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Gift Planning

Gifts of Real Estate--Twink and Jim Wood '50

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Jim and Twink Wood sitting in front of the land donated to Haverford College from their family farm in Mt. Kisco, New York.

There was a strong Haverford tradition in the Wood family. Jim Wood graduated in 1950, his father L. Hollingsworth Wood graduated in 1896, and his grandfather James Wood received his master's degree in 1870. Numerous cousins and other family members attended Haverford.

The Quaker heritage of the College, combined with an excellent academic environment, fostered Jim's lifelong appreciation of Haverford. As an alumnus, he became active in the life of the College, including serving on the Board of Managers from 1985 to 1997. "There is so much to be proud of about Haverford," reflects Wood.

"We had outstanding faculty, including Gilbert White, Herman ‘Red' Somers, Ira Reid, William Lunt, Jack Lester, and Doc Leake. Haverford College was important to me because it reinforced the timeless values of individual respect and responsibility, and it did this through the Honor Code and the Quaker values present in the life of the College," continues Wood.

Jim was active as a student, including participation on the baseball team (captain), soccer team, and the Customs Committee. In addition to academics and sports, there were opportunities for service through the Weekend Workcamps sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Small groups of Haverford students volunteered through the AFSC Weekend Workcamps to help refurbish neighborhood houses in Philadelphia. Jim also worked with The Committee of 100, a nonpartisan watchdog group that oversaw the election process in Philadelphia. These early "real world" experiences, supported by the College, provided Jim with an exposure to the world and an appreciation for the importance of community service.

Jim and his wife Twink continue to live on the Wood family farm, Braewold, in Mt. Kisco, New York. Several years ago it became evident to Jim and Twink that they needed to downsize the farm. Their two children, Emily and Stephen, had moved away from the Mt. Kisco area and started families of their own. The 275-acre farm was too big to manage for a couple facing retirement. In addition, the need for a plan of succession was necessary, especially as stewardship of the land was very important to them both.

After careful consideration, Jim and Twink decided to contribute a portion of the farm's land to Haverford College as a gift to honor Jim's father and grandfather. The College worked closely with Jim to sell the land. This involved finding an appropriate buyer, completing an appraisal of the property, and conducting a preliminary environmental review (Phase I study). "Although making a charitable gift with land is more complicated than using stock, it was our principal asset and thus the right asset for us to use," comments Wood. "The property has appreciated highly in value, and the resulting capital-gain tax would have been substantial. So, we entered into extensive family conversations about all this, and we actively included our children. In the end everyone felt good about the result. As a consequence, we were able to do something important that we wanted to do for Haverford and at the same time eliminate the need for our children to sell the property to pay estate taxes," Wood reflects.

Jim spent his career working in the financial services industry. He understood the importance of creating a financial plan, involving the family, and implementing a plan that works for everyone. Using a portion of the farm's land as a gift to Haverford fit nicely into that plan—and it served to create the gift to honor Jim's father and grandfather. In addition, the gift was a wonderful way to support the College's campaign, Educating to Lead, Educating to Serve.

"I encourage other alumni to consider the advantages which a gift of real estate provides," says Wood. "It can be a win-win situation all the way around with the tax collector as the only loser!"

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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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