Couples Story Illustrates Importance of Finding the Best Gift That Fits Your Situation
When Bernard '49 and Eunice Owen looked into a charitable gift annuity with Union College, they decided it wasn't the right fit for their situation—but they found a better option by naming Union as a beneficiary of their IRA.
Bernard and Eunice (both now deceased) believed in the Adventist education system. When their son Terry Owen '75 was asked why his parents wanted to include Union College in their estate plan, Terry said, "My dad went to Union College, his children went to Union College and his grandchildren went to Union College. The college certainly contributed to help build their estate and they wanted to give something back."
Bernard and Eunice felt strongly about having a well—planned estate, so they consulted with an attorney and formulated a plan. The Owens also contacted the Union College advancement office to discuss charitable gift annuities. The development staff provided a detailed and personalized illustration for the couple, letting them know about the benefits as well as the disadvantages of a charitable gift annuity.
After reading through the illustration, Bernard could see there were tax benefits to a charitable gift annuity such as a charitable deduction in the year he made the gift and a portion of his annuity income being tax—free. But Bernard wanted to know what would happen if their situation changed. Could they change their quarterly payments? Could they change their mind and have another charity receive the gift as well?
The answer to both these questions is no. One advantage of a charitable gift annuity with Union College is the payments do not change, so you know exactly what your payment will be for the rest of your life. Another benefit is the knowledge that Union College will receive the remaining balance of the annuity when you pass away.
To Bernard and Eunice, flexibility was more important than consistency, guarantees and immediate tax benefits. For those reasons, a charitable gift annuity was not a good fit for the Owens. "My mom and dad wanted to be able to maintain control of how their gift was going to be used," Terry said, "and be able to maintain flexibility should anything change."
Bernard and Eunice found the best way to make a gift to the college and maintain control was to name Union College as a beneficiary of their IRA.
Because the Owens maintained control of their gift, they were able to make some changes later on. When Bernard learned that a new science and mathematics complex would replace the aging Jorgensen Hall, he asked that his estate gift be restricted to help fund this project. Another change came when Bernard and Eunice thought about the time their grandchildren spent at Prairie View Adventist School (PVAS). The Owens wanted to give back to PVAS, so they included the grade school as a beneficiary on their IRA, too.
By naming Union as a direct beneficiary they also ensured a tax—efficient way of making their gift. Had they named one of their children as beneficiary of their IRA and given instruction in their will for the money to be given to charities, their IRA would have been taxed and a smaller amount would have gone to the schools.
Find Your Perfect Gift
If you want to explore options regarding the best way for you to make a gift to Union College like Bernard and Eunice did, please call Scot Coppock at 402.486.2503 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is happy to answer any questions you might have and to make suggestions of ways you can make a gift to Union College that is just right for you.
Information contained herein was accurate at the time of posting. The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results. Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.