Do you have the desire to give a charitable gift to the E. J. Ourso College of Business but have decided that now is not the time since you are still in the process of achieving your financial goals? A planned gift may be your solution. Planned giving allows alumni to achieve their present fiscal objectives while supporting LSU in the future through bequests in a will or through other philanthropic means.
The concept of planned giving can sometimes seem overwhelming and confusing. Therefore, we have asked Jane Henslee, associate director of Planned Giving for the LSU Foundation, to help us gain a better understanding of planned giving and the impact it can have on the E. J. Ourso College.
Q: What is your definition of planned giving?
A: Planned giving is the integration of personal, financial, and estate planning goals using lifetime or charitable giving set forth in a will with benefits to a philanthropic interest. In other words, it is a way for our alumni and friends to influence the future [of LSU] and not just plan for it.
Q: When do individuals generally begin making planned gifts?
A: Most people write their first will in their 40s because they may have assets and children, and they do not want the state to determine guardians for their children or how their assets will be distributed. Individuals may also include a bequest to a charity at this time. Philanthropic interests are often included in second wills. Second wills are usually written when children are older with families of their own. There is another generation to consider, personal assets have grown, and debt has likely decreased, so individuals begin looking at their will differently.
Q: What is the most common type of planned gift?
A: The most common planned gift is a bequest through a will. Current planned giving donors to the E. J. Ourso College have structured their bequests in different ways, including leaving the college property, a percentage of their estate, a specific dollar amount, or a residual after all other bequests are made.
Q: How could a donor use an insurance policy to benefit the E. J. Ourso College?
A: A donor may establish a life insurance policy for a specific amount and name the LSU Foundation—for the benefit of the E. J. Ourso College—as both owner and beneficiary. The premiums paid to the LSU Foundation are tax deductible. Another useful way to use life insurance is to endorse a paid-up life insurance policy to the LSU Foundation for the benefit of the E. J. Ourso College. The policy may have been issued for a need that no longer exists, like tuition for college for children who have long since graduated.
Q: We have alumni who have made planned gifts through Charitable Remainder Unitrusts, Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts, and Charitable Lead Trusts. What are the differences between the trusts?
A: The first two provide income to the donor for a specific amount of time, after which the charity receives the remainder. The Charitable Lead Trust provides funds to the charity for a specific amount of time, with the remainder reverting to children or grandchildren. All three of these require an attorney for its establishment and a CPA to file the trust’s income tax return.
Q: Do you recommend one type of trust over another?
A: No, they are all great ways to establish a planned gift with terrific benefits to the donor. However, now is the perfect time for a Charitable Lead Trust. Alumni and friends who are concerned about the 2013 estate exemption of $1 million with a 55% estate tax should think about putting a significant amount of money in a Charitable Lead Trust, paying the LSU Foundation the annuity for 15 years, and passing the remainder to their grandchildren tax free.
Q: What is the biggest obstacle that the LSU Foundation faces with planned gifts?
A: One obstacle has been educating planned giving donors to use the proper language by leaving their planned gift to the LSU Foundation on behalf of the E. J. Ourso College of Business. Gifts left directly to LSU become state money, which places it in the General Fund. Funds received by the LSU Foundation are carefully stewarded by an active Finance Committee of the LSU Foundation, as well as our in-house money managers. The LSU Foundation’s rate of return for the last year was nearly 15%.
Q: Some of our alumni and friends may have heard about the 1860 Society. How does a donor who has created a planned gift for the E. J. Ourso College become a member?
A: Becoming a member of the 1860 Society is simple. Membership is awarded to anyone who submits documentation, through a letter of intent or a copy of the relevant portion of one’s will, that names the LSU Foundation as a beneficiary of his or her estate. The letter of intent and information on the 1860 Society can be found on the planned giving office website at www.lsufoundation.org/plannedgiving.
Q: Can you please leave us with some final thoughts on what is the biggest benefit that the donor receives by making a planned gift to the LSU Foundation for the benefit of the E. J. Ourso College?
A: Everyone wants to leave a footprint on the earth that says, “I value this.” All of us have a passion, and a planned gift gives that passion a purpose. When we are no longer here, there is evidence that John or Mary Smith was passionate about scholarships, research, an institute, or a center at the E. J. Ourso College. Or, perhaps just the college itself. A planned gift gives LSU alumni and friends the opportunity to leave their legacy.
If you would like to influence the future of the E. J. Ourso College through a planned gift, please contact Karen Deville, senior director of Advancement, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 225-578-6407, or visit lwww.lsufoundation.org/plannedgiving.
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