The Emily Diamond Planned Giving Society

Help us bring hope to future generations of families in need

Your support today makes it possible for us to reach out to potential Habitat homebuyers in our community who need hope and a helping hand. But when you give to Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West through your estate or long-term financial plans, you are forging your life legacy with our housing ministry and ensuring that later generations can secure decent, safe and affordable housing. Use the links below to learn more about estate planning, how you can include a gift to us as part of those plans and how you can benefit personally from your gift.

The Emily Diamond Planned Giving Society

Habitat for Humanity STW has taken great strides toward eliminating poverty housing since our inception in 1981. But future generations will continue to struggle against slum landlords and sub-standard housing and the work to rid our community of poverty housing will take more than a lifetime.

The Emily Diamond Planned Giving Society is comprised of supporters who make gift plans to benefit Habitat's housing ministry beyond their lifetime—moving us ever closer to the ultimate goal of every person in our community having a decent place to live. This society is named after our founder, Emily Diamond. Emily started Habitat for Humanity STW in 1981, making it the first affiliate in the state and the tenth in the nation. Her compassion for others brought people together to build homes with Habitat homebuyers in our community. Her legacy continues through our ongoing work and through our 2012 Ribbon Cutting ceremony of Emily Diamond Way located in the Groves at Mile Branch community in Covington.

The Emily Diamond Planned Giving Society gives recognition to those who share Emily’s and Habitat's vision for the future. To become a member, you must plan to give to Habitat for Humanity STW after your lifetime and notify Habitat of your plans. It is not necessary to reveal the financial details of your planning, but if you are comfortable doing so, this information may be helpful in our long-range financial planning.

We found out that our planned giving members typically do not want us to spend a lot of money on recognition items so that more can be spent to eliminate substandard housing. Still, we think it takes a special kind of person to make plans for the benefit of unknown people in the unknowable future, so we are happy to send a simple certificate of appreciation.

If you have questions about The Emily Diamond Planned Giving Society, please contact Jennifer Messina at jmessina@habitatstw.org or 985-893-3172 ext 232. Gift specifics and appropriate dollar amounts may vary. The information on this site is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or your tax professional.


Ways to Give Through Planned Giving:


Include Habitat for Humanity STW in your will

We hope you'll consider including a gift to Habitat for Humanity STW in your will or living trust. Called a charitable bequest, this type of gift offers these main benefits:
  • Simplicity. Just a few sentences in your will or trust are all that is needed. The official legal bequest language for Habitat for Humanity STW is: "I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."
  • Flexibility. Because you are not actually making a gift until after your lifetime, you can change your mind at any time.
  • Versatility. You can structure the bequest to leave a specific item or amount of money, make the gift contingent on certain events, or leave a percentage of your estate to us.
  • Tax Relief. If your estate is subject to estate tax, your gift is usually entitled to an estate tax charitable deduction.
How It Works
To make a charitable bequest, you need a current will or revocable living trust. Your gift can be made as a percentage of your estate. Or you can make a specific bequest by giving a certain amount of cash, securities or property. After your lifetime, Habitat for Humanity STW receives your gift.

Putting Your Family First
When planning a future gift, it's sometimes difficult to determine what size donation will make sense. Emergencies happen, and you need to make sure your family is financially taken care of first. Including a bequest of a percentage of your estate ensures that your gift will remain proportionate no matter how your estate's value fluctuates over the years.

Beneficiary Designations

Continue supporting our work even after your lifetime by naming us as beneficiary of your retirement plan, life insurance or insurance annuity assets. Many assets can pass to your intended beneficiaries by the terms of your will. Other assets, such as retirement plans, life insurance and insurance annuities, however, are not controlled by the terms of your will. These assets instead require separate beneficiary forms.

The beneficiaries of these assets can be easily modified at any time to meet your changing needs:
  • IRAs and retirement plans
    Most retirement plans, including 401(k)s and IRAs, are income tax–deferred, meaning that income tax is not paid until the funds are distributed to you in life, or upon your death. This taxation makes retirement assets among the most costly assets to distribute to loved ones.

  • Because they are subject to income taxes to your beneficiaries, retirement assets make ideal gifts to tax-exempt charitable organizations such as Habitat for Humanity STW. Otherwise, the income taxes on retirement assets you leave to your loved ones can be as high as 39.6 percent. This means that an IRA worth $100,000 could be worth only $60,400 by the time it reaches them. On the other hand, the naming of a charity as the beneficiary of retirement assets upon death generates no income taxes. The charity is tax-exempt and eligible to receive the full amount and bypass any income taxes. This means that in the above example, HFHI would receive the full $100,000 benefit.

