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Bequests

Complete gift description

Many people would like to help strengthen the long-term viability of the MU Foundation but feel they cannot afford to make such a gift today. A bequest by will or revocable Trust can be tailored to complement your personal lifestyle and financial goals and also support the MU Foundation! If you have not already done so, please consider putting the The Marshall University Foundation, Inc. in your will or revocable trust.

If you include the MU Foundation in a bequest provision, please notify us so that we ensure your wishes can be fulfilled. Your notification will be treated confidentially.

What are the advantages of making a bequest?

  • It is not payable until death, so it does not affect your assets or cash flow during your lifetime.
  • It is private – your will is not filed or made public until your death, and
  • It is revocable – you can change the provisions in your will or trust at any time until death.

What is the best way to include the MU Foundation in my will?

When including a provision for us in your will, you will want to make sure that your intention is stated clearly and that you have our correct name and address. It would be prudent if you or your adviser calls us before drafting the document to ensure that the information you are including is accurate.

Here are some of your options:

  • How will your gift be used: You may opt to designate a particular program at Marshall as beneficiary of your gift, or you may leave your gift to be used at the discretion of our Board of Directors. (By leaving your gift unrestricted, you leave open many doors of opportunity. Of course, the choice is entirely yours.)
  • What form should your gift take: You may choose to designate that we receive a specific sum from your estate (for example $5,000), or you may choose to leave a percentage of your estate (for example 5%).
  • What asset should you use: You can give almost any kind of asset through a bequest, including cash, securities, an interest in real estate (such as a residence), tangible personal property (such as works of art or antiques) or the remainder of your IRA, Keogh, tax-sheltered annuity, qualified pension or profit-sharing plan.
  • What priority will the gift have: You can decide whether we will benefit outright through your will or only after other conditions are met, such as the distribution of bequests to heirs and other loved ones.
  • Will your gift be permanent: You even have the option of “endowing” your gift to provide a lasting financial resource. Because we never spend the principal of an endowed gift, there is always income to support our programs and projects.

Will my gift be deductible?

A charitable bequest or trust distribution is deductible for federal estate tax purposes, and there is no limit on the deduction your estate can claim. In addition, the gift is usually exempt from state inheritance taxes.

What if I've already written my will or trust?

You can amend a will or trust to make a gift without rewriting the entire document. Your attorney can prepare the simple statement, called a codicil, that adds a new bequest to us while reaffirming the other terms of your will. Similarly, he or she can prepare an amendment to your revocable trust to add us as a beneficiary.

What's the difference between a will and a trust?

A will is your instruction manual to your survivors about how you want your property distributed. It's a revocable, private document that only takes effect after your death.

A revocable trust (sometimes called a living trust) is a legal entity that holds assets during your lifetime, then transfers ownership of them — or benefit from them — upon your death. Unlike a will, a trust must take title to assets before it can pass them to your survivors.

There is no difference between wills and revocable trusts in how transfers from them are taxed. In some states, however, the probate and distribution process is simpler with a revocable trust. Your advisors can guide you in choosing which vehicle will work better for you.