March 2, 2020

As visitors drive to Missy and Skooter Halamicek’s cabin in Gonzales, Texas, they are greeted by a sign that reads: “Meanwhile.” This sign holds a special significance for the couple. “When we see it, we think, ‘Meanwhile, while we’re in paradise, we wonder what the rest of the world is doing,’” Missy said. 

The Halamiceks refer to their 90 acres of solitude as ‘paradise’ and ‘heaven,’ and they are proud of what they’ve built. They chose to gift their real estate to Texas A&M University through a bequest in hopes that it can be used for something meaningful after their lifetimes.

“I feel like I’ve been given a lot, and to whom much is given, much is asked,” Missy shared. “I feel good when I can give back to others. It makes me happy.” 

While not former students, the couple expressed a connection to Aggieland. “Loyalty is everything to me, and that quality drew Missy and me to Texas A&M. It’s such a loyal university. Everyone is so friendly and shares a common bond,” Skooter said.

Passionate for animals, the Halamiceks are using their bequest to support the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. “We love our animals and don’t have any children,” Missy explained. “After touring the veterinary school and hospital and the Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center, we both commented: ‘If we were sick, we wish we could go to the veterinary hospital because it’s so amazing,’” she laughed.

The couple was shocked at the simplicity of the bequest process. “It was very easy to set up our will provision,” Skooter said. “Our attorney took care of everything. It’s probably one of the best things we’ve done since we’ve been married. We’ve been very pleased with the whole process and what we’ve been able to accomplish with our assets.”

Made by including language in a will or revocable living trust, a charitable bequest is one of the easiest ways to leave a lasting impact on Texas A&M. Bequest benefits include:

  1. Retaining your assets – You continue ownership and can enjoy using them during your lifetime.
  2. Decreasing tax burdens – Removing property from your estate reduces estate-tax liability.
  3. Flexibility of assets – Bequests can easily be created or changed at any time.
  4. Supporting Texas A&M – Leave a legacy for the university you love!

Tim Walton ’90, the Texas A&M Foundation’s assistant vice president for real estate services, partnered with the Halamiceks to find a solution to best fit their needs. “They’re very inspiring people,” he said. “Even though they aren’t former students, they’re true Aggies at heart. There’s no doubt about that.

Bequest Options

Percentage Bequest

A percentage bequest is exactly as it implies: You can designate a certain percentage of your estate to a charitable organization.

Specific Bequest

A specific bequest involves making a gift of a special asset such as real estate, a car, other property or a gift for a designated dollar amount.

Residual Bequest

A residual bequest is made from the balance of an estate after the will or trust has fulfilled each of the specific bequests.   

Contingent Bequest

A contingent bequest is made to charity only if the purpose of the primary cannot be met. For example, you could leave a specific property to a relative, but if that relative is not alive at the time of your death, the property will be given to your specified charity.