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Who are members of the Public Service Legacy Society?
Members are individuals who value public service and want to ensure that when they are gone some of their resources will continue to benefit others in a way that reflects the importance of public service. Members make a provision in their estate plans for the Institute for Public Service or one of its agencies in a variety of ways that works with them and their personal situation.
How much do I have to give to join the Public Service Legacy Society?
All gifts to the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service in a deferred manner is appreciated and valued knowing that donors who make a deferred contribution understand that they are planting seeds for the future and will not actually see their investment produce fruit. Due to changing priorities of the Institute for Public Service and its agencies, IPS recently established the Public Service Legacy Fund, an unrestricted endowed fund created for the enhancement of existing programs or the creation of non-funded priorities. Individual donors who join the Public Service Legacy Society with a deferred gift less than $25,000 (the minimum amount required by the University of Tennessee to set up a named endowment) are encouraged to contribute to the new fund or they can designate their gift to an existing endowment that best matches their interest and experience with either the Center for Industrial Services, the County Technical Assistance Service, the Law Enforcement Innovation Center, the Municipal Technical Advisory Service or the Jimmy Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership.
How do endowed funds work?
Endowed gifts enable donors to create permanent funds for specific purposes. Funds will be invested and managed by the University of Tennessee Foundation to provide a steady and reliable income stream in perpetuity. Endowments exceeding the threshold may be named to honor the donor or another appropriate individual. Options for designating endowed gifts include undergraduate scholarships or graduate fellowships. Scholarships and fellowships are awarded based on one or more of the following criteria: merit, need, area of residence, and/or field of study. Named programs may be endowed to include geographically-centered research studies, program enhancements or special seminars underwritten by the donor’s endowed fund, for example.
What types of planned gifts are there for me to consider?
To join the Public Service Legacy Society one gives through a deferred gift in their estate. The various options are listed below:
The most frequent planned gift is a bequest made to the institute through a will or family trust. A bequest may be for a specific amount, for a specific percentage, or for the remainder of a donor’s estate. A simple codicil to an existing will is all that is needed to join or, if necessary, the University of Tennessee Foundation can assist in the preparation of a will, a codicil or recommend professional legacy advisors for the donor to utilize.
The Charitable Gift Annuity, which is in essence a contract between a donor and the university, guarantees a fixed annual payment to the donor for one's lifetime, for a spouse’s lifetime or for the lifetime of another beneficiary. When the last named beneficiary passes away, the institute receives a substantial portion of the initial donation. The Charitable Gift Annuity is backed by all the assets of the University of Tennessee Foundation and provides an immediate charitable tax deduction for the participant and is very simple to execute without the assistance of an attorney. A tailored illustration will be provided to the donor explaining their possible tax savings, guaranteed fixed annual income for life and important information for their own financial advisor or tax preparation professional if necessary.
Planned gifts may also be made through Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs), which may be funded by cash, appreciated securities, real property and other resources. Like a Charitable Gift Annuity, the benefits of a CRT include tax relief for the donor and a steady annual income for one or more beneficiaries. Depending on the needs and financial parameters of a given member of the Public Service Legacy Society, an “annuity trust” (CRAT) makes a pre-determined set payment. In a “unitrust” (CRUT), the annual payout is determined by the performance of the investment made of the trust’s funds.
Donors can also contribute existing 401-K, 403-B or other retirement plans. It is often the best avenue to contribute through a bequest because qualified assets are not only includable in the decedent’s taxable estate for estate and inheritance tax purposes but also they have income tax consequences to the beneficiary. When a charity is named as a beneficiary of retirement assets, it is exempt from estate, inheritance (often referred to as the “death tax”) and annual income tax.
What assistance is there for helping me make this decision?
The Institute for Public service Development Director Rhonda Campbell and the staff of the University of Tennessee Foundation will assist you in making the best decision on how to support IPS in your estate plans. Most often the staff works with professional advisors such as estate attorneys, certified public accountants or other financial advisors and if a referral is needed can recommend some options. Paperwork such as codicils (amendments to existing wills) and donor intent forms are provided to the donor upon request.
In recognition of society member’s support of the Institute for Public Service through a deferred gift, individuals are automatically accepted as members of the Public Service Legacy Society with recognition given appropriately in publications and special events. A recently commissioned walnut plaque in the shape of Tennessee is presented to the donor(s) at either the annual conference or an alternate event. Credit is given on behalf of the donor to the University of Tennessee. The confidential details of deferred gifts are never shared with the general public.