Can Life Insurance Proceeds Go To Charity

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Can Life Insurance Proceeds Go To Charity?

Yes, life insurance proceeds can go to charity.

This can be achieved in several ways:

  1. Naming a Charity as a Beneficiary: You can directly name a charity as a beneficiary of your life insurance policy. Upon your death, the proceeds will go to the charity.
  2. Donating the Policy to a Charity: You can transfer ownership of your life insurance policy to a charity. You may receive a tax deduction for the value of the policy.
  3. Creating a Charitable Trust: You can set up a charitable trust and name it as the beneficiary. After your death, the trust will distribute the funds to the charity or charities you’ve chosen.
  4. Using a Donor-Advised Fund: You can name a donor-advised fund as the beneficiary, and after your death, the fund can allocate the proceeds to chosen charities.

Advantages and Considerations

  • Tax Benefits: Donating life insurance to charity can offer tax deductions and reduce estate taxes.
  • Flexibility: You can change beneficiaries if your circumstances or preferences change.
  • Continued Control: If you retain ownership, you can borrow against the policy or cancel it.
  • Impact: This method allows for a potentially large donation without a significant impact on your finances during your lifetime.

Examples Of Donating Life Insurance To Charity

  • Direct Beneficiary: John names his local animal shelter as the beneficiary of his $100,000 policy.
  • Policy Donation: Emily donates her policy to a cancer research charity, continuing to pay premiums and receiving tax deductions.
  • Charitable Trust: Michael sets up a trust that benefits several educational organizations upon his death.


Donating life insurance proceeds to charity is a strategic way to contribute to a cause you care about while also potentially benefiting from tax deductions. It provides a significant impact without a substantial financial burden during your lifetime.

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Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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