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Create a Lasting Legacy

Donations to our Annual Campaign, fundraising events, and special gifts and endowments provide essential support that allows the Library to maintain core areas of service. The Town of Darien, through our longstanding public-private partnership, provides for the Library’s staff salaries, part-time hours, and the maintenance of the building and grounds. All other expenses, including the purchase of books, audiobooks, DVDs, and digital collections; computers and other technology and technology training classes for the public; staff development to ensure that our librarians are poised to provide expert assistance; and our vast array of free public programs for all ages are all funded through the generous support of our Friends.

Planned giving can be an excellent way to support the Library and ensure that it maintains the financial stability to carry out its mission of education, entertainment, enrichment, and community-building through compassionate service to all for many years to come.

Below are examples of several ways that you can support the Library with a planned gift. Please note that the Library cannot offer financial or legal advice; we highly recommend speaking to an attorney or financial professional about your options.

Name the Library in Your Will or Living Trust

You can arrange a bequest in your will or living trust, ensuring that the Library provides our community of users with free and open access to the best books, audiobooks, DVDs, research databases, technology, and public programming.

There are different types of bequests:

Specific Bequest

A specific bequest is a gift of a particular dollar amount or property. For example: “I bequeath [dollar amount or description of personal property] to Darien Library.”

Residuary Bequest

A residuary bequest is a gift of all or part of the property remaining in your estate after debts, expenses, and specific bequests have been paid. You control what percentage of your estate is given to an individual or charity. This method automatically adjusts the size of your bequest according to the value of your estate. In the event of unexpected changes in the size of your estate value, you can have peace of mind that your intentions will be fulfilled without the estate running out of assets to distribute. For example: “I bequeath [___%] of the rest, residue, and remainder of my property, both real and personal, to Darien Library.”

Contingent Bequest

A contingent bequest is a gift that takes effect only if the primary beneficiary or beneficiaries of the bequest should predecease you. For example: “If neither my spouse nor any descendant of mine survives me, then I give, bequeath, and devise all the rest, residue, and remainder of [property or account] to Darien Library.”

Donor-Advised Funds and Legacy Giving

A donor-advised fund is a dedicated account for charitable giving that can be established under a name chosen by the donor, similar to a foundation. When you make an irrevocable gift to a donor advised fund, you are able to create a philanthropic legacy that offers grant-making flexibility, anonymity, and advantageous tax deductions. You can incorporate your donor-advised fund into estate planning by making a bequest in your will.

Information for the Attorney Drafting your Bequest

The full legal name of the Library is: Darien Library. The Library’s legal address is 1441 Post Road, Darien, CT 06820; the Library’s Federal Tax Identification Number is 06-0647010.

Make a Gift by Beneficiary Designation

Making a gift to the Library by beneficiary designation from any or all of the following types of TOD (“Transfer on Death”) accounts is a simple and tax-efficient way to fund your legacy and avoid the time and expenses that result from having the assets subject to the probate process.

TOD Gifts may take the following forms:

Retirement Plans

Many people do not know that when retirement plans such as pension funds, 401ks, 403bs, and IRAs are left to an individual other than a spouse, they can be subject to income taxes and estate taxes. The two taxes combined could erode up to 80% of the remaining benefits.

If given to the Library, these funds would escape all income and estate taxes and reduce the size of your total taxable estate. The Library would receive 100% of the remaining benefit in your retirement plan, whereas your heirs may receive only a portion of the benefit.

Life Insurance

If you own a life insurance policy that is no longer needed for the protection of your family or for other purposes, you may use it to make a gift to the Library. One way to give a life insurance policy to the Library is to name the Library as the owner and irrevocable beneficiary of the policy. In doing so, you qualify for an income tax deduction for the cash value of the policy. Alternatively, you could name the Library as the beneficiary of the policy. In this case, your estate would be entitled to an estate tax deduction equal to the value of the policy.

Financial Accounts

Many people’s primary assets are held in savings, checking, and brokerage accounts. Designation of these assets incurs no cost to you and allows whatever balance (or portion thereof) remaining to pass to the Library at your death.

Completing the Designation

To name the Library as beneficiary of any of the abovementioned gift types, contact a representative of the institution that manages your account or policy, and request a “change of beneficiary form.”

Unrestricted vs. Restricted Donations

An unrestricted donation

These funds that may be used by the Library where they are needed most. These donations support core Library services and collections, such as the purchase of books, audiobooks, digital materials, technology, staff development, and public programming.

Restricted donations

Thse fall into one of two categories: temporary or permanent. The type of restriction is specified in the “gift instrument,” a document stipulating how the donated funds may be used.

  • Time-restricted donations
    The funds must be used for a particular purpose or they must support a specific program or campaign for a limited amount of time. For example, “I bequeath [dollar amount] to the Darien Library to be used for children’s programming over the next [number of months or years] or until the fund is exhausted.”

  • Permanently restricted donations
    These funds never expire. The donor stipulates that the gift must be kept in perpetuity (forever), but the earnings may be used by the Library. Typically, this means that the gift is invested in the Library’s endowment fund. The interest earned on said funds are what the Library may spend each year or according to the endowment policies and/or stipulations of the gift instrument.



For more information on planned giving at Darien Library, please contact the Library’s Director, Kiera Parrott, at kparrott@darienlibrary.org or 203-669-5224.

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