The USC Upstate Foundation has established the Legacy Society to honor alumni and friends who have made documented bequests in their wills or other planned gifts in support of the University of South Carolina Upstate. Among the many types of planned gifts are: bequests, life insurance policies, pooled income funds, and charitable remainder trusts.
If you would like to become a member of the Legacy Society by including the USC Upstate Foundation in your financial or estate plans, the USC Upstate Planned Giving Office will be happy to work with you and your advisors. Your gifts help ensure that the University of South Carolina Upstate will continue its tradition of excellence well into the 21st century.
In order for your wishes to be carried out, you should:
Make a bequest in a will or trust
Many people consider a planned gift to USC Upstate but, unless they leave a properly executed will, their assets will simply be divided among their heirs. A letter of intent or verbal promise does not ensure that a person's wishes will be carried out. A legal will is essential.
Consult an attorney
To make a proper will, it's best to seek the advice of an attorney skilled in estate planning. Even the simplest wishes regarding the most modest estate must be written in proper legal language. In general, the cost of a legal will is minimal, particularly compared to what a homemade will might cost your estate later. Your attorney should suggest ways for you and your heirs to save money by reducing estate taxes and minimizing probate costs and other legal expenses.
Update your will regularly
An out-of-date will may be no better than no will at all. By reviewing your will annually or whenever a major life event occurs, you can ensure that your will is accurate. Your will should reflect any change in your family through marriage, divorce, birth or death; changes in state and federal laws; changes in the nature and value of your property or changes in your residency. Moving to another state may affect the validity of your will.
Name an executor and an alternate
In your will, you will need to specify someone to be your executor to see that your will is properly executed. It is wise to name alternate executors in case your chosen executor predeceases you, moves away, is ill, or for some other reason cannot handle the details of your estate. Choosing someone who is knowledgeable in business matters or has had some experience with managing finances is a good idea.
You may also consider choosing a corporate executor such as a bank trust department rather than a family member or friend. A corporate executor has experience and access to experts in probate, real estate, taxes, and investment instruments.
Choose your beneficiaries
You may want your estate divided among several beneficiaries, for example, your family and loved ones, the USC Upstate Foundation, and others. Since your assets change during the course of your lifetime, you may want to leave each of your beneficiaries a percentage of your estate. The percentage method is a flexible way of giving. Another flexible technique is to name a final beneficiary, like the USC Upstate Foundation, to receive any unclaimed bequests.
Tell us your plans
As you consider your options, please keep us informed. We may be able to suggest an idea for a memorial that would suit both your needs and the changing needs of the University. We would be pleased to talk with you about how you can best achieve your charitable objectives through a gift to the USC Upstate Foundation. We are also available to review draft bequest language with your attorney.
Remember the University of South Carolina Upstate
If you include USC Upstate in your will, please inform us. We would much prefer to say "Thanks for the bequest" to you rather than to your executor. We'll keep the information you share with us confidential. Although a bequest is a very personal affair, if you inform us of your intent in advance, we would like to acknowledge your thoughtful gesture by presenting you with a certificate and distinctive membership lapel pin. We would like to publicize your gift, but if you prefer your gift to remain anonymous, we will honor your wishes.
Note our legal name
Your attorney will need to know that bequests should be made to "the USC Upstate Foundation." The Internal Revenue Service recognizes the Foundation as a 501(c)(3) organization with tax identification number 57-0555699. Contributions are deductible as provided in Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Participate in Legacy Society activities
As a member of the Legacy Society, you will be identified as one of the generous supporters of the University of South Carolina Upstate. Your name will be listed annually in University publications and, periodically, you will be invited to special campus functions.
If you would like more information on wills, gifts that pay you a lifetime income, or other planned giving opportunities, please feel free to contact our office. The USC Upstate Foundation will assist you and your advisor in the preparation of tax deduction and other calculations concerning charitable remainder trusts and other planned gifts using planned giving software as required. We will arrange for personal visits to alumni and friends in conjunction with your financial professionals. We provide assistance in the completion of IRS Form 8283 for non-cash charitable contributions over $5000 and provide sample bequest language and beneficiary designation language for advisors.