1099-R)
The IRS forms that are sent to life-income gift participants detailing how payments they received from their gifts during the year will be taxed.

Life Income Gift
A planned gift that makes payments to the benefactor and/or other beneficiaries for life or a term of years, then distributes the remainder to charity, such as a charitable gift annuity or charitable remainder trust.

Life Insurance
Guarantees a specific sum of money to a designated beneficiary upon the death of the insured or to the insured if he or she lives beyond a certain age.

Living Trust
Also "Revocable Living Trust." A trust that is created by a living individual (grantor) that is used to manage assets for the benefit of the grantor and/or other persons. At the grantor's death the assets in the trust are passed to named beneficiaries, or the trust can continue to operate providing benefits to beneficiaries for their lives or for a predetermined period of time.

Living Will
A legal document which allows you to indicate whether or not you would like your life to be "artificially prolonged" in the event you are in a terminal or persistent vegetative state. Living wills are often used in conjunction with a health care power of attorney, which appoints someone to make health care decisions on your behalf.

Mutual fund
An investment company that invests the money of its shareholders in a diverse group of securities of other corporations.

Personal Property
Securities, artwork, business interests and items of tangible property. Personal property is any property other than "real property," which refers to land and the structures built on it.

Personal Representative
See Executor, above.

Planned Giving
Also "Gift Planning." The process of charitable giving in light of financial, estate and/or tax planning. Such gifts often require the assistance of an attorney, financial professional or Planned Giving officer.

Pooled Income Fund
Also "PIF." Works like a mutual fund by pooling and investing donations and providing the beneficiary with payments for life. And if you donate appreciated assets, you pay no capital gains tax.

Power of Attorney
Legally appointing an individual as your "Attorney-in-Fact" for financial matters. This allows that person to take charge of your financial affairs in the event of incompetency or disability.

Present Value
The value, in today’s dollars, of assets to be received at some future time.

Principal
The initial sum invested or borrowed, or the remainder of that sum after payments have been made.

Probate
The court that determines the validity of a will and provides judicial oversight over the distribution of the estate. If there is no valid will then the Probate Court will appoint an administrator of the estate to facilitate the estate's distribution in accordance with state intestacy law.

Qualified Appraisal
A written appraisal conducted by a knowledgeable professional to determine the fair market value of property (other than marketable securities) donated to a charity. If the donor wishes to use the value of the donated property for a charitable income tax deduction, the appraisal must be obtained by the donor and attached to his/her tax return if the property has a value of $5,000 or more.

Real Property Immovable property; land, together with all the property on it that cannot be moved, together with any attached rights; often referred to as "real estate."

Remainder Interest
In a trust, the portion of the principal left after the income interest has been paid to the beneficiary(ies). A charitable remainder trust pays income to the benefactor or other individuals and then passes its remainder to charity. In a gift of a remainder interest in real estate, the entire property once the life estate holder has died.

Related-Use Rule
A donor can only receive a charitable income tax deduction for the full fair market value of donated tangible personal property if the property can be used by the charity in a way that is related to its tax-exempt purpose. Otherwise the deduction is limited to the donor's cost basis.

Remainderman
A legal term for the individual or organization who receives the trust principal after the income interest has been satisfied.

Rights of Survivorship
A type of titling arrangement whereby assets would automatically transfer from one person to another upon the death of the first person. See joint ownership above.

Retained Life Estate
The right to use property for life (usually a residence or a farm) after contributing the remainder interest to a charitable institution

Retirement Accounts
Qualified plans like IRAs and 401(K) accounts that permit individuals to accumulate savings tax-free for retirement.

Revocable Living Trust
Also "Living Trust." A trust that is created by a living individual (grantor) that is used to manage assets for the benefit of the grantor and/or other persons. At the grantor's death the assets in the trust are passed to named beneficiaries, or the trust can continue to operate providing benefits to beneficiaries for their lives or for a predetermined period of time.

Stepped-Up Basis
When an individual inherits property from a decedent, the property's cost basis is stepped-up to its current fair market value on the date of death. As a result, the beneficiary receiving the property would avoid any capital gains tax if he/she were to immediately sell the property.

Tangible Personal Property
Includes movable objects (e.g. china, books, cars, clothes, art, etc.) but does not include land, buildings, or other forms of real estate (real property - see above), or stocks, bonds, copyrights, cash or other "intangible" personal property.

Testamentary Trust
A trust that is created and goes into effect only when an individual dies. Such a trust is usually set up under the terms of a will.

Testator
The individual making the will.

Trust
An entity created when a grantor transfers property to the care of an individual or organizational trustee for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries.

Trust Property
Property held in trust by one person (trustee) for the benefit of another (beneficiary).

Trustee
An individual or organization carrying out the wishes of the person who established the trust (the "grantor").


Variable Income
Payments received on a regular basis that are subject to change, not fixed.

Will
Also, "Bequest." A transfer of property or cash to an individual or organization after your lifetime.



Compare Gift Plans Goals & Benefits Glossary Request Information

The professionals at our Department of National Planned Giving, Legacy and Endowments will be happy to discuss your interests, concerns and financial options, and work personally with you and/or your legal and financial advisors to create a plan that meets your needs and supports the Anti-Defamation League Foundation.

For more information, please contact:

Director of National Planned Giving, Legacy and Endowments
Anti-Defamation League Foundation (ADLF)
605 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10158
plannedgiving@adl.org
1-888-235-9710

This information is provided for educational purposes. The Anti-Defamation League Foundation and ADL are not financial, legal or tax advisors. Please contact your advisors regarding your financial, legal or tax needs.