What is a bequest? Bequests are the actual gift disbursals that result, upon one's passing, from a specifically worded commitment in a will or trust agreement. Bequests are unlike any other gifts we receive because they represent individuals' final statements about what is most important to them. Every bequest is a powerful expression of loyalty, good will, and faith in Millikin's educational mission.
I'm not wealthy. Can my bequest still make a difference? You do not have to be wealthy to create a legacy. A bequest of any size can be significant in helping our educational mission and our students.
I have a will. Do I need anything else? In addition to a will, most experts recommend that you have a durable power of attorney, which allows another person to act on your behalf should you become incapacitated. Many states have differing laws and practices: please review the laws and practices pertaining to your state of residence.
Can bequests be handled in a living trust? Certainly. You may wish to consider a living trust as an estate planning tool.
What happens to my personal possessions? Personal possessions maybe addressed through your will or through a tangible personal property memo in which you list the personal items you wish to give to specific heirs. Your will must mention the existence of this memo and you should keep a copy of it with your will.
If a trust agreement is established as irrevocable, it means that it can't be revoked (broken) except under unusual circumstances. Why would anyone want an irrevocable trust? Many times the reasons for an irrevocable trust involve estate and/or income tax benefits. In these cases, the trustor must not have any direct or indirect power or control over the trust property or income. The regulations on this subject, set out in the Internal Revenue Code, must be carefully followed.
What is the difference between a charitable remainder unitrust and a charitable remainder annuity trust? The major difference is in the valuation of the assets of the trust, which establishes part of the calculation that determines the amount of income received by the income beneficiary(ies).
In a charitable remainder annuity trust, assets are valued at the time they are placed in the trust and are never revalued. Annual payments remain the same, whether the assets appreciate (increase in value) or depreciate (lose value).
The assets in the charitable remainder unitrust are revalued annually. If the trust assets appreciate, the payment to the income beneficiary(ies) will increase. If the trust assets depreciate, the payment will decrease.
How often should I update my will or trust? These documents should be updated any time your financial or family circumstances change. As laws vary from state to state, if you move you should have an attorney licensed in and familiar with the new state's laws review your will or trust agreement. It is always wise, even if there are not any significant changes in your circumstances, to periodically review these important documents.
Can I use life insurance to benefit charitable organizations? Yes. Gifting life insurance is an area overlooked by many. You can name one or more charities as alternate or as primary beneficiary. Furthermore, if you no longer need the policy proceeds in your estate, you can transfer ownership of the policy to a charity, like Millikin. In this case, you would not only receive a charitable gift deduction, but any additional premiums you pay would be tax deductible for you. And, on your death, the charity would receive the balance of the policy proceeds; none of it would be included in your estate for tax purposes.
Charitable gift annuity are cash and marketable securities. There can be tax benefits associated with a gift of appreciated securities. As a gift annuity is considered partially a gift and partially an annuity, part of the gift avoids capital gains tax entirely.
The income provided you by the charitable gift annuity is determined by your age and the age of any additional beneficiary. It is calculated using tables established and filed with regulatory agencies under which the charity operates its annuity program.
Can I set up a charitable gift annuity and delay the start of the income until I will more likely need it, such as at my retirement, when my income is lower? Yes, there is flexibility in the establishing of charitable gift annuities that make them a popular and effective retirement planning vehicle. Using a deferred gift annuity, the annuity earnings accumulate on a tax-deferred basis. Thus the deferred payment annuity accomplishes several things. First, the donor receives a tax deduction in the year the annuity is established, which is usually when the donor is in a higher tax bracket. Second, the gift to the charity becomes larger as the deferred earnings increase the annuity's principal. Finally, since the deferred payment annuity grows in size while income is deferred, the ultimate annual income will be higher.
What is the Millikin University Investors Society? The Millikin University Investors Society is open to all people who have provided for Millikin's future through a bequest, gift of life insurance, or other planned gift.
Please note, individual financial circumstances will vary. The information on this site does not constitute legal or tax advice. Donor stories and photographs are used with permission and are for purposes of illustration only. As with all tax and estate planning, please consult your attorney or estate specialist. All material is copyrighted and is for viewing purposes only. Use of this site signifies your agreement with the terms of the privacy statement. The content in this Planned Giving section has been developed for Millikin University by Future Focus. Please report any problems to webmaster.