West Texas A&M University

The Original Texans marble buffalo statue at sunset.

Planned Giving - Your Will to Help

Your Will to Help

View Your Will to Help brochure (PDF)

Check out the University's planned giving website at http://wtamu.giftlegacy.com/.

Why Have a Will?

A will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign. Think about the things a will enables you to do:

  • A will lets you direct precisely who will receive all the property you have accumu-lated over your lifetime. Without a will, the state decides who receives what – all according to inflexible rules.
  • Your will can contain a trust that provides financial security and money management for family members who need special assistance.
  • Your will permits you to nominate the persons who will handle your estate or serve as guardians of children.
  • Your will enables you to assist friends, worthwhile causes, institutions and others that the law omits.
  • A skillfully drafted will can allow your family to minimize death taxes and other costs that may sap your estate of vital assets.
  • Your will can be an expression of your personal values. You may wish to memorialize a special person in your life, aid an impoverished friend, or distribute cherished heirlooms to special people.
  • Executing a will is neither difficult nor expensive. Yet the rewards are great indeed, both in peace of mind and in personal satisfaction.

How to Get a Will

Obtaining a will is as simple as 1-2-3.

  1. Call your attorney.  Make an appointment to plan your will. If you do not have an attorney, ask a friend or a relative to recommend one, or call your local bar association.
  2. Prior to the appointment, sit down and write out all the goals you would like to accomplish through your will.
  3. Follow your will planning through to completion. Store your will in a safe place and examine it periodically to ensure that it is up to date with your family needs and personal desires.

Planning a Will That Is Practical . . . and Deeply Satisfying

We have received many bequests – gifts by will – from thoughtful people who considered it only fitting to provide us something from their estates. Their bequests were simply a continuation of the support they had provided all their lives. For these gifts we are profoundly grateful. And it is satisfying to point out that, in a well-planned will, the cost of a bequest to our future can be surprisingly modest.

Your bequest can be of a stated dollar amount, or you can leave a specific property. Some of our benefactors prefer to bequeath a certain percentage of the “residue” (the amount that remains after paying all inheritances, debts and costs). There are special arrangements by which your bequest can provide financial benefits to your family and later be used in our programs.

If You Already Have a Will

Great! We hope you keep it up to date. When the time comes to make a change, a simple codicil (amendment) often is all that is needed. If you are considering a codicil, or a whole new will, may we suggest one more satisfying change: a bequest to assist in our programs.

Gifts to Posterity . . . Outside a Will

You don’t necessarily have to make or change a will to benefit worthwhile organizations at death. Virtually any financial arrangement that allows you to designate a death beneficiary can be adapted as a wonderful “bequest” to benefit future generations. For example:

Life Insurance – You can name us the beneficiary of your life insurance, or a co-beneficiary, or a contingent beneficiary. A better idea may be to transfer actual ownership of the policy to us, or buy a new policy for our benefit. Such a gift would entitle you to an income tax deduction and future premium payments would be tax deductible.
Financial Accounts – Most financial accounts can be made payable on death to a friend, relative or charitable organization.
Retirement Savings – IRAs, pensions, 401(k) plans and other retirement savings arrangements provide for death beneficiaries, which can include charitable organizations (a spouse’s consent may be necessary if the account owner is married). This type of gift can save estate taxes and also income taxes that would have been owed by a person who received the death benefits.

Note: U.S. savings bonds are a splendid selection for a charitable gift by will, but they cannot be left through a beneficiary designation. Such a bequest saves income taxes as well as federal estate taxes.

Revocable Living Trusts – All the gifts by will we have suggested also can be accomplished by friends who have revocable living trusts. Simply name us as one of the beneficiaries of your trust.

Tell Us about Your Bequest

You do a wonderful service when you provide for our future in your will. Why not tell us about it? You can just clip and return the form below, or telephone our office.

We need to know of your plans so that we may make our own plans for the future and proceed with vital work. Naturally, we would also like to be able to express our gratitude to you now.