Wilkes University

Assets to Give

In a challenging economy, it may be difficult to find meaningful ways to support Wilkes University. The good news is there are many ways to help Wilkes and provide benefit for you, all while making a gift to Wilkes.

The following is an overview of some planned gifts that can benefit both the donor and the University. Please consult with your own legal counsel, tax advisor or investment consultant about gift arrangements that are best for you.

For further information, contact: Sue Jolley, Director of Special Gifts, 570-408-7832, susan.jolley@wilkes.edu

If you have made provisions in your will to benefit the University, you have utilized the most popular type of planned gift. Your will is the most important method to guarantee that your personal plans are carried out after death. Anything that you leave to Wilkes will reduce the size of your taxable estate, while helping one or more worthy causes of your choice, such as endowed scholarships. You can leave an outright gift of cash, securities or property or a percentage of your estate or a percentage of the remainder after making provisions for family and friends.

Do you have life insurance policies that are no longer needed? You may either donate the life insurance policy to the University or name us the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. For the gift of a paid-up policy, you will be entitled to an income tax deduction equal to the lesser of the cash value of the policy or the total premiums paid. To qualify for the federal charitable contribution deduction on a gift of an existing policy, you must name the University owner and beneficiary. Even if you are still paying premiums on your policy, you can give it away, and future gifts to us to pay the premiums will be tax deductible. To name the University the beneficiary of a policy will provide no current tax benefits because the arrangement is not irrevocable; however, it will provide a very generous gift with attractive tax benefits upon your death.

A gift of real estate offers you the opportunity to make a significant contribution to Wilkes University with a tax-friendly outcome. The following are just several possibilities:

An outright gift: If you own property that is fully paid off, has appreciated in value and that you no longer use, such as a second home or vacation property, an outright gift may be the simplest solution. You can deduct the fair market value of the gift and avoid all capital gains taxes. Plus, you no longer have to worry about the carrying costs of continued ownership, and you have removed that asset from your taxable estate.

A retained life income: Did you know that you can transfer the deed of your personal residence or farm to us now and keep the right to use the property for your lifetime and that of your spouse? You will receive a current charitable deduction in an amount that is based on your life expectancy and the value of the property.

A bargain sale can be used to generate a gift that is less than the full fair market value of the property. In this scenario, you agree to sell the property to us at less than its fair market value. The difference between the sale price and the fair market value is the amount that determines your charitable deduction. While the tax rules concerning a bargain sale are complex, the net result is often more favorable than selling the property at fair market value and making a charitable contribution from the realized capital gain.

If you are interested in making a real estate gift to Wilkes or would like more information, please contact Sue Jolley, Director of Special Gifts, 570-408-7832, susan.jolley@wilkes.edu

Bank accounts and CDs:
Are you aware that you can name the University the “payable-on-death beneficiary” of your savings and/or checking accounts or on any certificates of deposit? You own the assets for your lifetime and have them available for your use. Upon your death, the assets pass directly to us without going through probate. Just visit your bank and request to name a beneficiary on your accounts or CDs. You can change your beneficiary designation anytime you wish.

Retirement plan assets: Plans that are most appropriate for funding are profit sharing plans, 401 (k) plans, money purchase plans and IRA’s.Because our tax laws often subject retirement plan assets to the highest combined income and estate taxes, charitable donations of these assets may be your most efficient estate planning option. Many of the techniques described above can be used to create generous charitable gifts, usually at your death, from retirement plan assets that otherwise could be subject to tax rates of up to 80 percent. At the same time, you can pass more tax-favored assets to your family. You should, of course, consult an attorney or tax specialist for a strategy best suited to your situation.