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Advancement: Your Connection to Union

Couple Gives Back to Union College Family

AshcraftsJeremy and Marcia Ashcraft '07 Nordmeyer protected their son Calvin, prevented a huge headache before major surgery, and have given the gift of flexibility to Union College, all by updating their estate plan.

Through their family experiences and having to bear the grief of loved ones passing away, the Nordmeyers have witnessed the benefits of having a will and consequences of not having one. "We certainly appreciated it when questions were answered and wishes spelled out in a will," Marcia proclaimed.

"Whenever someone would die we would say, ‘We have to update our will,'" said Marcia. "Then we had Calvin, our son, and it became even more important to update the will."

Marcia and Jeremy discussed on several occasions what their wishes were if they both died, but they didn't put anything down on paper. "We chose a guardian for our son but did not have that written down," Marcia recalled. "We never want Calvin to be the subject of a custody battle so we formalized our wishes by updating our will."

Marcia and Jeremy worked with Norman Zimmerman, the Kansas-Nebraska Conference Trust Services Director, on updating their will as well as their medical power of attorney and living will. "Having Norm there was helpful as he facilitated the conversation and affirmed what we already knew," stated Marcia.

As an ancillary benefit, having an up-to-date medical power of attorney and living will was very handy when Jeremy had surgery recently. "Having those documents meant we didn't have to scramble before Jeremy's surgery. The hospital requested them and it was one less headache we had to deal with."

While updating their will the Nordmeyers decided to include Union College as a beneficiary. After all of the bills from the estate are paid Union will receive a percentage of the remaining amount. Norm asked Marcia and Jeremy if their gift should go to something specific. Marcia, brainstorming aloud said, "What is the type of gift that LuAnn (Davis V.P. for Advancement) always says Union needs? Unrestricted, that's it. We will give our gift unrestricted!"

"I want my last gift to Union to be put to the best possible use, and right now I don't know what the college will need most the day after I die," Marcia clarified. "I want to give Union the gift of flexibility. If my gift pays for tater tots or helps with the electric bill, I don't care. Just so long as it helps the bottom line it's all good."

When asked why she and Jeremy included Union as a beneficiary of their estate Marcia explained, "I had a superb experience as a student. Very few of my friends who attended college elsewhere had as good an experience as I did."

"I feel like Union College helped to shape my life philosophy and clarify my long-term goals," Marcia further explained. "Why would I not give a final gift to Union College?"

Jeremy did not attend Union College but he has become part of the Union family. "Anytime he comes to a Union event he is treated like family, which goes above and beyond what you find in other communities."

Union College is committed to helping its alumni, friends and supporters like Marcia and Jeremy who include Union as a beneficiary of their estate, and will pay up to $750 toward their estate planning costs. If you would like information on how you can give Union College a gift through your estate please contact LuAnn Davis, Vice President for Advancement, at 402.486.2503 or LuAnn would love to help you get your estate plan up to date.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Union College a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Union College, a certified 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation registered in the State of Nebraska, [written amount or percentage of the etate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Union College or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Union College as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Union College as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Union College where you agree to make a gift to Union College and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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