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Legacy Circle

The Legacy Circle is The Michael J. Fox Foundation's planned giving society, established to honor friends who have provided for the Foundation in their wills or through other planned gifts. The Legacy Circle was established through leadership support from Andrew S. Grove, co-founder of technology giant Intel and special advisor to MJFF.

Members of The Legacy Circle are listed in the Foundation's annual report and receive regular updates from MJFF on the PD therapeutics development efforts made possible by their support.

For details on becoming a Charter Member of The Legacy Circle - in strict confidence and with no obligation - please contact Sarah Barnes, or (800) 708-7644.


Estate Planning After the 2010 Tax Act Estate Planning after the 2010 Tax Act

This e-book, available at, explains the new 2010 tax laws that affect estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes so that consumers and professionals alike can begin to understand the recent changes that have just been enacted. Numerous examples and tips provide help and guidance in understanding this confusing legislation.

Funding the CureFunding the Cure
Charitable giving book written by renowned estate-planning attorney, Martin M. Shenkman, now available.
With the primary goal to guide others in making significant gifts to MJFF, Mr. Shenkman outlines in clear language your planned giving options to help defeat Parkinson's. As he explains, "The more options that you understand for giving, forFunding the Cure, the easier it will be to identify ways to help. Whatever your connection to PD, whatever your economic resources or situation, there are techniques that can make helping easier, accomplish more of your personal goals, help a loved one with PD, and more." Email Seanna Bruno, Major Gifts Officer, to receive your free copy ofFunding the Cure today*.

*Supplies are limited and will be available on a first-come first serve basis.


Planned giving can benefit you, your loved ones, and the fight against Parkinson's. That's because a thoughtful planned gift enables charitable donations at a level that you might not have thought possible, while maximizing tax benefits for you and your family.

A properly drafted will or other planned giving devices can minimize estate settlement costs and taxes, ensure that your property is managed the way you want, and provide for your spouse, children and grandchildren. But you may be surprised to learn that your will can also be a flexible way to help keep the critical work of The Michael J. Fox Foundation moving forward after your family's needs have been met.


Life Income Plans
Life income plans are a sophisticated and flexible way to make a gift to The Michael J. Fox Foundation over a period of years while providing income for you or your beneficiary. Naming The Michael J. Fox Foundation as the recipient of such a gift can help you qualify for an immediate charitable tax deduction, reduce your estate tax, avoid or reduce capital gains tax, and give you the satisfaction of contributing to the fight against Parkinson's. Some of the most popular life income plans are:

  • Charitable Lead Trusts
    These are created by irrevocably transferring income-producing assets (cash, stock, other assets, or a combination of these) to the Foundation to be managed and invested. The income from these assets (either a fixed dollar amount or a fixed percentage of the trust principal as revalued annually) is paid to the Foundation for a specified number of years. Upon termination of the trust, the remaining trust assets, including any appreciation in those assets, pass to you or your designated beneficiaries, with little (or no) gift taxes.

    During each year of the trust, it receives a charitable income tax deduction for the amount of that year's income paid to the Foundation from the trust. Additionally, because the trust assets are removed from your estate, they are exempt from estate taxes.

  • Charitable Remainder Trust
    This is established by irrevocably transferring income-producing assets to the Foundation to be managed and invested. You or your beneficiary will receive income payments for life or a period of up to 20 years, at the conclusion of which the trust's remaining assets will transfer to the Foundation for its general use or use as specified by the terms of the trust instrument.

    Depending on how the trust is invested, the payments to you or your beneficiary may consist of ordinary income, capital gains income, tax-free income, or return of principal. Regardless, you are entitled to an immediate charitable income-tax deduction of the projected value of the "remainder interest" at the time the trust terminates. If appreciated property is used to fund the trust, you can reduce or eliminate capital gains tax on the appreciation.

  • Charitable Remainder Unitrust
    A unitrust can be established during your lifetime or in your will, and is a versatile option that can supplement retirement funds, create education funds or financial support for a beneficiary, or help you accomplish other individual objectives. It pays income to you or your beneficiary based on a percentage (at least 5 percent) of the market value of the trust assets, which are revalued annually. Although the payment percentage is fixed, the distribution from the unitrust varies. The assets most often donated to unitrusts are highly appreciated securities with low yields. By establishing a charitable remainder unitrust, you can reduce or avoid capital gains taxes and receive an immediate charitable income-tax deduction based on the projected value of the "remainder interest" at the time the trust terminates. As the principal of the unitrust grows, the annual distribution also increases. You may add more assets to the unitrust at any time.

  • Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust
    Unlike the unitrust, the annuity trust maintains a fixed income payout rate (at least 5 percent) for the life of the trust. This is an attractive option for those who prefer the security of fixed income payments instead of variable payments with growth potential. Unlike the charitable remainder unitrust, new assets cannot be added to an existing annuity trust; a new trust must be established for additional assets.

Retirement Assets
Some assets are not transferred through a will. These include assets in a qualified retirement plan (qualified plans include an IRA, Keogh, 401(K), 403(B), or defined benefit plan) that remain after your lifetime. Often, a retirement plan is a pre-tax asset and, when transferred to a beneficiary, is subject to estate tax as well as income tax. Naming The Michael J. Fox Foundation as the beneficiary of your qualified retirement plan may be advantageous and financially judicious. Most often, all that is required is to name the Foundation on the beneficiary line when you sign up for your retirement plan, or to modify your current election by notifying your plan administrator.


For more information or to contact the Foundation with your intentions for planned giving, please contactSarah Barnes.



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I've decided PD won't control me, and I'm motivated to see how I can help.

Fabrizio Acquaviva


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