The term “charitable bequest” describes anything you give or leave to charity from your estate through a will or trust. Your estate is any property, money, or personal belongings you have at the time of your death. Although most people are not wealthy, most do leave an estate when they die. Even someone with a modest estate may leave a bequest to Franciscan University.
Some reasons you may choose to leave a bequest:
It is not payable until death, so it does not affect your assets or cash flow during your lifetime.
It is revocable: You can change the provisions in your will or trust at any time.
It is private: Your will is not filed or made public until your death.
It may enable you to make a much larger gift than you could at the present moment.
Request a Charitable Bequest
There is an easy way you can guarantee Franciscan University students will get the help they need. It has proven effective with tremendous results. You can request your attorney draft or revise your will to include a bequest to Franciscan University.
You can leave a gift to Franciscan University in your Will or Trust. It’s not a new discovery. People have been doing it for hundreds of years.
Imagine the feeling you’ll have knowing the mission of Franciscan University — this place you’ve loved and supported during your lifetime — will continue because of your stewardship long after you’ve gone on to the safety of your Eternal Reward.
A charitable bequest is a way to remember Franciscan University in your Will or Trust that will allow our students to benefit from your excellent stewardship of your resources.
Here are some examples:
Suppose you’d like to leave a certain sum of money:
“I hereby give, devise, and bequeath to Franciscan University of Steubenville, 1235 University Blvd., Steubenville, Ohio 43952, a tax exempt organization, free of encumbrance, the sum of $_____________ for its general use and purposes.”
Suppose you’d like to leave certain property:
“I hereby give, devise, and bequeath to Franciscan University of Steubenville, 1235 University Blvd., Steubenville, Ohio 43952, a tax exempt organization, free of encumbrance, the following specifically described property (securities, bonds, real estate, or personal property), for its general use and purposes.”
What if you’d like to make sure Franciscan University receives a certain percentage of your estate? You could accomplish this in the following manner:
“I give, devise, and bequeath to Franciscan University of Steubenville, 1235 University Blvd., Steubenville, Ohio 43952, a tax exempt organization, free of encumbrance, _____________ percent of my estate, for its general use and purposes.”
Suppose you’d like to leave whatever remains in your estate (is leftover) after you’ve directed who should receive other items:
“All the rest, residue, and remainder of any property of whatsoever kind or nature, real, personal, or mixed, and wheresoever situated, together with any property over which I may have the right to exercise any power or powers of appointment, intending by this clause to exercise such powers, I hereby give, devise, and bequeath to Franciscan University of Steubenville, 1235 University Blvd., Steubenville, Ohio 43952, a tax exempt organization, free of encumbrance, for its general use and purposes.
What if you feel you’ve got everything planned out already and financially there seems to be no room for Franciscan University students to benefit? What if you have mentioned a friend or relative in your Will or Trust but that person passes away before you do? You could revise the Will or Trust to benefit Franciscan University just in case that happens:
“I hereby give and bequeath the sum of $_______________ to my (friend, son, brother, aunt, etc.). However, in the event that he/she should predecease me, I direct that this bequest be made, free of encumbrance, to Franciscan University of Steubenville, 1235 University Blvd., Steubenville, Ohio 43952, a tax exempt organization, for its general use and purposes.”
What if you don’t want to go to all the trouble of re-writing your Will? You can ask your attorney to draft a codicil. A codicil is a short addition (page or two) to the Will that changes something specific in order to achieve your purpose.
Any of the examples above could be done by making a codicil to an existing Will or an amendment to a Trust. A charitable bequest is a gift of assets to Franciscan University. You may direct any or all of your property to whomever you wish. In order to do this through a Will or Trust you will need a good attorney.
Please Note: The examples above are intended to explain how to make a bequest to Franciscan University. Do not try this at home. Please consult an attorney to draft your Will or Trust or to make changes to it. If you do not have an attorney please contact the director of planned giving and he will assist you in locating one.
A charitable gift annuity provides you with lifetime income. To establish a gift annuity, you contribute cash or assets to Franciscan University, and Franciscan University makes fixed (guaranteed) annuity payments to you for the rest of your life. You receive an immediate income tax deduction for a portion of the gift, and you pay federal income tax on only part of each annuity payment you receive.
When you obtain a charitable gift annuity with Franciscan University, you’ll receive several important benefits, including:
Personal Satisfaction: In addition to the financial benefits you’ll receive, your gift annuity will provide you with an enormous sense of satisfaction in knowing you’re helping Franciscan University fulfill its important mission in the Church and culture. Your gift provides encouragement to our students and much needed resources as we plan for the future.
Reliable Income: You’ll receive regular, fixed payments every year for the rest of your life. Whether you select quarterly or annual payments, your payment will either be deposited directly into your bank account or delivered to you by first-class mail. It will always be the same amount so you can plan ahead with confidence.
Strong Financial Backing: Your gift annuity payments are safe because they are backed by all the assets and income of Franciscan University. You can have confidence that your payment will take place as scheduled and that you will always receive the same, agreed-upon amount for the rest of your life.
Superb Rates: Franciscan University follows the recommended rates provided by the American Council on Gift Annuities. These rates are set high enough to be attractive when compared to many other options. Sometimes people who are receiving only very low interest on CDs or tiny stock dividends from their investments decide to put part of those resources into a gift annuity that not only provides better lifetime interest rates but also gives the personal satisfaction of helping Franciscan University fulfill its mission in Catholic higher education.
