The expression “knowledge is power” couldn’t ring truer in the world of planned giving. This giving method intimidates many people because of their own assumptions or myths they’ve heard elsewhere. The fact of the matter is, the more you know about planned giving, the more empowered you are to make wise estate planning decisions that will benefit you, your loved ones and your passions.
The top five planned giving myths debunked:
Making a planned gift is difficult.
There are a plethora of ways to make a planned gift. While some planned giving options like trusts and real estate are more complex, the most popular option—a bequest—is well-known for its simplicity. This type of planned gift simply requires you to include the Texas A&M Foundation in your will with the proper legal language, which the Foundation’s Office of Gift Planning can provide. You can also use beneficiary gifts like life insurance policies and IRAs to easily fund a planned gift by naming the Texas A&M Foundation as beneficiary of your account.
Only wealthy people can afford a planned gift.
Planned giving is ideal for those who are passionate about supporting Texas A&M University’s future, but who don’t have the financial means to make a cash gift during their lifetime. If you need your assets to live comfortably during your life but would like to use them to create your Aggieland legacy after your lifetime, join the hundreds of Aggies and friends of the Foundation who have chosen this route. You would be surprised that many are middle income Americans who love Aggieland and want to make a difference when it is financially feasible for them.
Planned giving requires an attorney.
While it is wise to include your attorney in your overall estate planning goals, you can easily name the Texas A&M Foundation as beneficiary of an IRA, other retirement account or a life insurance policy. Keep in mind that your named beneficiaries will supersede the directive in your will or living trust, so it is crucial to review them at least once every two years.
Only elderly people can make a planned gift.
There is a reason that people associate planned giving with a more mature crowd: As people age, they begin thinking more seriously about estate planning because they have family to consider and their assets have grown. That said, it’s never too early to think about the future and plant a planned giving seed that will grow to support something you love. The Foundation is proud to have many planned giving donors in their 30s and 40s who are excited to use their assets after their lifetime to create a brighter future for Texas A&M. Most planned gifts are amendable and revocable, so your gift can change as your life does.
Planned gifts aren’t as significant as cash gifts.
All gifts are praise-worthy and make a difference, but planned gifts are often bigger and provide a steady flow of income to support the university. This is vital for Texas A&M, especially during a downturn in the economy when most people are more reserved with their liquid assets. A planned gift gives you the peace of mind to give more for a greater impact because you know you will no longer need that money after your lifetime.
Have additional planned giving myths you need debunked? Contact Angela Throne ’03 at email@example.com or (979) 845-5638.