Planning Your Legacy

Planning Your Legacy

The Weddell Society

The VMHC proudly acknowledges those who have included the Virginia Historical Society in their estate plans as members of The Weddell Society.  This distinguish group is honorably named to recognize the extraordinary generosity of Virginia and Alexander Weddell, who bequeathed Virginia House and an endowment to benefit the organization’s long-term viability.

You care about Virginia history ... make it your legacy.

When you include the Virginia Historical Society in your financial or estate plans, you fulfill the promise that the next generation of Americans will continue to learn from Virginia’s past. Bequests and other planned gifts give the Virginia Historical Society the necessary resources for this venerable institution to plan for its future.

In addition to simple bequests, you can name the Virginia Historical Society, owner and operator of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC), Virginia House, and the John Marshall Center for Constitutional History & Civics, as a beneficiary in your retirement plan or life insurance policy. You also can make a legacy gift now and receive income for the rest of your life.  Gifts like these can offer you and your family significant tax benefits as well as greater financial flexibility in meeting your personal and philanthropic goals.

If you already made a provision for the Virginia Museum of History & Culture in your estate plans, please help us by using this form to let us know of your generous intention so we can honor your passion for Virginia’s past and be good stewards of your legacy.

Leave a Legacy Through Your Will

Through various types of bequests to VMHC, you may secure an estate-tax charitable deduction for the value of the gift.  Best of all, you will know that your generosity will support our mission for years to come.  Benefits of making a bequest include:

  • Retain control of your assets
  • Make changes as your personal needs change
  • Receive estate tax savings
  • Leave an enduring legacy to be remembered

The following is provided as sample language to assist you and your attorney in including the VMHC in your will or trust.

I give and devise to the Virginia Historical Society, (Tax identification #54-0419452), owner and operator of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, Virginia House, and the John Marshall Center for Constitutional History & Civics located in Richmond, Virginia, the sum of $_____ (or property described herein) (or all or a _____ percent of my residual estate). This is an unrestricted gift and may be used to further the objectives and purposes of the Virginia Historical Society.

Beneficiary Designation Gifts: Retirement Account, Investment Account, Life Insurance Policy

Designating the VMHC as a beneficiary in your retirement, investment, or life insurance policy is a simple and affordable way to make a legacy gift.  They also are among the most flexible of all charitable gifts.  Benefits of a beneficiary designation gift include:

  • Continue to use your account as long as you need to
  • Simplify your planning and avoid expensive legal fees
  • Reduce the burden of taxes on your family
  • Receive an estate tax charitable deduction

Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from a traditional or Roth IRA

If you are 70 ½ years or older, you can donate up to $100,000 per year (and up to $200,000 for married couples) directly from your IRA to the Virginia Historical Society.  Benefits of an IRA Charitable Rollover include:

  • Avoid taxes on transfers of up to $100,000 from your IRA to the museum
  • Satisfy your required minimum distribution 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

Contact your IRA plan administer to make a gift from your IRA to the Virginia Historical Society.  Your IRA funds will be directly transferred to the museum to support our greatest needs today. 

Secure Act 2.0 - Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) for Life Income Gifts

As part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, the Secure Act 2.0 includes a new legacy giving opportunity allowing donors to make a one-time tax-free IRA charitable rollover of up to $50,000 to fund a charitable gift annuity (CGA).  A CGA is an excellent planned giving vehicle option for donors who want to utilize their required minimum distribution from their retirement account and receive a fixed amount of income in return.  Please visit the American Council for Gift Annuities for more details about the Secure Act 2.0.

Consult Your Advisor

Please consult a professional advisor to understand how a legacy gift to the Virginia Historical Society can benefit your passion for history and your estate.

Other types of gift planning vehicles are designed to provide income to you and/or your beneficiaries and generously support the Virginia Historical Society.

Charitable Gift Annuity and Deferred Gift Annuity  

Charitable gift annuities and deferred gift annuities will provide you with income for the rest of your life.  Our gift calculator can help you illustrate a charitable gift annuity based upon information specified by you.  (View a table for current gift annuity rates).

Charitable Lead Trust

If you are looking for a way to pass on some of your assets to your family while reducing or eliminating gift or estate taxes, a charitable lead trust is an excellent option.Image removed.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

Charitable remainder trusts (CRTs) are an ideal form of philanthropy for those who wish to make a legacy gift and to receive income for their lifetime and/or the lifetime of others.

Charitable Remainder Unitrust and Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust 

You may be concerned about the high cost of capital gains tax with the sale of an appreciated asset. If you are looking for a way to save on taxes this year and plan for retirement, a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT) or a charitable remainder annuity trust (CRAT) might offer the solutions you need.

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture is owned and operated by the Virginia Historical Society, a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.  The society is the oldest cultural organization in Virginia and one of the oldest and most distinguished history organizations in the nation.  For nearly two centuries, the society has depended upon private philanthropy to ensure the future of this venerable institution and its extraordinary collection of nine-million items that are used for education.

Photo of Cathy Boe
Cathy Boe, Manager of Advancement Initiatives

If you have made a legacy gift or if you want to have a confidential conversation about supporting the institution with gift planning, please contact Catherine A. Boe, Manager of Advancement Initiatives at, 804.342.9657 or by mail at P.O. Box 7311, Richmond, VA  23221.

The Virginia Historical Society's Federal Tax Identification Number is 54-0419452.