Legacy & Endowment

Write Your Legacy

Family Tree Legacy Circle

Whether your estate is large, modest or somewhere in-between, you can help ensure that JFS will not only meet the needs of our “family” today but will also be here tomorrow to assist our children and our children’s children.

Legacy giving (sometimes called planned giving) strengthens the community that JFS serves and, in many instances, also provides you with tax advantages. It ensures that you will be remembered both by those who directly benefit from your generosity to JFS as well as those who will be inspired by your example as a member of our Family Tree Legacy Circle.

The Family Tree Legacy Circle recognizes supporters who have made a monetary gift to the JFS Endowment in their lifetime, have informed us of their intent to leave a bequest to JFS or those of blessed memory who have already left such a gift. FTLC supporters make a lasting statement of their values and provide funds to continue their commitment to JFS and the community.

If you have included JFS in your estate plans, please let us know. We would be honored to thank you and include you in the Family Tree Legacy Circle.


The most common form of legacy giving is a gift described in your will, commonly called a bequest. A bequest affords you flexibility and control over the legacy you leave. For some donors, it also means a portion of your assets will go directly to a cause you value rather than to the government in the form of taxes. If you already have a will, you may be able to make your gift by preparing, with the help of your attorney, a codicil (a brief written amendment) to your will.

Endowment Giving

The JFS Endowment is “permanently restricted” with the interest and earning from the fund providing a revenue source to help defray annual operating expenses. Once a donor completes a gift to the JFS Endowment, the interest and earnings are then available to provide financial support for JFS, and will continue to do so through the years. Donors can make a gift to the JFS Endowment during their lifetime OR at death through a bequest or beneficiary designation in an insurance policy or retirement instrument that specifically directs the gift to the JFS Endowment.

Life Insurance

Many donors overlook life insurance as a source for charitable giving yet it can be utilized to increase the impact of your philanthropy. This is done by transferring ownership of a life insurance policy to JFS or simply changing the policy’s beneficiary designation to JFS for some or all of the policy proceeds. This type of gift is particularly popular with donors who have policies that are no longer needed to provide for their families. It is also an attractive way to give if you want to provide significant support for JFS but are unable to provide such support to JFS during your lifetime.

Retirement Plans

Another method of legacy giving is a contribution of funds in a retirement plan such as an IRA or 401(k). This is simple to arrange. Your retirement plan administrator can provide a brief beneficiary form for you to complete; you can designate JFS as the beneficiary of all or a stated percentage of your unused plan assets. Because retirement plan benefits left to your loved ones are subject to income tax, naming an organization like JFS as your beneficiary typically offers the greatest income tax savings (and perhaps estate tax savings).

You should always involve your attorney and/or other advisors in your estate planning.

The Internal Revenue Service recognizes Jewish Family Service of Seattle (JFS) as a Section 501(c)(3) public charity. Gifts to JFS are tax deductible in the U.S.A. Our Federal Tax ID # is 91-0565537.