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Planned Giving

There are many planned gift opportunities available to donors. Planned gifts are usually larger and made during a donor’s lifetime, or estate contributions that donors may make through wills, trusts, gift annuities, insurance policies or gift agreements.

Most of the planned gift vehicles available can provide cost-saving benefits to you as well as a meaningful gift to Wheeling University. 

For additional information on any of the items below, please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at (304) 243-8141, (800) 888-2586 or .

Life Income Gifts

Charitable Gift Annuity

The charitable gift annuity is a widely accepted way to make an irrevocable charitable gift to Wheeling University and, at the same time, retain an income stream. In exchange for a gift of cash, marketable securities or, in some cases, property, Wheeling University contractually guarantees to pay you or another beneficiary a specified annuity for life. The annuity is a fixed payment based on the age(s) of the beneficiary(ies). The donor may also receive an income tax deduction for a portion of the value and capital gains tax may be avoided or postponed.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

Charitable trusts are irrevocable trusts whereby assets are transferred to the trust, which in turn pays the donor or beneficiary a regular income for life or a specified number of years. After the death of the last income beneficiary or at the end of the term of years, the principal will then be paid to Wheeling University to be used as the donor specifies.

  • Charitable Remainder Unitrust: The Charitable Remainder Unitrust is an irrevocable trust that provides a fluctuating income distribution based on a fixed percentage of the annual value of the trust (the percentage must be at least 5%). Capital gains tax may be avoided or postponed when the trust is set up and an income tax deduction is available for a portion of the value of the property.
  • Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust: The Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust is also an irrevocable trust, but it provides a fixed income distribution based on the value of the assets at the time the trust is created. Capital gains tax may be avoided or postponed when the trust is created, and an income tax deduction is available for a portion of the value of the property.

Charitable Lead Trust

The charitable lead trust is an irrevocable trust that allows the donor to provide Wheeling University with an annual income for a period of years (as determined by the donor). After the term has expired, the assets from the trust then transfer to one or more beneficiaries. Gift and estate taxes may be avoided by creating a charitable lead trust. This is most attractive to donors who have substantial holdings (especially assets that are expected to appreciate highly), no need for more income for them, but who want to pass their assets intact to their heirs in the future.

Marketable Securities

Many donors find that contributing appreciated securities is a great way to make a gift to Wheeling University and benefit from tax-saving incentives. A gift of listed stocks, bonds, or other publicly traded securities entitles a donor to an income tax deduction equal to the full fair market value of the securities on the date of the gift, provided that the securities were owned for more than one year. In addition, the donor does not incur capital gains tax on the direct transfer of the securities to Wheeling University. Note: As a general rule, it is more advantageous for a donor to sell depreciated securities and donate the proceeds to charity. Please see your tax advisor for more information.

To obtain instructions for transferring securities to Wheeling University, please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement.  

Gifts of Property

Many donors may choose to donate gifts of property as a part of their gift plans. Please note that some gifts of property may require approval of the Wheeling University Gift Acceptance Committee, and the donor will be asked to provide a qualified appraisal for property gifts valued at $5,000 or more and a Phase I environmental survey for gifts of real estate, both at the donor’s expense.

Real Estate

An outright gift of unencumbered real estate may enable a donor to make a significant gift without incurring capital gains tax on the transfer of a highly appreciated asset. A gift of an interest in real property will entitle the donor to a charitable income tax deduction equal to the fair market value of the interest in the property on the date of the transfer, provided the property was owned for more than one year. Gifts of real estate can include personal residencies, vacation homes, undeveloped land, or commercial property.

Tangible Personal Property

A donor may contribute gifts of tangible personal property, such as works of art, rare books, or stamp or coin collections. Provided that the donor owned the property for at least one year, he or she would be entitled to an income tax deduction in the year the gift was made based on the full fair market value, and would avoid capital gains tax on any appreciation.

Life Insurance

If a donor owns a life insurance policy and no longer requires its protection, he or she may wish to consider making Wheeling University beneficiary or transferring ownership of the policy to the University. Another option is to purchase a new policy and name the University as beneficiary or transfer ownership to Wheeling University.

Transferring ownership of a new or existing policy to Wheeling University will generate an income tax deduction roughly equal to the cash surrender value of the policy on the date of the gift. If additional payments on a policy are required, generally the donor may take an income tax deduction for any premium payments the donor may subsequently make to the University.

Gifts By Will

Bequests are the simplest and most frequent forms of planned gifts to Wheeling University. A gift by will can sometimes enable a person to make a larger gift than would have been possible during life.

Our estate tax laws encourage charitable giving through the estate tax charitable deduction. This deduction permits the passing of property to charitable beneficiaries free of estate taxes. All types of property may be used in making an outright charitable bequest: cash, securities, personal property, real estate, life insurance, etc.

Several options are available for determining the type of bequest best suited to an individual’s circumstance:

  • Outright Bequest: This is the most straightforward method, whereby an individual designates a specific dollar amount, a percentage of their estate, or items of property (including securities or real estate).
  • Contingent Bequest:  A donor may provide that his or her estate (or a portion of the estate) passes to a charity only if there are no surviving primary heirs to the bequest.
  • Residual Bequest:  This bequest would state that after all obligations to beneficiaries and estate settlement are satisfied, the remaining assets would pass on to the charity.
  • Testamentary Charitable Trust:  This trust can be created from the estate to provide for family members or others during their lifetimes, before reverting to a charity.

By executing a new will with Wheeling University in mind, or by adding a codicil to an existing will, an individual may significantly increase their ability to make a major contribution.

Bequest language might be read as “and to Wheeling University, a non-profit educational corporation in Wheeling, West Virginia, I bequeath the sum of (or a percentage of my estate) for the unrestricted use of the University (its greatest need), or for XXXXXXXXXXXX (designated to a special use), or for XXXXXXXXXXXXX (restricted use or endowment gift).”