Frequently Asked Questions
1. What assets can I use to make a gift to William & Mary?
Generally speaking, during your lifetime you can make an outright gift of cash, securities or other property (e.g., real estate, personal property).
Through your will or with a distribution from a retirement plan or life insurance policy, your gift can be designated to William & Mary in accordance with your wishes.
2. What sort of gift plans also return income
You have the option of making a gift that returns income to you, your spouse, or other individuals, such as a charitable gift annuity, or charitable remainder unitrust or annuity trust.
3. What tax deduction will I receive for
Your tax benefits will depend on several factors: the type of gift, the time at which it is made, whether it is outright or deferred or has any income payments. In general, though, here are some guidelines:
4. I want to set up a life insurance policy,
name William & Mary as beneficiary, but retain ownership
of the policy. Can I deduct the premium payments I make?
No. The IRS would not consider that a "completed gift" – they'd say that, as the owner of the policy, you could change the beneficiary designation to a friend or family member. We must be made the irrevocable owner of the policy for gifts offsetting premium payments to be deductible.
5. I’ve heard that transferring gifts
of IRA assets to charity is advantageous. Why?
Qualified retirement plans such as IRAs, 401(k), 403(b), and Keoghs allow individuals to defer paying taxes on a portion of their income until the assets are withdrawn during retirement years. However, after a person's death, these accounts are often exposed to income and estate taxes, at a combined rate that could rise to 75% or even higher on large taxable estates. The tax will be paid at some point—by your estate and your heirs unless contributed to charity. In other words, by giving retirement assets to charity you receive double benefits. Your estate and heirs will not be taxed on the portion that goes to charity and you will support W & M!
6. I'd like to donate a painting. Will you
determine its value for my income tax deduction?
The IRS requires that donors of artwork and collectibles secure an independent appraisal of the items to establish fair market value. The appraisal has to be related to the gift, too – an insurance appraisal won't suffice. We can assist you on this point.
7. I'm interested in establishing a charitable
gift annuity. What financial provisions will you make for the
income payments to me and my spouse?
Your charitable gift annuity will be treated as a general obligation of The College of William & Mary Foundation, backed by all of our assets. We have an unbroken record in making timely payments to our annuitants, and that ongoing responsibility is a key element in our financial policies.
8. If I create a bequest or life-income gift,
will you continue to ask me for annual contributions?
Your planned gift is a significant addition to our long-term financial strength and our ability to meet the challenges and opportunities the future will bring. However, today's efforts are supported through annual gifts and we greatly appreciate and encourage any annual support you may want to consider.