Gifts that Cost You Nothing Now

You can leave a legacy gift with nothing more than your signature. When you include Human Rights Watch in your estate plans, you make the securing of justice for people around the world your legacy. Once your family and friends are provided for, we hope you’ll consider making Human Rights Watch part of your life story.

A gift to Human Rights Watch places us among your family and friends. We’re grateful to be held in such esteem.

Gifts in a Will

It’s simple and convenient to make a legacy gift in your will or trust. Here are the ways that most people leave this lasting gift to Human Rights Watch:

General bequest by which Human Rights Watch receives a legacy gift in your will or living trust, typically personal property or assets.

Residual bequest by which Human Rights Watch receives a percentage of the remainder of your estate after other specific legacies have been fulfilled.

Specific bequest by which Human Rights Watch receives a specific dollar amount or stated fraction of your estate or a specified gift in kind (collections, art, books, jewelry, and so on).

Contingent bequest by which Human Rights Watch would receive a stated share of your estate, but only in the event of the prior death of other named beneficiaries.

View Sample Gift Language

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

Gifts by Beneficiary Designation

You can leave a special legacy gift to Human Rights Watch from your retirement plan, insurance plan, or other assets, and ensure that human rights are restored and protected.

It’s as simple as contacting the firm that holds your assets and asking them for a beneficiary form to fill out.

Retirement Plan Gift:  Retirement funds are important investments, and many people choose to name charitable organizations as final beneficiaries to reduce their taxable estate and to further a cause they believe in.

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.

Life Insurance Plan Gift:   A gift of life insurance is an affordable way to make a significant gift to Human Rights Watch while also enjoying tax savings during your lifetime. Benefits include:

  • A significant gift from disposable income at a fraction of the value
  • Tax saving can be immediately realized.
  • Your donation could reduce final taxes of your estate.
  • Insurance gifts pass outside a will or trust.

To make a gift of life insurance, please contact your life insurance provider, request a beneficiary designation from the insurer and include Human Rights Watch as the beneficiary of your policy.

Savings Bonds:   If you have bonds that have stopped earning interest and that you plan to redeem, you will owe income tax on the appreciation. Leaving them to loved ones means they will owe income tax when they cash the bonds, and potentially estate taxes. In the end, your heirs will receive only a fraction of the value of the bonds in which you so carefully invested. Since Human Rights Watch is tax-exempt, naming us the beneficiary of these bonds will ensure that 100 percent of your gift will go toward our work of exposing injustice and advocating for change.

CDs, Bank and Brokerage Accounts:   One of the easiest ways to help us protect human rights around the world is to name Human Rights Watch as the beneficiary of a certificate of deposit, a checking or savings bank account, or a brokerage account.

Donor Advised Fund Residuals:   Final distribution of contributions remaining in a Donor Advised Fund is governed by the contract you completed when you created your fund. We hope you will consider naming Human Rights Watch as a “successor” of your account. Or, you can name Human Rights Watch as the successor for a portion of the account value, leaving the remaining portion for your heirs.

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 and income requirements. Consulting estate-planning professionals will help ensure that your wishes to defend the rights of people worldwide will be fulfilled.

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

Other Ways to Give

A Gift of Property:  You may wish to transfer ownership of your property (real estate, works of art, and so on) and receive a receipt for tax purposes. In addition, gifts of residual interest may be considered in which you may retain the use of the property during your lifetime. Benefits include:

  • Immediate tax savings.
  • Continued use of your property for life.
  • Satisfaction of knowing Human Rights Watch will have the benefit of your gift in the future.
  • Your gift passes to Human Rights Watch outside of the estate process.

Cash:   This type of gift is simple and eligible for an immediate charitable tax credit. If you’d like to support us through this type of gift, you can do so here.

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