A bequest—a designated gift to Westar Institute in your will or living trust—is the simplest form of planned giving. A bequest:

  • Is easy to arrange
  • Will not alter your current lifestyle in any way
  • Can be easily modified to address your changing needs

You can structure your will to make Westar the beneficiary of a specific dollar amount, a percentage of your estate, or a percentage of your residuary estate.

To name Westar in your will or trust, you’ll need to know:

  • Full legal name: Westar Institute, Inc.
  • Permanent mailing address: Willamette University, 900 State St., Salem, OR, 97301
  • Federal tax ID number: 94-3181460

This sample codicil language will help you structure the language in your will or living trust according to your wishes.

  • Residual gift language
  • Specific gift language
  • Contingent gift language
  • Customized language

If you have named Westar Institute in a will, trust, or other planned gift, please let us know so we can include your gift in our financial plans. We would be honored to list you as a member of the John Dillenberger Heritage Society and to thank you for your help in securing the future of Westar Institute.

Retirement Plans

Naming Westar as the beneficiary of a qualified retirement plan asset such as a 401(k), 403(b), IRA, Keogh or profit-sharing pension plan will accomplish a charitable goal while realizing significant tax savings.

It can be costly to pass such assets on to heirs because of heavy tax consequences. By naming Westar as a beneficiary of a retirement plan, you maintain complete control over the asset while living, but at your death the plan passes to support Westar, free of both estate and income taxes.

Making a charitable gift from your retirement plan is easy and should not cost you any attorney fees. Simply request a change-of-beneficiary form from your plan administrator. Return the form to your plan administrator and notify Westar. We can also assist you with the proper language for your beneficiary designation.

Life Insurance and Westar

Westar Institute can be a beneficiary on a life insurance policy, either as a percentage of the policy or for the entire amount. Just contact the issuing life insurance company to make Westar a beneficiary.

Life insurance can be an easy and flexible way to make an important gift to Westar. Whether it’s a new policy purchased specifically to benefit Westar, or an old policy that has outlived its original purpose (such as for a spouse who no longer needs it, a child who is financially independent, or to protect a business that no longer exists), a gift of life insurance can allow you to leave a much larger gift for religious literacy than may have otherwise been possible.

Gifts of life insurance can be structured several ways:

  • Make Westar a beneficiary of an existing insurance policy

Simply request a beneficiary designation form from your employer or insurance company.

  • Make Westar the owner and beneficiary of an existing paid-up life insurance policy.

Since Westar becomes the owner of the policy, the proceeds will not be included in your estate for tax purposes.

  • Make Westar the owner and beneficiary of a policy you’re still paying premiums on.

You could then make the premium payments as donations to Westar, and Westar can pay the premiums for you—this would make your premiums tax deductible.

  • Purchase a new policy and make Westar the owner and/or beneficiary.

Simply make a gifted amount to Westar each year, and Westar would in turn pay your premiums. This would make your premiums tax deductible.

Stock & Real Estate

Donating stock or mutual funds to Westar Institute can allow you to avoid capital gains tax and receive a tax deduction.

A gift of real estate can also have substantial tax benefits. Gifts of real estate are welcomed, but must be accepted based on their marketability, as Westar does not have the capacity to manage properties.

Life Estate Gift

You may transfer the ownership of a home to Westar Institute and retain the right to occupy the premises for the rest of your life, while receiving an immediate tax deduction.

Charitable Remainder Trust

Assets may be transferred into a trust that names Westar Institute as beneficiary. You receive tax benefits during your lifetime and retain the income generated from the assets given to the trust. An estate lawyer or financial planner can help you decide if setting up a charitable remainder or other trust makes sense for you.