TOD Account, Understanding Your Planned Giving Options

TOD Account, Understanding Your Planned Giving Options

Published November 2, 2020 | Many people considering leaving a legacy to the PKD Foundation first think about including us in their will, for which we’re very grateful. Did you know that’s not your only option when it comes to planned giving and the PKD Foundation? Another option is to make the Foundation a beneficiary of transfer on death (TOD) accounts, such as donor-advised funds, individual retirement accounts, and life policies.

It’s an easy process to pass these accounts along to the Foundation. No attorneys, witnesses, or notaries are needed. You simply ask your account holder for a beneficiary designation form (some are available online), indicate your designations, sign, and return it to the account holder.


Planned giving: the benefits of a TOD Account

In addition to simplicity, there are even more benefits to making the Foundation a beneficiary of your TOD account:

  • You might update your will many times as your life changes, but you don’t have to worry about these updates affecting the account.
  • As with wills, the beneficiaries of TOD accounts have no right or access to your TOD account while you’re alive. In addition, beneficiaries may be changed at any time.
  • Donating a TOD account to the Foundation excludes it from inheritance and capital gains tax.
  • TOD accounts don’t become part of lengthy probate, making transfer upon death easy. Only a death certificate is required. This is particularly important if you don’t have a will.
  • Account holders can name multiple beneficiaries and split up assets as they wish.


Check your state’s laws

It’s important to remember that laws governing estate planning accounts vary by state. You may be able to designate other types of TOD accounts, including bank accounts, investment accounts, and even deeds (currently only 26 states and the District of Columbia allow TOD deeds).


We’re here to help with your planned giving questions

As you review your charitable donations for 2020 over the next couple of months, think about making the Foundation a beneficiary of one of your TOD accounts. If you have any questions about planned giving and the PKD Foundation, are ready to move forward, or need additional information, we’re here to help. Please contact Chad Iseman, chief advancement officer, at or visit

Want to see more articles like this? Read the full issue of our magazine, PKD Life, and subscribe to future issues here.



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