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Give by Bequest or Estate

Drexel's gift planning team is here to help make sure your wishes upon dying are granted and has developed a Will Wizard to help you begin your plan, but suggests you read through the below first and get your thoughts organized. If you have a will you may want to consider an update every so often as life's circumstances change.

Estate planning begins with the definition of goals.

The process involves considering current and future needs, defining a way to meet those needs through management of assets during life, and providing for the distribution of those assets upon death. Some people have tax-savings as their primary goal. Others are driven by non-tax issues, such as providing income for a friend or family member.

Regardless of the motivation for estate planning, it is important to have the assistance of legal counsel.

Attorneys and financial advisors are able to assess individual estate planning objectives and identify potentially adverse tax consequences. Legal counsel is necessary to draft trust agreements, Wills and other estate planning documents. Any estate plan should be reviewed periodically to incorporate changes in tax laws, and to consider an individual's changing needs, goals and intentions.

What is Charitable Estate Planning?

Benefactors who wish to make a gift to Drexel University often do so through thoughtful and well-drafted estate plans. These individuals know that it is possible to make a significant future gift in a way that will not affect their finances today. In fact, they know that such a gift can help them achieve many of the estate planning objectives they have established for themselves, their family and the charitable organizations that matter the most to them. An estate plan not only divides and distributes property, it can provide security for loved ones, minimize taxes and estate costs and, through a variety of testamentary gifts, create a lasting legacy for Drexel University.

How Does a Living Trust Differ from a Will?

A will is often the foundation of a sound estate plan. No matter what size of estate an individual has, everyone should have a will. This document allows an individual to control exactly how his or her estate will be managed, without a will, there is a risk of costly delays in the estate settlement process. In addition, if a person dies without a will, the law of the state in which the person lived will determine how his or her estate is divided. State laws generally provide for distributions to natural or adopted relatives, and provide nothing for friends or favorite charitable organizations. If there are no relatives, an estate is turned over to the state.

Wills are not just for single people; married people need wills to distribute their property according to their wishes.

Can I Specify How My Gift Will Be Used?

Many individuals choose to establish a "living trust" during their lifetime, and this is often referred to as a "will substitute." However, it is better thought of as being used in conjunction with a will. Any assets that are not placed in an individual's living trust during his or her life can "pour-over" into the living trust upon the individual's death. This is accomplished with a "pour-over" will. A living trust helps to avoid probate delays and to reduce the costs of administering an estate. It is a versatile estate planning tool that can be irrevocable or revocable.

One of the most attractive aspects of a living trust is that, unlike a will, a living trust is not part of the public record. Details of a trust remain private. This advantage must be weighed against the costs of preparing and administering such a trust, which can be substantial. An attorney can assist an individual in weighing the costs and benefits of various estate planning vehicles.

Are There Any Tax Savings With Such A Gift?

A gift to Drexel University through a will or living trust offers benefits to the donor in the form of advantageous tax treatment under both state and federal laws. It is possible for a donor to enjoy substantial transfer (estate and gift) tax savings.

What are Some of Drexel University's Special Gift Arrangements?

Drexel University offers a full range of planned gift opportunities. In addition to bequests and gifts through living trusts, these opportunities include charitable remainder trusts, charitable gift annuities, remainder interests in personal residences, and charitable lead trusts. It is important to note that all of these planned gifts can be made during a donor's lifetime. They also can be made in a donor's will or living trust, and designed to take effect only after the donor's death. Whether the gift is made during a donor's life, or on the donor's death, there are potential tax savings to be enjoyed. The appropriate arrangement for each donor varies according to the donor's age, the type of assets being used, and the donor's own financial needs and goals.

Does Everyone Need a Will?

A will is often the foundation of a sound estate plan. No matter what size of estate an individual has, everyone should have a will. This document allows an individual to control exactly how his or her estate will be managed, without a will, there is a risk of costly delays in the estate settlement process. In addition, if a person dies without a will, the law of the state in which the person lived will determine how his or her estate is divided. State laws generally provide for distributions to natural or adopted relatives, and provide nothing for friends or favorite charitable organizations. If there are no relatives, an estate is turned over to the state. Wills are not just for single people; married people need wills to distribute their property according to their wishes

Is it Easy to Make a Bequest or a Gift Through My Living Trust?

A bequest for Drexel University can easily be included when drafting a will for the first time, or by adding a Codicil to an existing will. Similarly, a gift provision for Drexel University easily can be added to a revocable trust agreement. If desired, the benefit to Drexel can be deferred through a special testamentary gift arrangement, while lifetime income is paid to a family member or another person. There are three types of typical bequests, or gifts through living trusts, to Drexel University: specific, cash and residuary. Bequests can be of any size, and may be of cash, securities, real estate or other property.

Is There Sample Language That I Can Show To My Attorneys?

The following are examples of the three types of outright gift provisions. The sample language illustrates how a bequest or a gift through a living trust can be accomplished, and is intended to be used for educational purposes rather than as advice. We encourage donors to share this information with their legal counsel, and recommend that anyone undertaking estate planning do so with the consultation of an attorney. For more specific endowment language, please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement.

Specific Bequest to Drexel University

A specific bequest gives a specific item or specific piece of property to Drexel University. Such bequests are fulfilled first, before cash and residuary bequests. If the donor disposes of the specified property during his or her lifetime, there will be no bequest to Drexel University.

I give ________________ (describe asset) to Drexel University, to further the objectives and purposes of Drexel University (or specify the College, or a School, Division or Department at Drexel).

Cash Bequest to Drexel University

A cash bequest provides Drexel University with a specified sum of money from a donor's estate. These bequests are fulfilled second, after specific and before residuary bequests .

I give _____ Dollars ($_____) to Drexel University to further the objectives and purposes of Drexel University (or specify the College, or a School, Division or Department at Drexel).

Residuary Bequest to Drexel University

A residuary bequest is made from the residue, or what remains in a donor's estate after specific and cash bequests, taxes, settlement costs and debts are satisfied. This type of bequest is sensitive to changes in the size of the estate over time.

I give the residue (or _____ percent of the residue) of my estate to Drexel University to further the objectives and purposes of Drexel University (or specify the College, or a School, Division or Department at Drexel).

Are Other Estate Planning Opportunities Available?

Bequests and gifts through living trusts are only two ways to make gifts to Drexel University. Many other gift arrangements enable a donor to make a gift during the donor's life while retaining income from the asset. Each arrangement offers unique advantages, allowing donors to tailor their gifts to meet their unique personal financial and philanthropic goals.

How Do I Find Out More About Charitable Estate Planning?

To explore the opportunities and rewards of making a bequest to Drexel University, please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement. IA Colleagues can provide detailed information about Drexel University's life-income gift arrangements, funding options, and endowments to support specific academic areas or University programs. Planned giving professionals work confidentially with donors and their advisors to create gifts that blend each donor's financial and personal objectives with the academic and programmatic priorities of Drexel University.

If you have any questions, or would like to consult with a member of the planned giving staff to determine whether planned giving is right for you, contact David Toll, J.D., Associate Vice President, Office of Gift Planning, at 215-895-4982 or email dtoll@drexel.edu