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Gift Planning

Bequests--Pat and Bob Gorchov '67

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By Bob Gorchov
Class of 1967

I graduated from Haverford in 1967, but it wasn't until 1983 — after acquiring what I thought was some experience of the world — that I enrolled in law school. One of the subjects taught in law school is "Wills, Trusts, and Estates," and I remember the arduous process of trying to learn about bequests, beneficiaries, remainders, and the marital deduction. During my checkered legal career I've drafted a few wills, but not my own; for that, I sought out a specialist in Wills and Estates — someone who knew about Internal Revenue Code provisions and the rights and powers of trustees — and I asked him to include in my will a bequest to Haverford. My assets being somewhat smaller than the extent of my affection for Haverford, he was able to draft a simple, straightforward provision; bequeathing a portion of my assets to the College is one of the best "business" decisions I've made.

I sometimes think that if a large part of my life has been spent in school — elementary school, junior high school, high school, college, graduate school, law school — then the time that I spent at Haverford is a high point, a sunlit mountainous peak overlooking what for the most has been a valley of despondency. Being educated at Haverford encouraged in me a spirit, however tentatively expressed, of inquiry and a willingness to follow paths that aren't necessarily conventional and which may go against the grain of accepted wisdom. After I graduated from Haverford, it didn't take me long to realize what a special place the College is: the tranquility of the campus, the vitality of the faculty, the intelligence of the students, the ideals reflected in the Honor System, the nurturing of a critical intelligence that is, at the same time, able to respond to ideas with informed passion. I think of Haverford as an educational and socio-political oasis, and I realize that its place in the world may be fragile.

Forty two years after my graduation, I have fond memories of the College: my initial interview in 1964 with admissions director Bill Ambler when I was thinking of transferring to Haverford from Dickinson College; remembered images of philosophy professor Paul Desjardins writing Chinese characters on the blackboard when teaching his course, "Philosophy East and West: Confucius and Plato"; the small college bookstore managed by Pat Docherty, the wife of football coach Bill Docherty, and my astonishment and perplexity when I purchased a thick hardback volume of the thought of the philosopher Immanuel Kant and realized that I'd be reading this instead of Sports Illustrated for the next four months; the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg giving a reading in the new field house and kissing English professor John Lester on the cheek; and my sense of accomplishment at graduation in June, 1967, which was mingled with anxiety about the draft and confusion about what to do next. Haverford offered such a unique, rewarding experience that the world beyond its campus seemed daunting.

My intent here, though, isn't just to extol the virtues of a Haverford education or to wax nostalgic about a college that has meant a lot to me, but also to encourage others to contribute to Haverford — by, for example, remembering the College in their estate planning — so that this singular educational and social environment can continue to thrive. In certain ways, being educated at Haverford marked a turning point in my life; by leaving a bequest to Haverford in my will, I feel that I can help enable other young people to experience an educational process that seems particularly valuable in today's world.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Haverford 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 Haverford College [written amount or percentage of the estate 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 Haverford 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 gift 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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 Haverford as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 Haverford 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 Haverford where you agree to make a gift to Haverford 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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