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What is Planned Giving?

Planned giving is a way you can make a considered choice about how you want to use your assets now and after your death.  It usually involves financial or estate planning; however, it is not reserved for the wealthy.  We would be happy to work with you and your financial and legal advisors if you are interested in leaving a legacy at Stephens through planned giving.  Alumnae and friends who make a planned gift are recognized as members of our Within the Ivy Society.

To learn more about the various planned giving options, click on the links below.

For more information about any of these options, please contact Marissa Todd, JD, MBA '10, Director of Advancement Services and Planned Giving, at [email protected]


A Gift of Life Insurance

Consider the advantages of making a gift of life insurance to Stephens College.

  • Gifts of a policy are tax deductible, as are future premium payments.
  • A gift of life insurance is certain. The full proceeds are payable to ensure that your philanthropic goals are achieved.
  • Life insurance is paid promptly; it is not tied up in the administration of the estate.
  • Unlike a will, life insurance is not a matter of public record. Proceeds can pass for Stephens' benefit in privacy, if you wish.

Life Insurance Gift Options:

  • Buy a new policy and give it to Stephens: Purchase a new policy and name Stephens College the owner and beneficiary of that policy. The ultimate gift will be far greater than the total of the premiums you paid. Payments made for future premiums are tax deductible.
  • Give your existing policy to Stephens: When children are mature or a business interest is sold, a life insurance policy may no longer be needed. Name Stephens College as the owner and beneficiary of your existing policy. The current value of the policy is tax deductible, as are all payments for future premiums.
  • Cash in your policy to fund a gift to Stephens: This is another good choice if you have a life insurance policy that you no longer need. You can use the current value of a policy to make a current gift to Stephens, establish a charitable gift annuity, or even fund a scholarship. 

A Bequest

A will is perhaps the easiest and the most common way of planning an estate, and yet the majority of people die without one. A will allows you to designate an executor for your estate, name a guardian for minor children, and dispose of property to whomever you choose. Without a will, the state will decide what happens to your children and property.

Many people choose to include charities in their wills. A charitable bequest can help you support a worthy cause even after you are gone. Your gift can be unrestricted, allowing Stephens to use it for our greatest needs, or restricted for scholarships, endowment, or some other area of Stephens you wish to support.

A gift through your will can take the form of a set amount of money, a percentage of an estate or a specific asset. Below is some sample language for including Stephens in your estate plans.

Sample Bequest Language:
"I give, devise and bequeath (state amount, asset or percentage of the estate) to Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri, to be used (describe use) or as the College's governing board deems appropriate."

Charitable Gift Annuity

A charitable gift annuity gives you a way to provide for you and your family's financial future with a dependable, guaranteed lifetime income. Charitable gift annuities typically enjoy a higher rate of return than most conservative investments and are never subject to market fluctuations. In addition, part of your annuity income is tax-free.

A gift annuity can be established with a gift of cash, appreciated stock or other assets. Gift annuities are a simple contract which guarantees that Stephens will pay you a fixed income for the rest of your life or the lives of both you and your spouse (or another beneficiary that you designate). The rate of the annuity is based on your age (or ages for a two-life annuity). 

Stephens College can offer gift annuities in the following states:  Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Benefits of Charitable Gift Annuities:

  • Attractive Rates: Stephens uses the rates recommended by the American Council on Gift Annuities. Currently the rate for a 70 year old person is 5.1%.  The older you are, the higher the rate we can offer. Rates are slightly lower when the annuity is for two people.
  • Regular Payments for life:  When you establish your gift annuity, you will receive payments quarterly. The payment amounts are locked in at the time your gift annuity is established. These fixed payments will continue for life.
  • Tax savings:  When you establish a gift annuity, you receive an immediate charitable deduction based on the present value of the remainder interest. If you fund the gift annuity with appreciated assets, like stock, you can avoid much of the capital gains tax. If the capital gains is more than the IRS permits you to deduct in one year, you can spread the remainder over the rest of your life. What's more, a portion of your annuity payment each year during your life expectancy is completely tax-free.

The minimum amount to establish a gift annuity is $10,000. If you are interested in a calculation, please contact our office.

Charitable Remainder Trust

A charitable remainder trust allows you to make a gift to Stephens while providing yourself with lifetime income. A charitable remainder trust can be established with your legal and/or financial advisors. We are happy to work with you to ensure your ultimate gift supports Stephens in the way you wish.

Benefits of Charitable Remainder Trusts:

  • Charitable remainder trusts can be tailored. Income can be paid out for a number of years (up to 20) or for life. The trust can be for the benefit of yourself or other designated beneficiaries like a spouse or child.
  • If the trust is funded with appreciated assets like stock or real estate, any capital gains tax is avoided. The trust can sell the assets and pay out income to you without having to pay capital gains on the appreciation.
  • When the trust is established, you receive an immediate charitable deduction for the present value of the remainder interest.

Real Estate

For many families, real estate has been an excellent investment because its value usually increases over time. Few people realize that the real estate itself might be the source of a substantial gift. If you do not need to use your property, you can give it to Stephens now and receive a charitable deduction. You may also receive income for life if you put the property into a charitable remainder trust. If you want full use of the property but wish to leave it to Stephens upon your death, you can establish a life estate or bequest.

Benefits of using real estate as a charitable gift:

  • Reduced income and estate taxes
  • Financial security for loved ones
  • Increased lifetime income
  • Continued use of the contributed property during your life

Bill and Barb own a home worth $200,000. They want to make a substantial gift to Stephens College, but they want to continue living in their home. They give Stephens their home but retain a life estate for themselves. They continue to live in the house until their deaths. Bill and Barb gain a large and immediate income tax deduction and remove the house from their estate, thus reducing future estate taxes. They also have the satisfaction of knowing they have made a major deferred gift to Stephens.

Retirement Assets

One of the simplest and most "tax wise" ways to make a gift to Stephens College is through your IRA, 401(k), 403(b) or other qualified retirement plan. You can name Stephens as the direct or contingent beneficiary of all or a percentage of your plan. A simple fund agreement between you and the College will ensure that Stephens uses the money according to your wishes.

There are two major benefits to using retirement assets to fund a charitable gift. First, you will avoid federal estate taxes on the value of the assets that pass to Stephens. In addition, heirs are subject to income taxes when they receive distributions from retirement plans. Designating Stephens as beneficiary bypasses these taxes.

Marie has an 401(k). She does not want to leave the funds to her family members because she knows they will have to pay income tax on any distributions from the 401(k). Marie decides to name Stephens as the beneficiary of her 401(k). Upon her death, the funds in the account will transfer to Stephens. She will avoid paying estate taxes on the value of the account and make a generous gift to Stephens in the process.

*The information contained on this website is intended as general educational material, not financial or legal advice.  You should consult your own tax or legal advisor to determine how the concepts discussed on this site apply to your circumstances.