TTU Receives First Retained Life Estate Gift

This past holiday season turned out to be an especially bright one for Tennessee Tech University thanks to the generosity of two friends of the university. The husband and wife, who prefer not be named, have deeded their house and land to Tennessee Tech, becoming the first to do so in the university's history.

Under the agreement, the couple will continue to live in the house and use the property for as long as they live. Only after both have died will the property and house be transferred to Tennessee Tech. The couple has asked that the property be sold and the proceeds from the sale be used to support programs in TTU's History Department. Currently, the house and property are worth almost $200,000.

"The extraordinary generosity represented by this gift is deeply appreciated," says TTU History Chairperson William Brinker. "This gift will allow the Department of History to provide invaluable support to its future students and faculty, ensuring that the department will remain strong and effective. Friends of the university such as these donors are to be honored and treasured."

This is not the coupleÕs first planned gift. Several years ago they included the university in their wills, becoming charter members of TTU's Visionaries Society, the recognition group honoring those who have told the university that they have included it in their estate plans.

"This is the first gift of this kind we've received, and what a wonderful gesture on their part," said Tiff Rector, director of Planned Giving/Corporate and Foundation Relations. "They have the satisfaction of knowing they can continue to live in their home and make a gift of it at the same time. Their generosity through their wills and this arrangement helps ensure a bright future for the university."

A charitable gift through a life estate, similar to this one, said Rector, is not difficult to do.

"Individuals can simply have their attorney prepare a new property deed that transfers ownership to Tennessee Tech but retains the right for them to live there the rest of their lives," he said. "This allows them to continue to use the house as they have been. They can make repairs to the house, add on to it in any way, and basically treat it as any proud homeowner would."

Rector says that a gift of a remainder in a home or farm also provides income and estate tax benefits -- a donor is allowed an income tax deduction in the year that the property is deeded to the university.
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