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A Bequest to Save Taxes

A Bequest to Save Taxes

Thomas was a widower who had a great love for Utah State University. As an alum, Thomas wanted to thank USU with a gift from his estate.

Thomas told his attorney that he wished to make a bequest to Utah State. Thomas' estate included some stocks, real estate and an IRA. Thomas' attorney recommended that he give the appreciated stock and real estate to his children and leave his IRA to USU.

Thomas: My attorney told me that if I gave the stock and real estate to my children, these assets would receive a step-up in basis at my death. My children could then sell them without paying tax. However, if I gave my children my IRA, the IRA would be subject to estate and income tax. After paying all of these taxes, very little would be left for my family. By giving the IRA to Utah State, I could make a nice gift and avoid any additional tax for my estate and children.

Thomas contacted his IRA custodian to obtain a beneficiary designation form. He filled out the form and designated USU as the 100% recipient of his IRA account. Thomas' attorney then specified in Thomas' will the bequest of his other assets to his children.

Thomas: I was so impressed with my attorney's advice that I named him executor of my will!

Thomas called and notified USU's gift planning office of his bequest. Thomas was pleased that because our organization was a tax exempt institution, it would receive the full amount of the IRA value when he passed away, creating a legacy for the future.

You also may want to make it easy and convenient to have a bequest included in your will. The language below shows how a bequest can very easily be included in your will.

You might find it helpful to select the "print" button below and print this page. Please feel free to give this information to your attorney. If he or she has any questions, please contact us.

*Please note: Names and stories are meant to be examples of types of gifts donors can give to Utah State University. Since your benefits may be different, you can click here to view an estimate of your benefits.


Example bequest language - Please feel free to change the numbers or percentages as you desire.

1. Bequest of cash

"I bequeath the sum of $10,000 to Utah State University of Logan, UT."

2. Bequest of a percent of the estate

"I devise and bequeath 20% of the remainder and residue of property owned at my death, whether real or personal, and wherever located to Utah State University, Logan, UT."

3. Contingent Bequest

"If my brother John Doe survives me, I devise and bequeath 20% of the remainder and residue of property owned at my death, whether real or personal, and wherever located to John Doe. If John Doe does not survive me, then I devise and bequeath 20% of my residuary estate, whether real or personal property and wherever located to Utah State University, Logan, UT."


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