If you have a life insurance policy you no longer need, consider giving it to charity. While you benefit your favored cause you may enjoy sizable tax savings. To make such a gift, name a charity as the irrevocable beneficiary of your life insurance policy. Assign all rights in the policy to the charity, without retaining any control for yourself. Generally, you’ll receive a deduction equal to the premiums you’ve paid, minus any dividends received from the policy. Thus, you may get a large deduction with no further cash outlay. After you donate a policy, the charity can make subsequent premium payments and, eventually, collect a substantial amount at your death. Alternatively, the charity can simply cash in the policy right away. You probably shouldn’t keep paying the premiums yourself. (A better strategy is to pay the amount of the premiums to the charity, to get ongoing deductions. The charity can use this money to pay the premiums if it desires to keep the policy in force.) If this idea appeals to you, get a qualified appraisal for your contribution. Noncash gifts require appraisals for deductions over $5,000. Note: The appraisal should not be from your own insurer or agent so you should ask another insurance agent or broker.