Estate Planning and Gift Planning 

Estate planners often begin by having their clients complete a detailed checklist about themselves and their interests. Then, with facts gleaned and some intent discovered, the planner moves to the primary question: "How would you want your property disposed of if something happened to you?"

Hopefully, the client will know. People who recognize their mortality and thoughtfully plan how to give away their estates focus on their lives, and then reward those individuals and organizations, such as Willamette University, they have come to love. They have no obligations to anyone but themselves and their own strong wishes.

That's why many estate planners suggest that clients carefully review their checklist a second time and answer this question: "Would you like to permanently link your name to your favorite charities?"

A Step Beyond
People who answer "yes" to this second question have a whole new realm open up to them: gift planning.

Gift planning is about finding ways to make charitable gifts from your estate while enjoying financial benefits for yourself. For example, if you know you'd like Willamette to receive part of your estate at your death, you could place the assets in a charitable remainder trust while you're living.

With a charitable remainder trust, you can be paid the income from the trust assets for the rest of your life. The year you establish the trust, you receive a charitable deduction for the portion expected to remain for us after your lifetime. Plus, the trust assets will be removed from your taxable estate, so they're not subject to estate tax.


Gift Calculator Calculate how you can benefit from the two types of charitable remainder trusts offered: an annuity trust, which provides fixed income, and a unitrust, which provides variable income.

Thus, estate planning and gift planning, working together, enable you to provide in the manner you want for the people and the charitable organizations, such as Willamette, that you care about.

To Sum Up
First, set your goals. Then review the strategies at your disposal for distributing your estate. Make your choices and complete a will. As years go by you may want to change your will, so be sure it always reflects your current wishes.

Please contact Steve Brier at (866) 204-8102, or via e-mail at sbrier@willamette.edu, for more information.