Some of the largest gifts made in support of the School of Law were testamentary gifts. Fortunately, today's federal estate tax laws favor testamentary gifts. With the potential for combined federal estate and state death tax rates reducing significantly the size of an estate, a testamentary gift can be a desirable way to support the School of Law and reduce estate taxes.
A bequest may provide for a specific dollar gift, a percentage of your estate, or specific asset(s) to be given to the School of Law in support of its various programs and endeavors. A bequest may also be in the form of a gift of the remaining assets of one's estate. Bequests, like other gifts, can be designated for many purposes or given without restriction. Bequests do not qualify for current charitable income tax deductions because they are revocable. A Will provision requires simple language.
An unrestricted bequest is one intended for the general and best use by the School of Law at the discretion of the Dean of the School. Such a bequest might read:
"I hereby give, devise and bequeath to The Washington and Lee University School of Law, located at Lexington, Virginia, the (sum of $_______ ) ( ____ percent of my estate) (the following property) (the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate). The property comprising this gift may be used to further the charitable purposes of The Washington and Lee University School of Law at the discretion of the Dean."
Donors may restrict the usage of their bequests. A restricted bequest might provide as follows:
"I hereby give, devise and bequeath to The Washington and Lee University School of Law, located at Lexington, Virginia, the (sum of $_______ ) ( ____percent of my estate) (the following property) (the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate). The property comprising this gift shall be used for (state purpose)."
Testamentary Life Income Gifts
Charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, pooled income fund gifts and charitable gift annuities all may be established through a donor's Will. While such a gift will not provide tax savings during the donor's lifetime, a testamentary gift may reduce estate taxes, and provide life income for a loved one while still providing a benefaction for the School of Law.
In some cases, a retirement plan may represent the largest single asset held by an individual. Gifts of retirement assets sometimes can be advantageous when considering ways to reduce federal and state estate taxes. Because of the complicated rules governing retirement plans, please contact your financial advisor and us before deciding about a current or testamentary gift involving retirement assets.
You may name the School of Law as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy. Since the designation is not irrevocable, no income tax deduction is available to you. However, at your death, the executor of your estate may take a federal estate tax charitable deduction for the face value of the policy.