Solid Savings: Because a charitable gift annuity is partly “charitable” and partly “annuity” there are some special benefits provided by the IRS. First, a donor who establishes a gift annuity receives a charitable income tax deduction. Second, the donor receives payments from the gift annuity and a portion of each payment is tax-free. Third, there are also possible estate tax benefits.
In order to help you better understand the workings and benefits of a Franciscan University gift annuity, we are happy to provide a sample gift annuity proposal that will show you more directly how a gift annuity will work in your situation. Just call our planned giving office at 740-284-5845.
Ever wonder about trusts? What are they? How do they work? Here’s an acronym to help you sort things out: T.R.U.S.T.
“T” stands for Trustor, the person who creates the trust. A generous, thoughtful, charitably minded individual or couple decides to use a trust to benefit themselves and others. People who include Franciscan University in a trust do so because they believe in our mission and want to provide future support.
The “R” stands for Recipients, the beneficiaries of the trustor’s generosity. For each trust, there are generally two groups of recipients: income recipient(s) and remainder recipient(s). The charity can be designated to receive either income or the remainder, depending on the nature of the trust. When a trust benefits a charitable organization like Franciscan University, there are tax benefits for the trustor.
The “U” stands for Understandings, the written documents that establish the trust. Because it’s important that the understandings are prepared properly, we always encourage trustors to seek independent counsel when establishing a trust. It’s a good idea for trustors to meet with their attorneys and accountants to discuss the trust and its relationship to their overall financial picture.
The “S” stands for Substance, the assets placed into the trust. Notice we didn’t say “money.” That’s because trustors can use various assets to fund a trust, including raw land, insurance, a house, and stocks and bonds. It’s a good idea to use assets that have increased in value since you first acquired them, because that way you can avoid capital gains taxes. Another wise option is to use assets that have value, but produce little or no income for you. Through the trust, these assets can be sold and turned into assets that produce higher income.
The final letter, “T”, stands for Trustee, the person or institution who oversees the trust. The trustee is legally responsible for making sure that the understandings in the trust document are honored under the umbrella of all applicable state and federal laws. When choosing a trustee, select a person or institution you can trust to fulfill your wishes far into the future.
A charitable remainder trust allows you and/or other designated beneficiaries to receive income from a trust for your lifetime(s) or for a period of years not to exceed 20. At the end of that time, the balance of the trust is transferred to Franciscan University and other charities of your choice. You can take a charitable deduction for a portion of the gift you make to the trust during the year the trust is created.
Endowment funds are like blocks of granite. They last. And last. And one way you can extend your influence into the future is by carving your name in a Franciscan University endowment fund.
Generations from now, Franciscan University and the students we serve will benefit from your foresight and generosity. They will see your name on your endowment and know that you once walked this earth. They will also know about your deep faith and that you cared enough to support the ongoing mission of Franciscan University.
You can choose either to create an endowment in your own name or to memorialize a loved one or someone else who has shaped your life, such as a teacher, a spouse, or a trusted friend.
Endowments can be established with Franciscan University now, during your lifetime. You can use cash, securities, or other valuable assets. Alternately, you can arrange for an endowment to be established through your will at the time of death.
Some people, of course, choose to do both. They establish an endowment now so they can watch it grow and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing their fund benefit others. They may add to it periodically and possibly encourage family members and friends to get involved. Then, through their wills, they make provision for a final and often larger contribution.
When you establish an endowment, you accomplish several things: You express confidence in the future of Franciscan University; you create a lasting legacy; you encourage present and future leadership; and you give concrete help to Franciscan University and its students.
Carving your name in “granite” at Franciscan University may be one of the most important things you do for yourself, your family, and for future generations.
Endowing your Beliefs
When you establish a named endowment fund with Franciscan University, you do more than endow a scholarship ⎯ you endow your beliefs. Through your endowment, your commitment to the mission and faith of Franciscan University of Steubenville will carry forward for generations to come.
With every annual payout of your endowment, your name will echo through the University as a person or couple who believes in Franciscan and what we represent: faithful, Christ-centered, higher education and an enduring commitment to truth.
Imagine the effect of this on students yet unborn, on their children, and their children’s children.
Family members of distant generations who will not have known you personally, will know about you through your endowment. They will know something of your faith and your generosity.
And, quite possibly, your example may influence your descendants to contribute to your endowment or to establish one of their own.
Endowments are lasting testimonies to faith and teachers of virtue.
Endowments: Looking Ahead
Franciscan University is in the process of building a strong scholarship endowment. We are preparing to meet the financial challenges that lie ahead. If you are retired — or in the process of building a retirement fund — you understand the importance of this kind of planning. Here are some ways to consider helping us in this task:
List Franciscan University as a primary or secondary beneficiary on your individual retirement account. That way, when you (and your spouse) are gone, the fund assets may be used to build our endowed scholarship program.
Transfer real estate or other appreciated assets into a charitable remainder trust. You may then receive a regular retirement income from these funds. The remainder can be used upon your death to create or support an endowed scholarship fund.
Include a bequest in your will to fund a scholarship endowment.
Would you like to learn more about establishing an endowment and why so many donors use this tool to pass along their values to future generations?
To request further information or arrange for a visit from our director of planned giving, phone 740-284-5845.
The materials provided on this Web site are for informational purposes only and are not intended as legal or tax advice. We strongly encourage you to consult your own tax or estate planning advisor, preferably an attorney or certified public accountant, before making any substantial gift.