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Beneficiary Designation Gifts

Three broadcast journalism students on set of their weekley newscast, Fresno State Focus

A beneficiary designation gift is a simple and affordable way to make a gift to support Fresno State. You can designate us as a beneficiary of a retirement, investment or bank account or your life insurance policy.

Flowchart: Donor executes designation form with account custodian to designate Fresno State as beneficiary of a retirement, investment or bank account.

Benefits of a beneficiary designation gift

  • Support the causes that you care about
  • Continue to use your account as long as you need to
  • Simplify your planning and avoid expensive legal fees
  • Reduce the burden of taxes on your family
  • Receive an estate tax charitable deduction

How a beneficiary designation gift works

  1. To make your gift, contact the person who helps you with your account or insurance policy, such as your broker, banker or insurance agent.
  2. Ask them to send you a new beneficiary designation form.
  3. Complete the form, sign it and mail it back to your broker, banker or agent.
  4. When you pass away, your account or insurance policy will be paid or transferred to Fresno State, consistent with the beneficiary designation.

Important considerations for your future

If you are interested in making a gift but are also concerned about your future needs, keep in mind that beneficiary designation gifts are among the most flexible of all charitable gifts. Even after you complete the beneficiary designation form, you can take distributions or withdrawals from your retirement, investment or bank account and continue to freely use your account. You can also change your mind at any time in the future for any reason, including if you have a loved one who needs your financial help.

SEEK ADVICE

Planning your estate can sometimes get complicated. Even simple estate plans can have severe tax and other legal consequences. As you review these pages, please remember that there are always exceptions to every rule. We encourage you to seek guidance from a qualified licensed professional such as an attorney or certified public accountant to be certain that your desires are fulfilled without any unwelcome surprises.

HOW CAN FRESNO STATE'S PLANNED GIVING OFFICE BE OF ASSISTANCE?

We are charitable planning specialists and have resources available to support both your investigation and your implementation of gift planning techniques. Our services are professional, confidential and collaborative. They are provided without cost or obligation. We encourage you to call on us to assist you, your family and your advisors in exploring financial, estate and charitable planning.

For more information, please contact:
Liz Garvin, CGPP
Director of Planned Giving
5244 North Jackson Ave., M/S KC45
Fresno, CA 93740-8023
559.278.4038
egarvin@csufresno.edu

Additional Information

Flexibility—Most beneficiary designation forms are very flexible. You can name Fresno State as a "full" or "partial" beneficiary of your account or life insurance policy. You can also name Fresno State as a "primary" or "contingent" beneficiary.

Family Considerations—Beneficiary designation gifts allow you to provide for family and support the causes that matter most to you. With a designation form you could, for example, name your spouse as the "primary" beneficiary and each of your children and Fresno State as "partial contingent" beneficiaries. With this arrangement, if your spouse survives you, he or she would receive the account. If not, the account or policy would be paid out to your children and Fresno State in whatever shares (or percentages) that you chose on the designation form.

Terminology—Beneficiary designation gifts are simple and straightforward. Common terminology includes "beneficiary designation" but also includes "payable on death" or "transfer on death." The term "beneficiary designation" is most commonly used when naming beneficiaries of retirement plans or life insurance policies. The term payable on death (or "POD") typically involves the designation of a beneficiary of a checking account, savings account or certificates of deposit, and transfer on death (or "TOD") often involves the designation of a beneficiary of stocks, bonds or mutual funds.

Additional Materials
To download a brochure and learn more about Beneficiary Designation gifts.
To download a brochure and learn more about TOD gifts.
To download a brochure and learn more about POD gifts.

Beneficiary Designations and Real Estate—Some states even allow "beneficiary designation deeds" or "transfer on death deeds," which would allow you to name Fresno State as the survivor beneficiary of your home, farm or other real estate. As with other beneficiary designation gifts, these gifts are revocable by filing a revocation or new beneficiary designation deed.

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