October 29, 2020

You can use many assets to leave a legacy gift. Learn how choosing the right one can benefit you, your loved ones and Aggieland.

If you have ever wondered if you could make a philanthropic gift to support your Aggieland passions, the simple answer is: “Yes, of course!” Naturally, your follow-up question might be, “How?” While current and planned giving options are available, this is also easy to answer because anyone can plan a gift to leave a legacy after his or her lifetime. The next question is more challenging to answer: “What assets should I use to fund my legacy gift?”  

Anytime you have options, you have more to consider. Think about a restaurant that only serves chicken finger baskets versus another that offers a variety of tasty meals. It may be challenging to decide what you want for dinner at the restaurant with more options, but in the end, you are satisfied because you got to choose the dish that was perfect for you. With that said, consider planned giving your very own philanthropy buffet!

Variety is the name of the game in planned giving with numerous methods you can use to plan a legacy gift; many impact areas you can support, such as students, faculty, colleges, programs, etc.; and there is also a plethora of assets you can use to fund your gift. A legacy gift truly is customizable to your needs and wishes. Let’s explore the most prevalent assets used and learn how some could potentially benefit you and your loved ones, while also benefiting Texas A&M University.

Assets to explore

Life Insurance

When you first bought life insurance, you felt the coverage was necessary. Perhaps your situation changed, yet you still have the same policy. Just as life insurance can provide future sums to family members, it can also be used to benefit Texas A&M.

You can easily make a legacy gift using a life insurance policy by simply naming the Texas A&M Foundation as beneficiary of your policy. You retain ownership during your lifetime, and the asset is revocable, so your gift can change if your circumstances do.

Retirement Assets

IRAs and other tax-deferred retirement accounts are great ways to accumulate assets to provide for retirement. However, they are not ideal for transferring wealth to the next generation, because they carry a tax burden to beneficiaries (except spouses) when inherited.

Many individuals leave less-taxed assets to their heirs and give IRAs or other tax-deferred accounts to the Texas A&M Foundation by naming the Foundation as the account beneficiary. As a charitable organization, the Foundation receives these retirement assets tax-free to benefit Texas A&M as you wish.

If you are 70½, you can use a qualified charitable distribution from your IRA to support your Aggieland passions while also satisfying your yearly required minimum distribution. This means greater giving and tax deductions in 2020!

Real Estate

Property you no longer use—a vacation home or an investment property that has become a hassle, or a highly appreciated property you are hesitant to sell due to substantial capital gains taxes—can be a beneficial asset to leave to the Foundation to fund a planned gift.

By donating property to the Foundation, you avoid marketing the property and the capital gains taxes triggered by its sale. Leaving property to heirs can create an estate-tax liability and could force the sale of other assets that might otherwise appreciate. Depending on the gift method you choose, you could also receive a significant charitable income-tax deduction and/or an increase in income.

The Texas A&M Foundation evaluates all potential gifts of real estate for marketability and potential environmental concerns. We ask donors to supply detailed information on the property before accepting the gift.


Securities such as publicly held stocks, closely held stocks, bonds and mutual funds are also ideal assets to consider in funding a planned gift.

Like retirement assets, securities can prove to be a costly inheritance for your loved ones. If they sell the investment, they will be subject to an approximately 25% capital gains tax. If you transfer the stock to a charity instead, you avoid capital gains taxes on the appreciation and pocket a tax deduction based on the fair market value of the investment on the date of the donation.

So, which asset on our philanthropic buffet sounds the most appealing to you? Before you make your final selection, we ask you to consult with our gift planning connoisseurs who can help you get the most bang for your buck while satisfying your craving to build a brighter future for Texas A&M University.

Interested in learning which of your assets would best suit a legacy gift? Contact our experienced Office of Gift Planning team today at giftplanning@txamfoundation.com or use the form below to contact Angela Throne ’03.

Use our new estate planning resource, “Aggieland’s Ultimate Estate Planning Kit,” to note your assets in the interactive pages, and learn more about Aggies and friends of Texas A&M who used each of the assets listed above to benefit themselves, loved ones and Aggieland.

Download our estate planning kit