Legacy Giving

The Gift of Long-lasting Support

Thank you for considering a Legacy Gift to The Public Theatre. We are grateful for your intention to help us continue to bring world-class professional theatre at an affordable price, and arts education to our community.

“I want the show to go on.”

– Barbara Randall, Founding Member of The Public Theatre on why she made a legacy gift.

“I want the show to go on.”

– Barbara Randall, Founding Member of The Public Theatre on why she made a legacy gift.

It is very easy to make a Legacy Gift. Simply call or email your lawyer or estate planner and say that you would like to include The Public Theatre in your will. You can choose an amount, or decide to leave a percentage of your estate.

If you choose to make a legacy gift to The Public Theatre, please let us know so we can thank you and recognize your generosity.

Below you’ll find several options for legacy giving. We encourage you to speak with your lawyer or estate planner to see what option is right for you.


You do not have to redo your will to include this gift. You can choose to name a specific amount, or choose to leave a percentage of your estate.  If your estate is subject to federal estate tax, a charitable bequest can save significant tax dollars. There are several bequest options, we encourage you to discuss what is right for you with your lawyer or estate planner.

Download a Bequest Agreement

Beneficiary Designation

You can make the theatre a beneficiary of stocks, insurance policies, investments and property while enjoying the tax benefits that go along with it.

Transfer of Stocks

You can make a gift of stocks or securities at any time by transferring them directly to The Public Theatre.

Download a Stock Transfer Document

Charitable Remainder Unitrusts

A charitable remainder unitrust allows you to make a substantial gift to The Public Theatre and yet continue to receive income from the assets contributed. 

Your gift is administered separately as a trust. At the time the trust is created, you give instructions to the trustee to pay you or another designated beneficiary(ies) income for life. You may decide, within certain limitations, the rate of return you will receive on the trust’s assets. After the life income payments to you and/or the other designated beneficiary(ies) terminate, The Public Theatre receives the remainder of the assets in the trust.

With the unitrust, you receive annually a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust’s assets, as those assets are revalued annually. Thus, the income paid out will vary from year to year, based upon the performance of the trust’s investments. The fixed percentage paid out must be at least 5%. Thus, if you contribute stock that pays a low dividend, the unitrust can sell it and reinvest in assets with a higher income yield – and that higher income can be passed along to you.

Upon the creation of a unitrust, you receive a substantial federal income tax charitable contribution deduction based upon the age of the beneficiary(ies), the rate of return specified in the trust, and other factors. The older the beneficiary(ies) the higher the charitable deduction.

Another benefit of the unitrust is that you generally incur no capital gain on the transfer of appreciated assets to fund the trust.

Example: You create a unitrust to pay you 6% each year and initially contribute $100,000 to the trust. During the first year, you will receive $6,000 from the trust. If the trust’s assets are valued at $110,000 at the beginning of the second year, you will receive $6,600 ($110,000 X 6%) for the second year. The same calculation will be made each subsequent year. In addition to this income, you receive a substantial charitable deduction in the year you create the trust. Thus, your effective yield on the trust will be much higher than the actual 6% payout specified, because of the tax advantages.

Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts

Annuity trusts are very similar to unitrusts except that, with an annuity trust, the life income beneficiary(ies) receive annually a fixed dollar amount, rather than a fixed percentage of the assets in the trust. 

You may stipulate, for example, that you receive $6,000 (or some other fixed sum) each year as a result of setting up a $100,000 annuity trust. This form of trust is appropriate for those who prefer a fixed annual income, unaffected by changes in the stock market, interest rates, and the like.

As with the unitrust, the annuity trust provides a substantial federal income tax charitable contribution deduction. Also, you generally incur no capital gain on the transfer of appreciated assets to fund the trust.

Example: You establish an annuity trust with $100,000. You specify that you will receive annual income of $6,000 from the trust, with the payments to be made quarterly.

Charitable Lead Trusts

The creation of a charitable lead trust allows you to pass significant assets on to younger family members with little or no gift or estate tax payable to the government.

Under this arrangement, you transfer assets to a trustee who would then make annual payments to us for a specified number of years, after which time the assets remaining in the trust would go to your children, grandchildren, or others. For individuals in high estate and gift tax brackets, this trust means the opportunity to transfer substantial assets to younger generations, completely or significantly free of transfer taxes.

Example: With $1,000,000 in assets, you could create a charitable lead trust which would pay us 6% of the fair market value of the trust each year for 20 years. At the end of the 20-year period, the trust would terminate and the trust principal remaining (including any asset appreciation) could be distributed to your children or grandchildren. Under present IRS tables, there will be no transfer tax payable, assuming you have not used any of your unified credit.

Gifts of Life Insurance

Life insurance provides another excellent means for making a gift to us. This can be done either by purchasing a new life insurance policy or by contributing a policy which you currently own, but no longer need.

The Public Theatre can be designated as the beneficiary of the policy, while you retain the right to change the beneficiary at a later date, and otherwise retain ownership of the policy. In this instance, no current federal income tax charitable deduction is available to you since you would still be the owner of the policy. However, at the time of your death, your estate would receive a charitable deduction when the proceeds of the policy are paid to The Public Theatre.

To receive a current federal income tax deduction, you would need to designate The Public Theatre as both the owner and the beneficiary of the life insurance policy. When such a gift is made the deduction will be approximately equal to the cash value of the policy at the time of the gift. Many donors decide to continue to pay the premiums on the policy after the gift is made, in which case the additional premium payments will be tax deductible next year.

The material presented on The Public Theatre website and in related documents is not offered as legal or tax advice. The Public Theatre is not engaged in legal or tax advisory service. Advice from a lawyer or an estate planner should be sought when considering these types of gifts.

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The Public Theatre

31 Maple Street
Lewiston, ME 04240

Business: (207) 782-2211
Tickets: (207) 782-3200