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Newsletter Follow-up


Making Choices – Making a Difference

Bonny and Tom Menighan '74

Many connections to WVU have motivated the Menighans to make sure that support for the University is part of their estate plans.

In general, estate planning involves a number of steps, including evaluating your assets, properties, and liabilities, selecting an executor and back-up, having your will and/or revocable trust prepared, taking care of the financial and medical power of attorney documents and a living will, and being sure that your plans are exactly what you want.

Certainly, family needs are the top priority. Fortunately, there are ways to support favorite nonprofit organizations such as WVU too. Remember that whether you think of yourself as rich or poor, or in between, your gift to support WVU's future will make a difference. Every single gift accomplishes something that couldn't happen otherwise.

Including a gift provision in your will or revocable trust to benefit WVU is a good choice. This wording is needed for a gift for WVU, Athletics, Potomac State, West Virginia 4-H or WVU Tech. If you're interested in a scholarship, this wording will help you accomplish that.

Think about making your gift for WVU a permanent one that will carry out the purpose you feel matters most for all time. The endowed (permanent) fund managed by the Foundation will earn annual income and carry your or a loved one's name, as you specify. The wording needed for an endowed fund created via your will is included in the gift provision information as the second (b) choice.

Here are endowment fund choices that will have an impact on the University for generations to come --

Distinguished chair $3 million
Chair $1.5 million
Distinguished professorship $1 million
Professorship $500,000
Presidential scholarship $100,000
Graduate fellowship $50,000
Faculty enrichment/research fund $50,000
Athletic scholarship $50,000
General scholarship $25,000
General endowment $25,000
Library acquisitions fund $10,000

A number of college/school minimum levels are higher for certain endowments because of their program costs. Also, minimum gift amounts for endowed funds change over time to provide a meaningful award each year.

Alternate gift choices involve making the WVU Foundation the beneficiary of a retirement account, a life insurance policy, or a donor-advised charitable gift fund to benefit WVU. You can do that by requesting a change of beneficiary form from the appropriate company. The Foundation's tax identification number of 55-6017181 may be needed for the form. After that change is made, please contact the Foundation staff to have a special letter or agreement prepared that will guarantee your future gift funds will be used as you specify. Any of these assets can be used to fund an endowment.

We are very proud of those who have made the choice to make a difference and want to honor them through membership in the Irvin Stewart Society. Formed in 1992, Stewart Society members are all ages, live in a variety of locations, and represent many WVU class years and disciplines. We invite you to join the Stewart Society once your own gift plans for WVU are in place. We want to say thanks because it means a lot to us.

Helpful hint -- do your executor or successor trustee a big favor and compile a listing of assets, accounts and liabilities. Using a three-ring notebook for that purpose allows you to update it easily in the future. Having such a resource available will help you and any others who need to work with the information.