Tennessee Tech’s planned giving program encourages individuals to find ways to support the university through their estates. At the same time, most of these deferred gift plans result in significant benefits to the donor in the form of estate or income tax savings. Many planned gifts are developed as part of an overall estate plan.
TTU alumni and friends have made planned estate gifts that have helped students pay for their tuition and fees, provided equipment for laboratories, and renovated classrooms. Even today, members of the university’s Visionaries Society, the group of donors who have told us they have included TTU in their estate plans, have pledged over $20 million in planned gifts to help ensure Tennessee Tech’s future.
Many friends and alumni have chosen to support Tennessee Tech by including the Foundation in their wills. Bequests can be made for a specific dollar amount, a percentage amount, or a residual (remaining) amount, and are fully deductible for estate tax purposes. Simply use the sample bequest wording provided as a guide in writing your bequest. If you have already written your will, you may simply prepare a codicil, or amendment, and attach it to your will.
You may choose to name the Foundation as a beneficiary or an owner and beneficiary of either an existing or new life insurance policy. When you contribute a life insurance policy to Tennessee Tech, the proceeds payable to the Foundation are excluded from your estate. In addition, when you make the Foundation both owner and beneficiary of a policy, you are allowed an income tax deduction for an amount usually equivalent to the policy’s replacement value. If you continue to make the premium payments on the contributed policy to keep it active, you can also deduct these in the years they are paid. To make a gift of a new life insurance policy, simply have your insurance agent add Tennessee Tech Foundation as owner and/or beneficiary on the application form. If you are contributing an existing policy, your insurance agent will have you complete a form.
In a life estate agreement, you deed your home, a vacation home, or a farm to the Foundation. In return, you may continue to live in it, work the farmland, or derive any income from the use of the land for the remainder of your life. After this time, the land comes to Tennessee Tech Foundation to support the programs of your choice. In the year you enter into the life estate agreement, you will receive an immediate charitable deduction. Life estate arrangements require two distinct documents to complete: (1) an executed deed to your property naming TTU Foundation as owner and reserving a life estate for yourself and (2) a completed life estate agreement from our office.
By simply making the Foundation a beneficiary of a retirement plan, such as an IRA or an employer-sponsored plan, you can make a lasting contribution to the University’s future. Because some retirement plans with accumulated assets will be subject to both estate and income taxes, charitable gifts of these plans can result in significant tax savings for both you and your heirs. Most retirement plan gifts can be made by simply naming TTU Foundation as beneficiary using a change of beneficiary form provided by the retirement plan company. Although it is possible to contribute funds withdrawn from retirement plans, extreme care should be taken in doing so since significant income tax and associated penalties may apply.
Charitable trusts offer powerful ways to benefit you, your heirs, and Tennessee Tech. You can set up charitable trusts with cash, securities, real estate, or other assets. There are two main types of charitable trusts: charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts. A charitable remainder trust pays you and/or a loved one an annual income for life or a term of years. At the end of the trust term, the balance in the trust comes to Tennessee Tech Foundation to be used as you direct. A charitable lead trust works just the opposite: the annual income is paid to Tennessee Tech Foundation and the remaining trust balance is paid to family members. In both types of trusts, the annual income can be a fixed amount (“annuity trust”) or one that varies based on the trust’s value (“unitrust”). Charitable trusts provide income, estate, and gift tax savings. Because of their complexity, an attorney of your choice should draft them. If you do not have an attorney, we can help you locate one. The trust document will include your preferences as to payout rates and schedules, and will name a trustee. At this time, TTU Foundation does not act as trustee of charitable trusts. However, we have worked with many outstanding banks and trust companies, and we would be happy to help you choose one. Once the document is complete and your assets are contributed to the trust, it will become active.