You can help prevent suicide by leaving a gift to Samaritans in your will. Your gift will be a living legacy of your compassion for those who struggle with depression and those who have suffered a loss to suicide.

When you make a planned gift to Samaritans, you’ll become part of the Monica Dickens Legacy Society, named after Samaritans’ founder in the U.S. Her legacy lives on each day in our work to prevent suicide — and you can be part of that legacy as well.

“Samaritans and SafePlace have been my lifeline. They taught me to grow and how to accept losing Edward. Leaving a bequest in my will is a wonderful way that I can give back — and help others avoid this terrible loss.”

Donalda Hingston, Monica Dickens Legacy Society member

Image: Karen Tarantola

How to Make a Legacy Gift

The simplest way to make a legacy gift to Samaritans is through your will or by designating Samaritans as a beneficiary of your retirement plan, life insurance policy, or bank account. A legacy gift can allow you to make a bigger impact through a larger gift than is possible with present-day funds — without affecting your finances today and offering tax advantages to you and your heirs.

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Yes, I’d like to learn more about leaving a legacy gift to Samaritans.

For more information or to let us know you have included Samaritans in your estate plans, please contact Chief Development Officer Janet Lawn at (617) 536-2460 x5223.

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This information is not legal or tax advice. We recommend you talk with an attorney and/or financial planner before including Samaritans in your estate plan.


If you already have a will, a quick phone call to your attorney or financial planner is all you’ll need to add a charitable gift. In your will, you can specify a dollar amount, a percentage of your estate, or the residual of the estate, as well as make the gift contingent on specific future events.

Below are two examples of types of bequests and sample language for your will:

Life Insurance, Retirement & Bank Accounts

Naming Samaritans as a beneficiary on your life insurance benefits is another way you can support our future. You could also transfer a paid-up policy to Samaritans for an immediate income tax deduction. Additionally, bank and brokerage accounts can name Samaritans as a beneficiary without going through the probate process.

Retirement assets such as an IRA or 401(k) are taxable to your heirs. But as a non-profit, Samaritans would not pay taxes on funds from a retirement account. Required minimum distributions from an IRA at age 70 1/2 that are directly rolled over to Samaritans are not taxable.

Naming Samaritans as a beneficiary is simple:

IRA Charitable Rollover

If you are over 70½ and subject to a required minimum distribution of your IRA, you can take advantage of a simple way to benefit Samaritans and receive tax benefits in return. An IRA rollover allows people age 70½ and older to reduce their taxable income by making a gift directly from their IRA.

Benefits of an IRA charitable rollover

  • Avoid taxes on transfers of up to $100,000 from your IRA to Samaritans
  • Satisfy your required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year
  • Reduce your taxable income, even if you do not itemize deductions
  • Make a gift that is not subject to the deduction limits on charitable gifts
  • Help further Samaritans work and mission

How an IRA charitable rollover gift works

  1. Contact your IRA plan administrator to make a gift from your IRA to Samaritans.
  2. Your IRA funds will be directly transferred to help continue our important work.
  3. Please note that IRA charitable rollover gifts do not qualify for an additional charitable deduction since the funds have already been excluded from taxes.

Contact us

If you have any questions about an IRA charitable rollover gift, please contact Janet Lawn. We would be happy to assist you and answer any questions you might have.

Annuities & Trusts

Annuities and trusts offer tax advantages for you and your heirs, and can provide income and support for yourself or a designated beneficiary. Talk with your attorney or financial planner about the tax advantages and income-producing options that make sense for you such as: