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Gift Planning

Questions and Answers About Estate Commitments That Benefit Haverford College

The generosity and thoughtfulness of alumni, parents, and friends who have included Haverford in their estate plans help ensure that the College remains at the forefront of liberal arts education. Thank you for including Haverford in your estate plan.

What is an estate commitment?
An estate commitment is a gift that may come from a will, trust, DAF, retirement plan, life insurance policy, or commercial annuity, wherein you designate the College to receive the remainder. Other gifts to be realized in the future may also qualify, and we welcome your questions about them.

My estate gift to Haverford will only become effective if my spouse/partner predeceases me. Can I still be given credit for my gift?
Yes, if your surviving spouse or partner also includes a provision for Haverford in his or her estate plan. He or she should join you in signing the Estate Commitment.

What about friends or other members of my family?
We cannot count estate commitments contingent upon any other family member or individual predeceasing you.

How do I determine the amount of my estate commitment?
If you note a specific dollar amount and share that with the College, that amount will represent your estate commitment. If you are leaving a percentage of your residuary estate or assets in a retirement plan, Haverford will accept your good faith estimate of what you believe the College will ultimately receive.

May I designate my estate commitment to a specific program or initiative?
Unrestricted estate commitments allow the College to use your gift where Haverford's need is greatest. However, you may designate your estate commitment to a specific purpose. You may also add it to an existing endowed fund. If you choose to restrict your estate commitment, please contact the Office of Gift Planning (see contact information below), which will help to ensure that your wishes are honored.

What happens if my estate cannot fulfill my estate commitment?
Your estate commitment is not legally binding. There would be no obligation on your estate.

Can I make my gift legally binding?
Yes, if you choose. To do so, please request an Estate Note form from the Gift Planning Office.

What happens if I change my estate plan?
We understand that your plans may change in the future. If you make changes that affect your estate commitment, please inform us in writing so that we can update our records.

The Gift Planning Office welcomes the opportunity to answer questions about an estate commitment you may be considering. Contact Olga Briker, Ph.D. at 610-795-6079 or obriker@haverford.edu for more information.

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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 give to Haverford College, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 370 Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, PA 19041, or its successor thereto, ______________ [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 potential 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 may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. 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 may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. 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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