Tom & Wilma
We wanted to make a gift to Westminster Theological Seminary in addition to our annual support – a commitment that would make a lasting impact on the organization our whole family loves.
But how to do it? We can’t afford to give away large sums while we’re alive, and our children are counting on receiving most of our estate. Our financial advisor came up with the creative solution. He had been looking over the annual statements from Tom’s and my IRAs and retirement plans.
“There will be more than adequate distributions available from these plans after you retire to maintain your lifestyle and enjoy yourselves a little bit,” he told us. “In fact, I’ll probably be advising you to minimize your withdrawals and keep the accounts growing.
“But, did you know that any balance remaining in those plans when the second of you dies could be taxed twice if you leave the accounts to your children through your will? That’s right – the balances could be subject to both estate and income tax. Your children could wind up with a lot less than you’re expecting them to get.”
His plan? Designate Westminster Theological Seminary as the recipient of all or a portion of the remaining balance in our retirement plans. That transfer will be subject to neither estate nor income tax, resulting in a substantial gift to Westminster Theological Seminary. We were then able to allocate the other assets in our estate to our children, knowing that they can take them free of the double tax that applies to retirement accounts.
The result for us? We solved an estate-planning problem we didn’t even know we had, and found a way to provide long-term support for our favorite institution.