Helping the Performing Arts Through a Charitable Gift Annuity

Lynn Donald Breon smiling Penn State alumnus and former employee, Lynn Donald Breon, is no stranger to Penn State. Having a particular fondness for the performing arts, Don chose to give through a charitable gift annuity, which, in addition to providing unrestricted support in the future for the University's Center for the Performing Arts, offers Don advantages of his own.

Among the easiest and most popular methods to make a planned gift to Penn State, a charitable gift annuity enables a person to give a donation to the Penn State program of his or her choice and continue to receive dependable fixed payments from the University. In this case, upon the donor's death, the remainder of the annuity can be put to use by the Center for the Performing Arts.

"This is a situation that can benefit both the University and its supporters. You donate money to the program of your choice and receive a high return rate and four annuity payments throughout the year, most of which are tax-free," says Don, who majored in accounting and graduated from Penn State with a bachelor's of science degree in business administration in 1959. "More people need to be made aware of this option."

Don retired from Penn State in 2001 after over 37 years working in the Budget and Controller's offices. He had previously spent six years in the United States Air Force, first as a navigator and then as a pilot.

The Centre County native has been interested in the arts-as a patron and a participant-for much of his life. He has sung for almost three decades with the State College Choral Society and a couple of years ago began performing with Essence II. He is also a member of the Center for the Performing Arts Community Advisory Council. Don states, "It was ... the enthusiasm and dedication of the Center for the Performing Arts director, George Trudeau, and the dean of Penn State's College of Arts and Architecture, Barbara Korner, that made me feel confident in choosing to support the arts."

Regarding the unrestricted nature of the gift, says George Trudeau, director of the Center of Performing Arts: "We are honored by the trust Don has placed in us-both now and in the future when the gift matures-which will give us the flexibility to utilize the funds to the best advantage for the Center and its programs."

Donors age 60 and older can establish an immediate-payment charitable gift annuity with a minimum contribution of $10,000. Younger donors, meanwhile, can create a deferred-payment charitable gift annuity with a minimum of $5,000. In all cases, donors can specify what Penn State program, department, college, or campus they would like their gift to benefit.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Penn State a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Pennsylvania State University [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Penn State or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate, or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the gift tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Penn State as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Penn State as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Penn State where you agree to make a gift to Penn State and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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