Gifts that Benefit Your Heirs

There are a variety of ways that you can make upholding human rights the cause of your life and still benefit your heirs by leaving a legacy gift to Human Rights Watch.

Charitable Lead Trust: With this increasingly popular plan, you can leave a special legacy gift with funds that will be returned to you or your heirs at a future time of your choosing. Benefits include:

  • You arrange for a regular source of charitable gifts that will begin immediately and continue for as long as you decide.
  • The amount of the charitable gifts can be fixed or vary over time.
  • You or your advisors can continue to manage the funds in the trust, if desired.
  • Such a gift can reduce or eliminate income, estate, and gift taxes now and in future years.
  • You may be able to provide younger heirs with a larger inheritance than would otherwise be possible at a time when it is more appropriate that it be received.

Retirement Plan Gift: You can designate the amounts you determine to go to your heirs before any distributions are made to charity. Or, you can provide for charitable gifts only in the event your spouse or other heirs do not survive you.

To name Human Rights Watch as a beneficiary of your retirement plan, contact your bank or insurance company to determine whether a change of beneficiary form needs to be completed.

Gift Annuity with Two Beneficiaries: When you create a charitable gift annuity with Human Rights Watch, you receive income for life, establish a legacy that will defend vulnerable people around the world, and benefit your heirs. You can designate a loved one to receive the payments either with you, instead of you, or only after you’re gone. This can result in a double gift — one to Human Rights Watch and another to your heirs.


View Sample Beneficiary Designation


As with all gift planning, you should consult with your tax advisor and lawyer to determine what planned gift strategy is best for your current tax situation. Consulting estate-planning professionals will help ensure that your wishes to make a lasting impact will be fulfilled.

If you have any questions, please email Brian Peterson, Director, Legacy and Gift Planning, at or at 212-216-1841.