First In America Bequests
Deciding how to divide your assets among your heirs and charity is usually a matter of the heart. It involves decisions about your personal financial independence, your family legacy, and the investment of your social capital. The easiest and most common way for you to make a gift to Dickinson College is through a bequest in your Will or Revocable Living Trust. The tax laws encourage charitable bequests, so it is an excellent way to support our programs while reducing your estate taxes.
A will is a statement about what matters most in your life. By making a Will you can clearly express your intentions on how you wish your life's work distributed. Your executor will follow your wishes in administering your estate. Without a Will, the intestate laws of your state will divide your assets.
After providing for family and friends, consider a meaningful gift to Dickinson College to continue your lifetime of support. Bequest gifts can take many forms such as a specific gift amount, a specific gift type, a percentage of the estate, a percentage of the residue of an estate, or the entire residue considering all other provisions of your will. Or a bequest can be contingent, that is, taking effect only after other provisions cannot be satisfied.
Specific Bequest: Probably the most popular type of bequest, the donor designates Dickinson to receive a specific dollar amount or a specific piece of property. As with any charitable bequest, the estate receives a charitable estate tax deduction for the full amount of the gift.
Example: John Doe wills $10,000 to the College.
Sample language: "I give to Dickinson College , a Pennsylvania not-for-profit corporation, in Carlisle , Pennsylvania , the sum of $10,000 for its general purposes."
Percentage Bequest: The donor gives Dickinson a percentage of the estate.
Example: Jane Smith '45 leaves 25 percent of her estate to the College and the balance (75 percent) is divided between her brother and sister.
Sample language: "I give to Dickinson College , a Pennsylvania not-for-profit corporation, in Carlisle , Pennsylvania , twenty-five percent (25%) of my estate for its general endowment or for other general purposes."
Percentage of the Estate Residue: After making specific bequests to family and friends, the donor's estate is divided among others or charities, that may include Dickinson .
Example: Mary Jones '33 leaves $200,000 of her estate to several friends and family members and instructs her executor to distribute the remainder of her estate, with 50 percent to Dickinson and 50 percent to her church.
Sample language: "All the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, of whatsoever kind and wheresoever situate, shall be distributed as follows: fifty percent (50%) to Dickinson College , a Pennsylvania not-for-profit corporation, in Carlisle , Pennsylvania , for its general purposes and fifty percent (50%) to my local church."
Residue of the Estate: The donor, after providing several specific bequests to family and friends, leaves 100 percent of the residue to Dickinson .
Example: Bob Adams, '35 leaves his nieces and nephews $200,000 in several specific bequests and instructs his executor to distribute the balance of his estate to Dickinson to establish a scholarship in his family's name.
Sample language: "All the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, of whatsoever kind and wheresoever situate, shall be distributed to Dickinson College, a Pennsylvania not-for-profit corporation, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, to be used to establish the Adams Family Scholarship Fund, income to be used annually to provide scholarship assistance for students with financial need."
Contingent Bequest: This type of bequest takes effect only if all other conditions fail. This will insure that the property will pass to Dickinson rather than unintended beneficiaries.
Example: If Janet Green's brother dies before her, Janet leaves his bequest to the College.
Sample language: "I give to my brother Joseph Green, Philadelphia , Pennsylvania , the sum of $25,000, and if my brother Joseph Green is not living at the time of my death, I direct that the amount due him be paid to Dickinson College , a Pennsylvania not-for-profit corporation, in Carlisle , Pennsylvania , for its general use and purposes."
Bequest of Retirement Plan Assets: All retirement plan programs; regular IRA's, Roth IRA's, Keogh's, 403(b) plans, pension, and profit sharing plans require a primary beneficiary be named when the plan is established. This beneficiary can be changed at any time and may include a charity. Therefore, you might consider naming Dickinson College as a beneficiary of all or a portion of your retirement plan assets.
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