Planned Giving

Make the Mattatuck Museum Part of Your Legacy

Passionate about supporting the Mattatuck Museum? Want to ensure that we can continue our mission well into the future? Planned gifts help ensure that The MATT will remain a vibrant source of inspiration for generations to come. Your gift can support any aspect of the Museum – expansion and care of the collection, curatorial research and exhibition, statewide educational initiatives; capital improvements to the building and sustaining our operational funding that ensures our collection is protected, the lights are on and the doors are open. The Mattatuck is committed to developing planned gifts that are meaningful to each donor and tailored to their financial and estate-planning goals.

The Museum strongly encourages you to consult with your financial advisor and/or legal counsel for more information to make a planned gift.


Some options to achieve your goal of ensuring the future of the Museum include:


Among the simplest ways to make a planned gift, bequests allow donors to maintain control of their assets during their lifetimes.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

Charitable remainder trusts allow you to provide the Museum with a gift and retain a benefit from the assets you give at the same time. These separately managed trusts can be tailored to meet your financial goals with respect to the payout rate, type of income stream (variable or fixed), and payment schedule. To establish a remainder trust, you make an irrevocable contribution of cash, securities, or other property, which is placed in trust. The trust pays an income stream to one or more named beneficiaries (which can include you) for life and/or for a set term of years (not to exceed 20), and the museum receives the right to principal as a remainder interest.

The two most common types of charitable remainder trust are:

  • Annuity trust, which pays a fixed dollar amount each year based on a percentage (at least 5%) of the initial fair market value of the trust assets; and
  • Unitrust, which pays a variable income stream based on a percentage (at least 5%) of the fair market value of trust assets as revalued each year. A deferral feature is available for charitable remainder unitrusts.

Because charitable remainder trusts (like an IRA or 401(k)) are tax-exempt, this deferral feature can make them a useful retirement planning tool if you are in a position to defer your receipt of an income stream. Charitable remainder trusts are typically funded with assets worth $100,000 or more. Establishing such a trust generally entitles you to claim an immediate income-tax charitable deduction.

You should consult with your financial, tax, and legal advisers for more information on charitable remainder trusts as they pertain to your particular situation and needs.

Charitable Lead Trust

A charitable lead trust is the reverse of a charitable remainder trust. Charitable lead trusts enable you to provide us with an income stream, immediately, for a set term of years or for a term measured by one or more lifetimes – after which the trust assets pass to you or your estate or to your heirs. Leaving the asset to heirs can significantly reduce the gift or estate tax that would otherwise apply.

If you think a charitable lead trust could be a useful way to structure a gift, review the alternatives for structuring the trust with your financial, tax, and legal advisors.

Retirement Plan Assets

Assets in qualified (tax-deferred) retirement plans may represent a large portion of your total assets and therefore may be an important factor in planning testamentary charitable gifts. Retirement assets generally considered suitable for charitable gifts include such plans as IRAs, Keoghs, SEPs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and ESOPs.

Left to family members or friends, these assets are subject to income tax and may also be subject to estate tax and generation skipping transfer tax. Because of this potential double layer of tax, retirement plan assets may be particularly attractive as an asset to leave as a gift. In other words, if you designate us as a beneficiary upon your death of all or a specified percentage of a retirement plan, the portion of the plan payable to us will generally escape estate taxes, and we, as a tax-exempt institution, will not be required to pay income tax on the distributions. As a general rule, if you intend to make both non-charitable and charitable gifts at death, it makes sense to consider using your tax-deferred retirement plan assets for charity and other assets for heirs.

If you are thinking about donating retirement plan assets, you should discuss the matter with your advisers beforehand.