Gift Planning

Tools for Leaving a Legacy



Giving through your will can be straightforward and convenient and can even be accomplished through a simple amendment to your existing will. You can designate cash, securities, real estate, or personal property for UW in your will. Such a gift can entail a specific amount, specific assets, a percentage of the estate, or all or a portion of the residue of your estate. If the gift is unrestricted, the university can apply it where it is most needed at the time that it is received, but you may also designate or restrict your gift to a specific program or purpose. One advantage of gifting through a will is that you retain control of your property during your lifetime. In addition, making a bequest to UW through your will often allows for a more significant and impacting gift than a gift made during your lifetime.

Revocable Living Trusts

Under the terms of a revocable living trust, ownership of property is held and controlled by a trust, but you as trustee retain control of those assets. A living trust works the same way as a will with respect to passing your estate to your loved ones and organizations that you care deeply about. However, with a revocable living trust, your assets bypass the expenses, complexity, and public nature of probate. The other major benefit of a trust-based plan is that it allows for your immediate and continued support in the event of incapacity.

Retirement Plans

It is simple to include UW as a beneficiary of your IRA, Roth IRA, 401(k), 403(b), 457, or other retirement plan. Ask the custodian of your plan for a change of beneficiary form and indicate the amount or percentage of assets you wish to designate to UW. Should your needs or wishes change in the future, you can change the beneficiary designation at any time with no cost to you. You may also find that your retirement plan is an excellent source from which to make gifts to UW today. If you are over the age of 59½, you may withdraw funds from your retirement account in amounts sufficient to fund your charitable gifts and also receive favorable tax deduction as well.

Qualified Charitable Distributions

Qualified charitable distributions are a tax efficient option to gift to charity. If you are 72 years or older, you may be obligated to take required minimum distributions from your tax-deferred individual retirement account. You can use this distribution for tax benefits while also helping others. The qualified charitable distribution allows you to gift up to $100,000 annually from your IRA or IRAs to the University of Wyoming through the UW Foundation. Your gift will go toward required minimum distribution requirements. Moreover, the amount you gift is excluded from your taxable income, which can lower your taxes. You can direct your gift to the University of Wyoming general fund or to the college, program, scholarship, or fund of your choice. This option is open to donors who itemize on their tax returns and also those who do not. Try our online tool to understand your options or give now.

Life Insurance

There are a number of different ways that life insurance can be gifted to the University of Wyoming to fund meaningful charitable gifts. UW can be named as the beneficiary for all or a portion of an existing policy or the policy can be assigned to UW as owner and beneficiary. The proceeds from the policy can be designated for a particular program or use. In the event that the policy is not paid up, the continued payment of the premiums is treated as a tax-deductible charitable contribution. Another excellent method to utilize in making a tax-efficient leveraged gift to UW is to purchase a new policy with UW as the owner and beneficiary of the policy.

Real Estate

If you have a home or other real estate that you no longer want to live in or manage, it may make sense to incorporate that property into your charitable planning. Gifting real property to the University of Wyoming can take a number of different forms and may help you with capital gains issues. In some cases you may continue to occupy the property for the balance of your life. By utilizing a charitable remainder trust or a charitable gift annuity in conjunction with your real estate asset, you may be able to convert a low-yielding, highly appreciated piece of property into an income-producing asset.

Charitable Gift Annuities

You may not know that you can gift cash, securities, real estate, or other property to UW in exchange for fixed annuity payments for the rest of your life. Your lifetime payment is based on the age at which you established the annuity. At the time the annuity is established, you are entitled to an income tax deductions on a portion of the gift. Typically, only a portion of each annuity payment is taxed as ordinary income. When the annuity terminates, the remaining residual passes to whatever college, department, or program on campus you designate to receive the funds. A charitable gift annuity is a great way to secure a predictable stream of income in your retirement years. Try some different options with our gift illustrator.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

Another way in which you can make a gift and retain some income during your lifetime is through a charitable remainder trust. Ideally, a charitable remainder trust is funded with low-yielding appreciated assets. In setting up a charitable remainder trust, you can determine at the outset whether or not you prefer a variable or fixed income and whether you want the trust to continue on for your lifetime (as well as additional lives for loved ones) or whether you have a fixed period of time during which you would like to receive income. At the time the trust is established, you are entitled to an income tax deduction for a portion of the value of the gift, and when funding with appreciated assets, the inherent capital gain in those assets is avoided when the assets are liquidated by the trustee. After your lifetime or a term of up to 20 years, the remaining trust assets go to UW for the benefit of the specific program or area that you designate. Try some different options with our gift illustrator.

Charitable Lead Trusts

You can establish a charitable lead trust with income-producing assets, such as real estate or interests in a family limited partnership, and designate the University of Wyoming to receive an annual income stream for the benefit of a college, program, department, or scholarship on campus. Upon the expiration of the trust term, the remaining trust principal passes to your heirs (children and grandchildren) possibly free of gift or estate tax. A charitable lead trust is a great way to fulfill your philanthropic goals while at the same time passing on significant assets to your loved ones at a reduced tax cost. Try some different options with our gift illustrator.

Retained Life Estates

You can transfer your personal residence, vacation home, or farm to UW while retaining the right to live in and utilize the property for the rest of your life. You continue to be responsible for routine expenses, such as maintenance, insurance, and property taxes. When your retained life estate ends, the property passes to the UW Foundation for the benefit of UW students and the faculty, staff, and programs that support them—and you can designate the program or area. The benefits include an immediate income tax deduction, a simplified estate administration process, and the satisfaction of making an immediate and significant gift that will benefit your university. Try some different options with our gift illustrator.


Contact Us


Brett Befus

Brett Befus

Associate Vice President for Development
Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center
307-766-4259 |





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