June 6, 2017

As we look toward the future, we know that Texas A&M’s success depends on the generosity of those who invest in this institution. The best giving plans make a difference in the lives of others and can improve your own financial and/or tax situation – often right away. We want to ensure that when you support Texas A&M both you and the university benefit. Here are a few ways you can make a difference without depleting your checking account.

Make the Gift That Costs Nothing During Your Lifetime.

You can make a generous commitment for the future of Texas A&M without reducing your savings or cash flow. A charitable bequest in your will or living trust will not take effect until after your death. Plus, it’s revocable, so it can be amended if your or your family’s needs change over time.

You can make a bequest of:

· A fixed amount, such as $25,000

· A specific asset, such as a vacation home

· A percentage, such as 20% of your assets

· What is left of your estate after specific bequests have been made

Making a bequest is easy, and you don’t have to alter your current will. It can be as simple as adding a codicil to your existing arrangements.

As part of their estate plans Bill ’74 and Susan ’74 Ouren included a bequest to the Texas A&M Foundation that in the future will benefit Cushing Memorial Library and Archives and continue to support scholarships they have already established.

"One thing I would say to anyone is that if you want to give back to the university you can do so in many ways, large and small,” said Bill Ouren. “It's less about how much you give, and more about being committed to giving something.

“The needs are so broad that if you just work with the experts at the Foundation you can fashion a way to feel proud of what you do. Once you start giving, the rewards you receive in return are priceless,” he added.

Give the Gift That’s Hiding in the Back of Your Desk Drawer.

Are you maintaining more life insurance than your family still needs? If you no longer need the coverage, you can give the Texas A&M Foundation a paid-up life insurance policy. You’ll receive a charitable deduction for the value of the policy, simplify your portfolio and make a substantial gift to us without affecting your cash flow.

Remember that you must make us the irrevocable owner as well as beneficiary of the policy for your gift to be tax-deductible. The insurance company can complete the transfer of ownership. And if you owe premiums on the policy you can still use it to make a gift to us. In most cases, you can make deductible annual gifts to us offset the premium payments that we will pay.

R. Scott Lord ’85 deeply appreciates the time he spent on the Fish Drill Team. He wanted to do something to make sure that future Aggies will forever benefit from the life-changing experiences that this Corps of Cadets program offers. As the owner of three life insurance policies, Lord decided he could use one to benefit Texas A&M. He called Glenn Pittsford, the Texas A&M Foundation’s vice president for gift planning, to discuss a life insurance gift. Lord then make the Foundation the beneficiary of the policy and designated the funds for the Fish Drill Team. “The giving process was incredibly easy,” he said. “I sat down with my insurance agent, and we talked about what I wanted to do. I simply filled out a change of beneficiary form, and then Glenn put together the gift agreement.”

Make the Gift That Gets You Off the Stock Market Roller Coaster.

Not only does a charitable gift annuity offer you a tax deduction and fixed payments for life, it also freezes the current value of the stock you contribute. That’s because your annuity will be based on the value of the stock at the time you donate it. Your payments from the gift annuity will usually be higher than any dividends the stock might be paying you now.

Jean and Colonel John R Vilas ’53 created a charitable gift annuity with shares of Apple stock. “We bought Apple stock in 1995 and 1997,” said John Vilas. “Over the years, the stock split several times and our small investment grew. We knew that selling our stock would result in high capital gains tax, so instead, we donated the stock to create a charitable gift annuity, we are receiving fixed payment for our lifetimes and rather significant benefits.”

Make the Gift That Is the Most Tax Advantaged.

Did you know that your retirement plan (IRA) can be the most heavily taxed asset in your estate? If you pass it on to your heirs, it can lose more than 60% of its value to income and estate taxes. But if you give it to charity, there is no taxation at all. By making such a gift to the Texas A&M Foundation, you avoid high tax penalties and can ensure that your heirs receive more by leaving them favorably taxed property.

· Designating the Texas A&M Foundation as the beneficiary of your retirement plan is easily accomplished by using the plan’s beneficiary designation form.

· It’s a good idea to consult with your plan’s administrator and a financial adviser before making any changes in plan distribution.

Bill and Joyce Roach found themselves with a wonderful dilemma–they had more retirement funds than needed. Knowing their three children and four granddaughters would be taken care of through other assets, the Roaches found a tax-friendly and simple way to help future Aggies.

“We’re going to give both of our IRAs to the Texas A&M Foundation after our lifetimes,” said Bill, who noted that the IRAs would have been subject to income and estate taxes if they were passed to family members. “When I give them to the Foundation or any charity, they’re not taxed. Texas A&M will fully benefit. The gift plan was extremely simple to accomplish, requiring just a change in beneficiary form.”

Planned giving is smarter giving. We want to help you find the gift plan that’s right for you, so you benefit from it as much as we do. Don’t forget these other assets that you can use to make a gift:

Real Estate – Benefit Texas A&M by Leaving a piece of property in your will, funding a unitrust, or creating a retained life estate.

Payable-on-Death Accounts and Transfer-on-Death Accounts – Name the Foundation as beneficiary of your payable-on-death accounts, such as checking and savings accounts, or your transfer-on-death accounts, such as investments and mutual funds.

Term Royalty Deed – You can create a term royalty deed for a specified period to fund a specific program. You can also create a term royalty deed for a specified dollar amount.

Intangible Property – You can give patents, copyright, or royalties. You will receive an immediate charitable income tax deduction.

To learn how you can make a bigger, more transformational difference at Texas A&M, contact us to receive your complimentary Estate and Gift Planning Kit to learn which option is best for you.