Beneficiary Designation Gifts
A beneficiary designation gift is a simple and affordable way to make a gift to support the Houston Zoo. You can designate us as a beneficiary of a retirement, investment or bank account or your life insurance policy.
Benefits of a beneficiary designation gift
- Support the causes that you care about
- Continue to use your account as long as you need to
- Simplify your planning and avoid expensive legal fees
- Reduce the burden of taxes on your family
- Receive an estate tax charitable deduction
How a beneficiary designation gift works
- To make your gift, contact the person who helps you with your account or insurance policy, such as your broker, banker or insurance agent.
- Ask them to send you a new beneficiary designation form.
- Complete the form, sign it and mail it back to your broker, banker or agent.
- When you pass away, your account or insurance policy will be paid or transferred to the Houston Zoo, consistent with the beneficiary designation.
Important considerations for your future
If you are interested in making a gift but are also concerned about your future needs, keep in mind that beneficiary designation gifts are among the most flexible of all charitable gifts. Even after you complete the beneficiary designation form, you can take distributions or withdrawals from your retirement, investment or bank account and continue to freely use your account. You can also change your mind at any time in the future for any reason, including if you have a loved one who needs your financial help.
If you have any questions about leaving a beneficiary designation gift to us, please contact us. We would be happy to assist you.
If you have already designated us as a beneficiary of an asset or as part of your estate plan, please let us know. We would like to recognize you and your family for your gift.
FlexibilityMost beneficiary designation forms are very flexible. You can name the Houston Zoo as a "full" or "partial" beneficiary of your account or life insurance policy. You can also name the Houston Zoo as a "primary" or "contingent" beneficiary.
Family ConsiderationsBeneficiary designation gifts allow you to provide for family and support the causes that matter most to you. With a designation form you could, for example, name your spouse as the "primary" beneficiary and each of your children and the Houston Zoo as "partial contingent" beneficiaries. With this arrangement, if your spouse survives you, he or she would receive the account. If not, the account or policy would be paid out to your children and the Houston Zoo in whatever shares (or percentages) that you chose on the designation form.
TerminologyBeneficiary designation gifts are simple and straightforward. Common terminology includes "beneficiary designation" but also includes "payable on death" or "transfer on death." The term "beneficiary designation" is most commonly used when naming beneficiaries of retirement plans or life insurance policies. The term payable on death (or "POD") typically involves the designation of a beneficiary of a checking account, savings account or certificates of deposit, and transfer on death (or "TOD") often involves the designation of a beneficiary of stocks, bonds or mutual funds.