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Commonly Asked Questions

What is planned giving? And is a planned gift different from a bequest?

The term planned giving is used here to mean making arrangements now to ensure that all your assets and possessions will be distributed the way you wish after your death.

Some other terms used internationally to describe a planned gift include legacy, inheritance, testament, and bequest. While in the United States the term bequest formally refers to a planned gift given through a will, elsewhere the term bequest may refer to any gift made to a beneficiary at the end of life.

On the Siddha Yoga path, planned giving is a way to make an offering of dakshina at the culmination of one’s life.

How do I name the SYDA Foundation as a beneficiary of a planned gift?

You can name the SYDA Foundation as a beneficiary of a planned gift by including the required information about the SYDA Foundation in your will, trust, or other documents.

To name the SYDA Foundation as a beneficiary, please use the following information in your documents:

Name: SYDA Foundation and its successors in interest and assigns
Address: 371 Brickman Road
Hurleyville, New York 12747, USA
Telephone: 1-845-434-2000

Employer Identification Number (EIN): 23-7376445

  • In the United States, the SYDA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with an EIN. When U.S. taxpayers make a planned gift by naming the SYDA Foundation as a beneficiary, their estate receives a charitable tax deduction for the gift’s full value.
  • Laws governing charitable giving at the end of your life vary from country to country. Please consult with your local financial and tax advisors about the laws specific to your situation.

When I am considering naming the SYDA Foundation as a beneficiary, is it helpful for the Planned Giving Department to know?

Yes, it is helpful for the Planned Giving Department to know when you are considering naming the SYDA Foundation as a beneficiary.

It is also important to contact the Planned Giving Department when you complete your plan. By providing pertinent information about your plan, you may assist the SYDA Foundation in ensuring the receipt of your bequest in the future.

In addition, the Planned Giving Department can provide you with information that may be useful to you when you are arranging to make a planned gift. For example, if you are considering making a stipulated planned gift, the Planned Giving Department can speak with you about ways to do so.

If I name the SYDA Foundation in my will, is my bequest an offering of dakshina?

Planned gifts that name the SYDA Foundation as a beneficiary without specifying the use of the gift are offerings of dakshina.

Planned gifts given with a specification for their use are donations. For example, a planned gift is a donation if the donor stipulates that it is to be used to support a specific activity of the SYDA Foundation.

Why is making an estate plan so important?

Making an estate plan is an integral part of taking responsibility for and safeguarding the assets you have been given and have worked for in your life.

When these plans are clearly in place, it makes it easier for family and friends to settle your affairs and observe the rituals you request. It lets your executor, family members, and beneficiaries know how you want your wishes carried out at the time of your passing. It helps to ensure that your wishes for giving to your spiritual path are fulfilled.

If you do not make an estate plan, the legal jurisdiction in which you reside decides how to distribute your possessions. This process is typically complex and costly.

Can I safeguard my assets in the short term while I am developing my long-term plans?

You can do something brief and simple that safeguards your assets and communicates your wishes in the immediate future. Subsequently, you will want to put time and effort into making a more detailed estate plan that will be viable for the long term.

I am a young adult. Do I need a will?

Yes, it is important for young adults to formally specify what they would want to happen to their possessions or financial assets. This can be done in a simple will.

By making a will, you are proactively taking responsibility for what you have, no matter the amount and to whom you would want to give it.

In some countries, for example, once a young adult is eighteen or older, their parents no longer have the legal ability to make decisions regarding how their assets will be distributed. Therefore, having a will in place also protects parents and siblings from having to initiate a legal process through the courts to determine such distributions.

What if I have a possession in my estate that may have archival value for the SYDA Foundation?

In the same documents that you are using to arrange for the distribution of your assets, you can include a list of the Siddha Yoga artifacts that you are designating to go to the Shakti Punja archives of the SYDA Foundation.

For more information about which objects would qualify as Siddha Yoga artifacts, you are welcome to contact a Shakti Punja representative by sending an email to ShaktiPunja@syda.org.

Once I create a will or living trust, can I make changes?

Yes, you can make changes to a will or a revocable trust. It is important to periodically review and revise them in accordance with your current priorities and life circumstances.

For example, you may wish to review your estate plans when a major life event occurs—such as a marriage, divorce, birth of a child, or passing of a family member.