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Charitable Trusts

Make a significant gift to Western and receive income for life from your own separate trust. When the trust ends, the assets remaining in the trust go to WOU Foundation.

You transfer cash, securities, real estate, or other assets to a charitable remainder trust. Western can assist you in creating this trust, and often acts as its trustee. Here are the different types of charitable remainder trusts available at Western:

Charitable Lead Trust

You can transfer an asset to a charitable lead trust, which makes annual payments to WOU Foundation for a term of years. At the end of the term the remaining assets and any growth realized are passed to the donor's family. Your benefits include potential gift tax, estate tax and generation-skipping transfer tax savings.

Standard Unitrust

You can set up a standard unitrust, which would pay you (or beneficiaries) a fixed percentage of the value of the trust, revalued each year. The unitrust payments fluctuate as the trust assets change in value each year, and, depending on good trust performance, can keep pace with inflation.

Standard Annuity Trust

You can set up a standard annuity trust, which would pay you (or beneficiaries) a fixed percentage of a fixed dollar amount for life. The trust works well if you want steady income.

Testamentary Trust

You can create a testamentary trust through your will that allows you to provide income for your family members for their lives, with the remainder ultimately going to Western.

Good Tax News:

  • In the year you establish a charitable remainder trust, you are allowed to claim an income tax charitable deduction for the estimated portion of the assets that will ultimately go to Western. If you are unable to take advantage of the full amount of the deduction the first year, it may be carried over for an additional five years.
  • For gifts of highly appreciated assets such as stocks, bonds, mutual fund shares, or real estate, the transfer of the assets into the trust is a non-taxable event and no capital gain is due at the time of transfer. In many cases, the donor may also avoid estate taxes on assets contributed to the trust.
  • Funding a testamentary charitable remainder trust with your retirement plan assets can be especially attractive. Under current tax law, if you leave your retirement plan assets to your heirs, those assets are first subject to estate taxes, then to income taxes, frequently resulting in a combined tax burden of over 70 percent. Many of these unfavorable tax consequences can be avoided by placing the assets into a charitable remainder trust, effective upon your death.

This guide is not intended to provide specific advice about your estate plan or to recommend a specific course of action. We suggest you consult your professional advisers before taking any action, then contact WOU's planned giving office to learn more about these giving strategies.


WOU Foundation 503-838-8281 | or e-mail: foundation@wou.edu

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