Legacy Gifts

From collection items to bequests, planned giving has helped the American Antiquarian Society grow and flourish from the very beginning.

  • As early as 1819, Rev. William Bentley of Salem left the library his extraordinary collection of New England books, including the Bay Psalm Book, the first book printed in the American colonies in 1640.
  • Prior to his death in 1831, AAS founder Isaiah Thomas made provisions in his will to bequeath his library and two permanent funds, one to support new acquisitions and another to provide endowment for the operating budget.
  • When the Society entered the twentieth century, the bequest of Stephen Salisbury 3rd brought the Society the land and funding to build the current Antiquarian Hall.
  • In 1967, Esther Forbes left us an incredible creative bequest: the rights to her literary work and all royalties from it, including her famous novel Johnny Tremain, which has never gone out of print to date!

It is in her name that AAS established the Esther Forbes Society, to honor the people who include the Society in their long-term plans through bequests, lift-income gifts, or other planned giving arrangements. Today, planned gifts are a mutually-beneficial way for you to support AAS for years to come.

Read about different types of planned giving below, and see what your legacy at AAS could be.

Gifts by Will (Bequests): Include a statement in your will that specifies an amount or share of your assets to be left to the American Antiquarian Society. A gift by will reduces your estate tax.
Click here if you wish to be contacted about setting up a bequest.

Gift of a Retained Life Estate: Donate a residence, farm, or other land as a future gift, and continue using the property through your lifetime. You receive a partial income tax deduction and reduced estate taxes.
Click here if you wish to be contacted about making a gift of retained life estate.

Gift of Personal Property: Donate a possession that fits with the American Antiquarian Society’s mission, to be added to the collection after your lifetime. You receive an immediate tax deduction for the appraised value of the gift and pay no capital gains tax.
Click here if you wish to be contacted about making a gift of personal property.

Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Assets: By naming the American Antiquarian Society as beneficiary of your IRA, you reduce your estate taxes and avoid heavy inheritance taxes.
Click here if you wish to be contacted about leaving AAS your IRA assets.

Life Insurance Policy: By assigning your life insurance policy to the American Antiquarian as owner and beneficiary, your premium payments are tax-deductible, and a permanent fund is created after your lifetime.
Click here if you wish to be contacted about assigning your life insurance policy.

Pooled Income Fund: Set up an existing trust that pays a share of net income to you or others. After your lifetime, remaining assets go to the American Antiquarian Society.
Click here if you wish to be contacted about setting up a Pooled Income Fund.

Charitable Gift Annuity: Set up a contract that guarantees to pay you a fixed sum during your lifetime. Like the Pooled Income Fund, remaining assets after your lifetime create a Named Fund to carry out your charitable goals at the American Antiquarian Society.
Click here if you wish to be contacted about setting up a Charitable Gift Annuity.

Charitable Remainder Trust: This gives you income for life, or for a limited number of years. After that time, the remainder is distributed to the American Antiquarian Society.
Click here if you wish to be contacted about setting up a Charitable Remainder Trust.

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