    Changing Beneficiaries
    To name or change a beneficiary, simply contact the administrator of the IRA or retirement plan for a change of beneficiary form. If you would like to name Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West as a beneficiary, simply decide what percentage of the plan's value (0–100 percent) you would like us to receive and name us, along with the stated percentage, on the beneficiary form. Then return the form to the administrator of the plan.

    For More Information
    Consulting an estate planning attorney is a smart investment that can save you and your family money and heartache in the long run. Please seek legal advice before deciding who will get what in your estate plan.

  • Life insurance policies
    Life insurance is a popular method of providing much-needed funds to a beneficiary at your death. It is also a low-cost way to provide a large benefit for someone in need. Life insurance proceeds are almost always income tax–free to the beneficiary. The beneficiary designation in your life insurance policy determines where the proceeds will be distributed. The death proceeds, therefore, are not typically transferred through your will. Life insurance can be distributed to a charitable organization such as Habitat for Humanity STW, if we are named as a beneficiary of the policy at the time of your death.

  • Changing Beneficiaries
    Contact your insurance company for its change of beneficiary form for the life insurance policy. If you would like to name Habitat for Humanity STW as a beneficiary, simply decide what percentage of the policy's value (0–100 percent) you would like us to receive and name us, along with the stated percentage, on the beneficiary form. Then return the form to your insurance company.

    For More Information
    Please consult an estate planning attorney before deciding who will get what in your estate plan.

  • Deferred annuities
  • Deferred annuities, unlike life insurance, carry an income tax burden. Your named beneficiary is responsible for paying the income tax due on the growth of the annuity while you owned it. The tax burden makes these assets a popular choice to leave to a charitable organization like Habitat for Humanity STW because we, as the recipient, can eliminate the tax bill.

    Changing Beneficiaries
    Contact your insurance company for its change of beneficiary form for the insurance annuity. If you would like to name Habitat for Humanity STW as a beneficiary, simply decide what percentage of the annuity's value (0–100 percent) you would like us to receive and name us, along with the stated percentage, on the beneficiary form. Then return the form to your insurance company.

    For More Information
    Before deciding who will get what in your estate plan, you'll want to consult an estate planning attorney.

Charity Gift Annuity (CGA)

If you'd like to support our mission and receive steady payments during your retirement years, a charitable gift annuity may be right for you.
Habitat for Humanity STW has partnered with Habitat for Humanity International in managing any CGAs that may be set up on our behalf. For more information on how to set up your CGA, please contact Jennifer Messina by email or 985-893-3172 ext 232.

How It Works
Through a simple contract, you agree to make a donation of cash, stocks or other assets to Habitat for Humanity STW. In return, you receive (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life. In addition, you also receive these benefits:
  • Your initial gift is partially income tax–deductible.
  • Your charitable gift annuity payments are partially income tax–free throughout your estimated life expectancy.
  • Your payments are not affected by ups and downs in the economy.
  • The gift annuity can be for one or two people, so your spouse or another loved one can also receive payments for life.
  • If you use appreciated stock to make a gift, you can usually eliminate capital gains tax on a portion of the gift and spread the rest of the gain over your life expectancy.

Gift of Stocks

Stock that has increased in value is one of the most popular assets used for charitable giving, once it has been held for more than one year. Making a gift of securities to us offers you the chance to help our organization while realizing many important benefits for yourself.
A stock portfolio is often among the most valuable assets you own—and one that can carry substantial capital gain, or appreciation in value. With careful planning, you can reduce or even eliminate federal capital gains tax while supporting our work. Read on to see why donating stock can offer even more tax benefits than writing a check.

How It Works
As stock prices increase, so do the taxes you owe on the long-term capital gain. In 2013, the capital gains tax rate will depend on a taxpayer’s ordinary income tax rate. The capital gains tax will be waived for taxpayers below the 25 percent ordinary income tax rate. For those taxpayers who fall at or above the 25 percent income tax rate but below the 39.6 percent tax rate, the capital gains tax will be 15 percent. For those at the 39.6 percent ordinary income tax rate, the capital gains tax will be 20 percent. But when you donate publicly traded stock you've owned for more than one year to a qualified charitable organization such as HFHI, you enjoy two major tax benefits:
  • You will be exempt from paying capital gains taxes on any increase in value—taxes you would pay if you had otherwise sold the securities.
  • You are entitled to a federal income tax deduction based on the current fair market value of the securities, regardless of their original cost.
How to Complete Your Gift
Habitat for Humanity STW has partnered with Merrill Lynch to handle the coordination of the donation of stocks. Our contact person, at Merrill Lynch, is Maggie Arndt, 985-898-3940. She will assist you with the necessary paperwork to complete your donation of stock to Habitat for Humanity STW and then will inform us of your gift.