What is a Planned Gift?
A planned gift is any gift that is carefully considered in light of a donor’s estate plan. Planned gifts can be given for any purpose – operations, capital growth, or endowment – and generally require the assistance of college staff or independent professional advisors to create. Examples of planned gifts include:
- Bequests A bequest is a gift included in a will or trust instrument. Bequests can take a variety of forms including:
- specific bequest – designates a specific gift amount or particular piece of property.
- percentage bequest – designates a percentage of an asset or an estate to Westminster.
- residuary bequest – designates a gift of the assets that remain in one’s estate (or a percentage thereof) after all other obligations have been met.
- IRA or Retirement Plan Westminster College can be named as a full or partial beneficiary of an IRA, 401K, certificate of deposit, or savings account. This makes the most sense with IRAs and retirement plans as heirs must pay income tax on these accounts, while Westminster will pay no taxes whatsoever.
- Charitable Gift Annuity A charitable gift annuity can be established through a gift of cash, securities, or property to Westminster College. In return, the college provides the donor with a fixed income for their life or the lives of the donor and spouse. The gift portion of the annuity may qualify for an immediate charitable tax deduction.
- Charitable Remainder Trust Charitable remainder trusts provide annual income to a donor, spouse, or child, with Westminster receiving the residual assets at the end of the trust period.
- Charitable Lead Trust In a lead trust, a donor places assets in a trust and trust income is paid to Westminster for a term of years. When the trust terms ends, the assets pass to named heirs. Lead trusts may result in significant estate or gift tax savings.
- Real Estate A gift of real property can be given to Westminster College. The college will sell the property and retain the proceeds. These funds can create a charitable gift annuity or flow directly to a project or endowment. The college prefers property that is owned outright by the donor. The donor can take a charitable deduction for the fair market value of the property.
- Life Insurance Life insurance can provide a meaningful gift to Westminster College.
- Westminster can be named as a beneficiary on an insurance policy.
- Ownership of an existing life insurance policy can be irrevocably assigned to the college so the college becomes the owner and beneficiary. The insurance policy can be paid in full or, if there are remaining premiums the college pays them for the life of the donor. The donor is allowed an immediate charitable deduction for the lesser of the policy's fair market value or the net premiums paid. Deductions for contributions to enable the college to pay subsequent premiums are also allowed.
- Life insurance can be used as a “wealth replacement” tool, allowing a donor to replace estate gifts with an insurance benefit to family.
Please contact Kaye Stackpole, director of gift planning, at 801.832.2735, toll free at 866.832.2730, or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the many planned giving options available and the one most suitable for you.
The Converse Society
Named for Westminster’s historic Converse Hall, the Converse Society honors those friends and alumni who have committed a gift to the college through their will or estate plan.
A Legacy of Learning
Every year, Westminster students benefit from meaningful gifts from Converse Society members who have remembered the college through their will or other planned gift. Converse Society membership is open to any individual or couple who designates a planned gift to the college.
How to Become a Member of the Converse Society
Alumni and friends of the college who have remembered Westminster in their will or estate plan are eligible for membership. A donor need only make us aware of their gift to be included. You need not tell us the amount of the gift. Letting us know of the gift provides us the opportunity to record the gift’s intended use and gives us the opportunity to say thank you.
Benefits of Converse Society Membership
The most important benefit is the knowledge that you are making Westminster a stronger institution and preserving the college’s culture of caring for future generations. More tangible benefits include:
o Admission to Westminster music, theater, and sporting events
o Converse Society mailings, including Legacy of Learning, an estate planning newsletter
o Auditing Westminster College courses (arranged through the office of gift planning on a space available basis)
o Invitation to Converse Society events