The LSA gratefully acknowledges a generous bequest of $10,000, received from the estate of Rulon S. Wells III, a former LSA president (1976) who died in May of 2008. The bequest will be used to support the Ken Hale Chair in Field Methods at the biennial Linguistic Institute.

Bequests and planned giving have become important sources of support for the programs and activities of the LSA. These gifts have taken many forms including the donation of royalties from scholarly publications, provisions in estates and donations sent in memory of a friend or colleague. To learn more, please contact Alyson Reed, LSA Executive Director (phone:  202-835-1714 ).

Over the years, the LSA has received a number of generous bequests from its members, including the Collitz estate which has endowed the Collitz Professorship since the 1940s, and the Archibald Hill estate, which enabled the LSA to purchase its office suite in the 1980s. Whether your estate is large or small, a planned gift to the LSA will help to support our continuing mission: to advance the scientific study of language.

Many larger organizations have established highly sophisticated financial instruments, such as trusts and annuities, which donors may use for planned giving. Since the LSA remains quite small, with limited access to organizational development resources, we encourage donors to consider the two most straightforward options for planned giving: 1) a bequest to the LSA through a Will; and 2) naming the LSA as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement plan. Each option is outlined in more detail below:

Bequests

A bequest is the direction in a Will to pay over or distribute personal property, including cash. Most Wills are prepared by attorneys or by using specialized software designed for this purpose. Naming the LSA as a beneficiary in your Will is easy. Simply contact your attorney to establish a Will or amend it as appropriate. If you do not have an attorney or cannot afford one, you may wish to make use of a software program for this purpose. Recommended resources for this purpose are listed at the end of this letter.

Suggested wording: "I hereby give and bequeath the sum of $______ to the Linguistic Society of America, presently located at 522 21st St. NW, Suite 120, Washington, DC  20006-5012, or its successor."

If you wish to restrict your gift for a specific purpose, you may also add a sentence to that effect. If you wish to leave the remainder of your estate to the LSA after all other obligations of your Will have been met, then the specific dollar amount would be deleted and alternative wording used.

Life Insurance, Retirement Plans and IRAs

All life insurance policies establish a primary beneficiary in the event of one's death. If you have a life insurance policy and wish to name the LSA as a beneficiary, simply contact your life insurance provider and request the appropriate forms, which may be available online. Complete the forms using the full name and address of the LSA (as above) and submit it to your insurance provider.

As a general rule, if you are married, you must name your spouse as the beneficiary of your retirement plan. Those who are unmarried may name any beneficiary they wish. If you would like to name the LSA as a beneficiary, simply contact your retirement plan administrator and request the appropriate forms, which may be available online. Complete the forms using the full name and address of the LSA (as above) and submit it to your plan.

If you have established an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), you may name any beneficiary you wish. Naming a non-profit organization as a beneficiary may have tax benefits for both you and your heirs. If you would like to name the LSA as a beneficiary, simply contact the administrator of your IRA and request the appropriate forms, which may be available online. Complete the forms using the full name and address of the LSA (as above) and submit it to the appropriate party.

Notifying the LSA of Your Plans

If you intend to name the LSA as a beneficiary of your Will, life insurance policy, retirement plan or IRA, we would appreciate being informed of your intent. This information is helpful in making long-term financial projections about the LSA's future growth and sustainability.

Additional Resources

The Linguistic Society is a non-profit organization exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The LSA Federal Identification Number is 74-6043371. As a non-profit organization, the LSA may qualify for corporate donation-matching programs. Prospective donors may review a copy of the LSA's most recent federal tax return (Form 990) here (PDF).