When you create a planned gift for Washington University, your generosity helps fund scholarships, professorships, breakthrough research, state-of-the-art facilities, and innovative academic programs. 

Our team of experts is available to work with you and your financial and legal advisers to develop a gift plan that reflects your passion and maximizes your impact. Contact the Office of Planned Giving to learn more.

Please consult with your legal or tax adviser before making a charitable gift.

Life Income Gifts

Charitable gift annuity (CGA)
How gift works
  • A gift annuity pays an immediate, fixed amount to one or two persons for life. The payout percentage is based on the recipient’s age at the time the annuity is established.
  • It is funded with cash or publicly traded securities (minimum gift of $10,000 or more) by persons age 60 or older.
  • Washington University receives the remaining assets when the gift annuity ends.
Financial and Tax Benefits
  • Fixed lifetime payments to donor and/or donor’s designee.
  • Donor receives a current income tax deduction for a portion of the gift.
  • If appreciated securities are used to fund the CGA, a portion of the payment may be tax-free.
  • If the annuity is funded with cash, an even greater percentage of the payment is tax-free.
  • If appreciated securities are used to fund the CGA, immediate capital gains tax can be avoided.
Deferred payment charitable gift annuity (DPCGA)
How gift works
  • The deferred annuity is often used as a supplement to retirement plans and offers a fixed payment beginning at some point in the future, often when earned income is lower or supplemental income is needed. 
  • This gift is often used by donors who are actively employed and by those younger than 60.
  • Deferred payment gift annuities offer a higher payout rate as compared to the standard charitable gift annuity and can be funded with cash or appreciated securities (minimum gift $10,000 or more).
  • Washington University receives the remaining assets when the deferred annuity ends.
Financial and Tax Benefits
  • Fixed lifetime payments to donor and/or designee beginning at a future date determined by donor at the time the gift is made.
  • Donor receives an immediate charitable deduction.
  • As with the standard charitable gift annuity described above, some of the payment from the deferred gift annuity may be tax-free.
  • If appreciated securities are used to fund the DPCGA, immediate capital gains tax can be avoided.
Charitable remainder unitrust
How gift works
  • Donor funds unitrust with cash, appreciated securities, or debt-free real estate ($50,000 minimum).  Additional contributions may be made to the unitrust at any time.
  • The unitrust makes payments to the donor for their own lifetime and may also make continued payments throughout the lifetimes of other individuals (e.g., spouse or children).
  • The payment amount is based on a percentage (5% or 6%) of the annual value of the unitrust principal. The trust percentage payment is 5% or 0.5% higher than the CGA rate would pay for your age. Annual payments may vary from year to year.
  • Washington University receives the remaining principal when the payments end.
Financial and Tax Benefits
  • Lifetime payments to donor and/or designee(s) based on a percentage (5% or 6%) of the annual value of the unitrust principal.  Payments may vary from year to year.
  • Donor receives an immediate income tax deduction for a portion of the gift.
  • Estate tax benefits occur at the end of the trust period.
  • If unitrust is funded with appreciated assets or real estate, capital gains tax is avoided.
Charitable remainder annuity trust
How gift works
  • Charitable remainder annuity trusts provide fixed lifetime payments to donors based on a percentage of the initial value of the gift. The trust percentage payment is 5% or 0.5% higher than the CGA rate would pay for a person of the same age.
  • Donor funds the annuity trust with cash, appreciated securities, or debt-free real estate ($50,000 minimum).
  • The annuity trust may make payments to the donor for their own lifetime and the lifetimes of other individuals.
  • Washington University receives the remaining principal when the payments end.
Financial and Tax Benefits
  • Fixed lifetime payments to donor and/or designee(s).
  • Donor receives an immediate income tax deduction for a portion of the gift.
  • Tax-free principal growth.
  • Estate tax benefits occur at the end of the trust period.
  • If annuity trust is funded with appreciated securities or real estate, capital gains tax is avoided.

Gifts through your estate

Wills and trusts
How gift works
  • Donor designates Washington University to receive a specific amount, a percentage of the estate, or a specific asset through donor’s will or revocable living trust.
  • Consult our sample bequest language.
Financial and Tax Benefits
  • Donor’s estate is entitled to an estate tax charitable deduction for the value of the gift.
  • Capital gains taxes are avoided on the gift to Washington University.
Beneficiary designations
How gift works
  • Donor names Washington University as beneficiary on their retirement plan, life insurance policy, commercial annuity, bank accounts or other financial investments.
  • Donor retains the right to change the beneficiary on the accounts as long as donor owns them.
  • After the donor’s passing, the funds for the designated accounts will pass outside of probate and transfer directly to Washington University.
Financial and Tax Benefits
  • Estate tax benefits occur when assets are transferred to Washington University.
  • Income tax is avoided on the gift to Washington University.

Charitable lead trust

How gift works
  • Donor designates specific assets which are held in trust and generate regular payments to the university for a time period specified by the donor.
  • After the time period has elapsed, donor or donor’s heirs receive the trust principal.
  • Charitable lead trusts may be established during the donor’s lifetime or through their estate.
Financial and Tax Benefits
  • Usually no income tax deduction
  • May reduce transfer tax
  • May reduce taxable estate by eliminating assets from the estate

Tax benefits of other assets

Cash

tax benefit
  • Generally, federal tax law allows you to deduct the full value of a cash gift, up to 60% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) in one year.
  • Carry any excess deduction forward for up to five years.
  • For 2021, up to 100% of your AGI may be deductible.

Long-term appreciated securities

tax benefit
  • Deduction for the gift’s full fair market value.
  • Deduction limited to 30% of your AGI with five-year carryover for excess deductions.* 
  • No reportable capital gain because Washington University sells the securities tax-free. 

Outright gift of real estate

tax benefit
  • Deduction for fair market value of the property as determined by a qualified appraisal.
  • Deduction limited to 30% of your AGI with a five-year carryover for excess deductions.
  • No reportable capital gain because Washington University sells the real estate tax-free.

Retained life estate

tax benefit
  • A portion of your gift will qualify for a charitable income tax deduction.
  • Deduction limited to 30% of your AGI with a five-year carryover for excess deductions.*
  • No reportable gain because Washington University will sell the property after the life estate ends.

Bargain sale

tax benefit
  • Deduction for excess of the fair market value of the property over the sale price as determined by a qualified appraisal.
  • Deduction limited to 30% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) with a five-year carryover for excess deductions.*
  • Note: The sale portion does generate reportable gains.

*Deduction limit is based on appreciated real estate that has been held long term, for at least one year and one day. The deduction for real estate that has been held short term is limited to the property’s cost basis and can be claimed up to 60% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). However, there is no tax on the appreciation.