Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is planned giving?
A. Planned giving, or charitable gift planning, is a way for individuals to provide financial support to Shaw University during their lifetime and even beyond. Many planned giving arrangements are typically made known in a will or trust that goes into effect after the individual’s death.
Q. Do I really need a will?
A. Whether or not you plan to support Shaw University through your will, it is important to have one. Without this legal document you will not have control over how your money or possessions are distributed after your death.
Q. How do I determine what is in my will?
A. Your estate plan should be based on the types of past experiences, issues, causes, individuals or groups that have made a difference in your life. An estate plan protects your assets, your family and the integrity of your desire to continue to support meaningful experiences.
Q. What tax benefits will I receive through planned giving?
A. Depending on how much you give and the method you choose, you could realize significant tax benefits. Your attorney or professional tax adviser can give tell you the exact tax benefits your gifts are eligible for.
Q. Can I give personal property to the school and still maintain the use of it and/or the income from it until I die?
A. Believe it or not, there are several ways to accomplish this. And you may even get an immediate tax benefit. You’ll definitely need an estate attorney for these kinds of arrangements. Gifts may include securities, real estate, antiques, collectibles, even the house you live in. Keep in mind that some gifts may require maintenance funds.
Q. Can I designate Shaw University as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, my IRA or other retirement account?
A. Yes, this is a very simple method of helping the school, but this method may not have the tax advantages of other planned giving methods. Check with an accountant first.
Q. Can I simply leave a percentage of my estate to the school?
A. Certainly. Just make sure your lawyer clearly states your desire in your will.
Q. Can I leave something to the school without disinheriting my children or heirs?
A. Yes, there are ways of replacing the value of what Shaw University receives with a life insurance policy benefiting your heirs. Talk to your estate attorney on this one. You can also leave a “specific bequest” to Shaw University with a specified dollar amount or percent and leave the balance to your children.
Q. What is a Bequest?
A. A bequest to Shaw University is quite simple, and is the easiest way to make a planned gift. This allows you to make a significant gift to the University without decreasing the assets available to you during your lifetime.
Q. What is a Charitable Trusts?
A. You transfer your cash or appreciated property to fund a charitable trust. The trust sells your property tax free and provides you with income for life or a term of years.
Q. What is a Charitable Gift Annuity?
A. You transfer your cash or appreciated property to our organization in exchange for our promise to pay you fixed income (with rates based on your age) for the rest of your life.
Q. What is a Charitable Lead trust?
A. You transfer your cash or property to fund a lead trust that makes gifts to us for a number of years. You receive a charitable deduction for the gift. Your family receives the remainder at substantial tax savings.
Q. Should I notify the school of my plans?
A. If you are comfortable with it, please do. Even though we may not be able to count on the timing or exact amount of individual bequests, it is very helpful for long term planning to project the possible impact of bequests. Also, foundations that we are soliciting often want to hear of our planned giving/bequest program. And just knowing of your intentions is very supportive now and in the future.
For more information, contact:
Director of Alumni Relations and Planned Giving