Archives—April 2018

Your Family Letter

Writing a letter to your family is an excellent way to provide key information to your family after your passing while sharing with them a personal message of love and wisdom. Learn how to create your family letter as part of the estate planning process.

Please visit our website at mtulegacy.org for free estate planning tools.  

Email giftplan@mtu.edu to request our new brochure, Your Guide to Effective Giving After Tax Reform.

 

 


Did you know you can make a gift to Michigan Tech and receive fixed income for life?

A charitable gift annuity is a giving vehicle that allows you to enjoy tax benefits and an income stream in exchange for your gift of cash or appreciated assets. Learn more about life income gifts or use our gift planning calculator.

Please visit our website at mtulegacy.org for free estate planning tools. 

Email giftplan@mtu.edu to request our new brochure, Your Guide to Effective Giving After Tax Reform.


Health and Wealth: 10 Mistakes to Avoid

Street signs for Health and WealthStart with a plan for your health and wealth by exploring this roadmap provided by Northern Trust and their partner, Pinnacle Health.*

https://wealth.northerntrust.com/roadmap

With many tips on how to make good decisions when it comes to your health and wealth, experts also believe it’s important to point out common and avoidable health care and financial wealth mistakes.

Health Care Missteps
 1. Not having a plan – not preparing for age-related health issues
 2. Not knowing your or your family’s health history
 3. Not having swift access to key medical records
 4. Being passive or withholding questions during doctor visits
 5. Ignoring lifestyle factors proven to affect health, vitality and longevity (e.g., smoking,
     weight, exercise)
 6. Ignoring symptoms, therefore preventing early detection
 7. Allowing a busy professional life to prevent you from vital screenings (e.g., mammograms,
     colonoscopies)
 8. Getting only one opinion in the case of a serious diagnosis
 9. Traveling without medical preparation
10. Being unaware of rapidly changing medical advances

Financial Missteps
 1. Not having a financial plan until a crisis happens
 2. Not having (monitoring) a good credit history
 3. Not having a sufficient cash reserve
 4. Letting someone else “take care of the finances” without your review or awareness
 5. Inadequate, or inappropriate, health, life, disability, property and casualty insurance
 6. Living beyond your means
 7. Chasing the “hottest” investments
 8. Improper beneficiary designations on retirement plans and life insurance
 9. Not updating estate documents as life events occur
10. Not reviewing your income taxes annually

For more information on providing for your family and planning for your future, please visit our website at mtulegacy.org for free tools. 

Northern Trust manages the Michigan Tech Fund endowment and other investments and offers this information as an educational service. This article used with permission from Northern Trust.


Gifts of Appreciated Securities

For years, you have carefully invested and watched your savings grow. What took a lifetime to build can be instantly lost through capital gains tax when you sell. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Rather than sell your stock, consider giving some of it to the Michigan Tech Fund. You won’t pay any taxes and you receive an income tax deduction for your gift.

Benefits to you:

AVOID capital gains taxes on the sale of your appreciated assets.

RECEIVE an income tax deduction for the full amount of your gift.

GIVE more this year without impacting your cash flow.

CAPTURE the value of your stock and end the worrying about market ups and downs.

PUT your gift to work right away for the Michigan Tech programs you care about most.

Gifting appreciated securities in place of cash may be a smart philanthropic and tax-wise alternative. You can learn more about giving stock to Michigan Tech


Invest, Plan, Provide for Your Future

As a young alum you are on your way to great success in life. And, time is your greatest asset in terms of investing and planning for your future. One of the best things you can do right now is consider the steps you will take to provide for yourself, your family, and causes that are important to you.  Small steps you can take today:

  • Name beneficiaries for your retirement plan assets and life insurance.
  • Designate Pay on Death or Transfer on Death beneficiaries for your investments, checking or savings accounts.

For more information on providing for your family and planning for your future, please visit our website at mtulegacy.org for free tools.  

Northern Trust manages the Michigan Tech Fund endowment and other investments and offers this information as an educational service.


Eleven Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan

You’ve completed your estate plan and health care directives and put all the documents in a safe place. You’re done! Or are you? One thing we know for sure, is that change is constant and changes in your life can impact your estate plan.

Estate plans are affected by changes in the value of your assets, changes in your family, and potentially by changes in federal or state law. Therefore, it’s a good idea for you to sit down with your attorney every three to five years and review your plan. Given all the potential areas that can change, it’s quite likely that you may wish to modify some portion of the plan.

Here are a number of reasons to consider revising or updating your plan.

  1. New children, grandchildren, or other heirs
  2. Move to a different state
  3. Sale or purchase of a major asset
  4. Reaching age 70½
  5. Your selected beneficiary is deceased
  6. Divorce or remarriage
  7. Substantial change in value of your estate
  8. Adding a major property to a living trust
  9. Selected executor or trustee is no longer available
  10. You’re considering a bequest for Michigan Tech or other charities
  11. Your planning was done before the estate tax laws/thresholds were changed in 2017.

Now is the perfect time to review your estate plan – or if you don’t have one, to get started. Many of the documents you have gathered to file your income tax return may be useful in reviewing your plan. Please visit our website at mtulegacy.org for free estate planning tools.

Email giftplan@mtu.edu to request our new brochure, Your Guide to Effective Giving After Tax Reform.


Don’t have a will? You are not alone!

Fewer than half of American adults have a will. Act today to provide for and protect your family first, and then provide for charity.

The good news is that you can provide for the people and causes most important to you by taking simple steps now. Creating your plan for the future can be easy and enjoyable and can be customized to meet your personal and charitable goals.

While an attorney should always draft your will, we can help demystify the process and prepare you for meeting with your attorney with these simple steps.

  • Itemize your assets

Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left side, write something you own. On the right side, write the name or names of the person(s) you wish to receive that item or asset.

  • Organize your estate

Make the process of organizing your estate and plans even easier by requesting our free wills guide. This fill-in-the-blank guide walks you through the process of gathering information about what you own, your family, and your goals.

  • Write down questions

Consider practical questions, such as, “If I give my house to my adult son and my adult daughter, what will they do with it? If you come up with a question that you can’t seem to find a solution for, make a note to ask your attorney.

  • Review your plans for family

You can give some assets to family members right away and to others over time. Ask us how you can provide an income stream or a lump sum to a loved one and achieve your personal and inheritance goals.

  • Consider charity

Remember to include any charities that are important to you in your plan. If you have given during life, then consider providing for these organizations through your estate. Ask us about plans like charitable remainder trusts and gift annuities that can help your family and Michigan Tech later.

  • Visit your attorney

Bring the information you have gathered and questions to your estate planning attorney. Your attorney can draft a will or trust that will achieve your goals. You complete the plan through a simple signing process. Learn more about how to find an estate planning attorney

  • Update your plan

Update your estate plan as your financial situation, taxes, and life changes. Marriages, births, and deaths are all events that may make you want you to revise your plans.

Now is the perfect time to get started on your estate plan. Many of the documents you have gathered to file your income tax return may be useful in reviewing your plan. Please visit our website at mtulegacy.org for free estate planning tools.  

Email giftplan@mtu.edu to request our new brochure, Your Guide to Effective Giving After Tax Reform.