Supporting tomorrow’s students through estate planning is a great way to leave a legacy!
For many years now, the state of Texas has systematically decreased funding for public schools. As a result, foundations have been set up across the state to help retain teachers, important programs and supplies in their schools. In 2016 the Muenster ISD Education Foundation was formed to address these same issues. The mission is to “promote community and alumni support for the MISD. This support is intended to provide and manage funding and other resources to assist teachers and staff in delivering instructional programs for the students of MISD.” Donations and/or charitable gifts are sincerely appreciated and welcomed at any level to accomplish these goals. The information below will help you understand how wills work and how a charitable bequest can be made to your specifications. It also ensures that your estate would be entitled to an unlimited federal estate tax charitable deduction.
What can you put in Your will?
Only you know the special circumstances of your family members and heirs. That is why it is important to discuss these factors with your attorney. Some things to address include how you want to distribute your estate, whom you want to be executor and what charities you wish to support.
- Name the executor of your estate.
- Give your property to those you choose.
- Set up trusts to save on taxes and provide financial management.
- Name a guardian for minor children.
- Ensure lifetime care for a child with a disability.
- Pass what you choose to children of a prior marriage.
- Set guidelines for distribution if you and your spouse die at the same time.
Ask your attorney about a living will and a durable power of attorney in case you become incapacitated. Your attorney may suggest other components, but be prepared to talk about these items so you will be in a position to have a document drafted that accomplishes your wishes. Also, be sure to review your designated beneficiaries in your investment accounts and insurances to ensure they match your will.
Why Leave Charitable Gifts in Your Will?
Some individuals plan on leaving gifts to the Muenster ISD Education Foundation, talk about it with us and their friends, and then never get around to properly establishing such gifts in their wills. If you make this mistake, your estate will not realize the benefits of their unlimited charitable estate tax deduction, and our work will not receive your support.
You Can Revoke Your Will
Note that one of the articles in your will is “revocation of prior wills and codicils.” Relationships and situations change, and this article ensures that you are free to alter your will with a codicil or to change your will entirely at any time. A codicil is a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will.
Typical Components (Articles) of a Will
- Your identification and state of residence
- Revocation of prior wills and codicils
- Name of executor
- Payment of taxes and administration of estate
- Payment of debts
- Specific gifts
- Residuary estate
- Common disaster
Following is a sample bequest language that may assist you and your estate planning professional. Please remember to include the exact legal name of the charity (Muenster Independent School District Education Foundation) and its complete address (113 E. 7th St., P.O. Box 608, Muenster, TX 76252) when drafting your bequest.
I give, devise and bequeath $X or X asset(s) to the Muenster Independent School District Education Foundation (EIN 81-1182493) located at 113 E. 7th St., P.O. Box 608, Muenster, TX 76252, for its general use and purposes.
I give, devise and bequeath X% of my estate to Muenster Independent School District Education Foundation (EIN 81-1182493) located at 113 E. 7th St., P.O. Box 608, Muenster, TX 76252, for its general use and purposes.
I give, devise and bequeath the rest, residual and remainder of my estate consisting of property, both real and personal, wherever situated, which I may own or be entitled to at my death, to the Muenster ISD Education Foundation (EIN 81-1182493) located at P.O. Box 608, Muenster, TX 76252, for its general use and purposes.
Even though the above examples specify an unrestricted gift to the foundation, you can designate your bequest of $5,000 or more for specific purposes such as an academic scholarship, an instructional program or faculty support. It is important to specifically outline your gift, so that your intention can be fulfilled. In addition, please inform us of your bequest so that we can properly acknowledge your generous support.