Legacy of Thanks

The USO of Missouri is proud of supporting our troops and their families for 35 years. We have been the beneficiary of, and owe much of our growth and progress to, the generosity of people passionate about our military and their families and with a deep commitment to our mission.

As we approach our 35th anniversary, we are pleased to announce the establishment of our Legacy of Thanks Society. It will recognize those who invest in the future of the USO of Missouri through gifts in their estate plans. You will be included in special events planned as part of the 35th anniversary celebration.

Now, more than ever, Planned Gifts are needed to ensure and expand the services being provided to our military and their families. Larry Stelter, Chairman of The Stelter Company, calls Planned Gifts “stop-and-think-gifts”. They require more understanding and thought than simply writing a check.

For more information on how to include the USO of Missouri in your estate plans, please refer to the articles below. Our goal is to help you learn ways to preserve what’s important to you, take care of people you love and leave a legacy through charities you support. It’s important that your wishes are clearly understood so that they are carried out as you intend. It is recommended that you involve your family as well as your legal and financial advisors in your decisions.

If you would like to inform us of your Planned Gift, have questions or would like additional information, please contact:

Kathy O’Connor, Executive Director, 314-427-0666, koconnor@usomissouri.org
Chris Trotter, Development Director, 314-429-0013, ctrotter@usomissouri.org

Additional Information on Planned Giving

Ben Was Correct

When Ben Franklin wrote “Nothing is certain except death and taxes,” he had no idea it would be applicable 230 years later. At this time of year, we are still facing the certainty of calculating and paying taxes to Uncle Sam.

We all know that charitable donations and establishing retirement funds (IRAs, SEPs and 401Ks) can help reduce your tax bill. As you contribute to retirement plans during your lifetime, no tax is due on the contribution or earnings as they grow. Taxes are due only on the amount taken out when distribution begins.

What you may not be aware of is the tax event that retirement funds could create for your heirs. Funds remaining in qualified retirement plans are subject to estate taxes when you die. Heirs receiving the inheritance are exposed to income taxes up to 39.6 percent on the funds.  It’s double taxation and will significantly reduce the amount received.

Donors usually think of leaving their higher valued retirement assets to family and making charitable bequests from cash, stocks or property. In fact, because of the taxes, your heirs might receive less than you intended. By using your nontaxable assets to establish the family inheritance and making charitable gifts thru beneficiary designations, you can eliminate or reduce the double taxation. Your tax advisor will be able to answer tax deductibility questions.

To give charities, such as the USO of Missouri, a portion of your retirement assets, contact your financial advisor or plan administrator for the beneficiary designation form. You can list multiple beneficiaries, give various amounts to each (as long as the total percentage equals 100) and change the recipients whenever you choose. Mail the completed form back to the plan administrator to update the requested change.

Tax time is also a good time to review all of your estate plans especially if there has been a change in your life or the life of one of your beneficiaries.

Legal Name: USO of Missouri, Inc.
Tax-Identification Number: 43-1237410

Bequest wording would include:

Unrestricted Bequest
“I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise, and bequeath to The USO of Missouri, (a) the sum of $___________, or (b) ______% of my estate to be used for unrestricted general purposes.”

Residuary Bequest
“I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to The USO of Missouri, (a) all or (b) _____% of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate to be used for unrestricted generalpurposes.”

Contingent Bequest
If the above named legatees or devisees (or beneficiaries) should predecease me, then “I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], hereby give, devise and bequeath the same to The USO of Missouri, to be used for unrestricted general purposes.”

Mary Booth recently hand delivered a bequest from her parents to the USO of Missouri so she could tell us their story. During WWII, both of her parents were involved with the USO. Her mother worked at a canteen and her father was a soldier. His military service continued through the Korean War and into the Vietnam War. Throughout many deployments and relocations volunteers were there to lend a hand. Their will included a gift to the USO of Missouri “so that you would know there are people out there who remembered and appreciated the work you do.”

A Will is the first thing most people think of when they begin planning to transfer their assets. A written document witnessed by two or more people and notarized with your signature; it allows you to specifically direct who will receive your possessions and assets.

Simplicity isn’t the only feature of a will.

It’s flexible: You retain use and control of assets as long as you need them. As life events occur, you may include, exclude or change gift designations at any time. It’s totally revocable.

It’s contingent: You control when the gift is made. Something must happen before the gift is given, for example, after the beneficiary’s 30th birthday.

It’s versatile:

  1. Gifts may be personal items, property, a percentage or specified amount of a financial account. The residual, any remaining assets not specifically directed, may also have a beneficiary.
  2. Beneficiaries may be children, family members, friends or charitable organizations you’ve supported or been involved with as a volunteer.

Wills shouldn’t be a one/done document. Reviews are recommended every 3-5 years or when a significant event, such as marriage, divorce, birth, adoption, or death, has occurred to you or one of your beneficiaries. Any changes or updates can be made with a codicil by your attorney.

A will allows you to recognize people and organizations that have been significant in your life. Perhaps the USO holds a special memory for you: a taste of home in a foreign deployment or a hand of welcome when you returned home.

Please consider including the USO of Missouri in your will so that we may continue to support our military troops and their families. Information for your legal advisor can be found on our website.

A Living Trust Can Extend Your Legacy

Bob Smith leads a very active life since he retired. In fact, he’s busier than ever: golfing, fishing, volunteering at church and at the USO of Missouri. During a recent reunion with other Vietnam vets, he realized the richness in his life due to his family, friends and community activities. As he prepares his living trust, he is including the USO of Missouri and several other charities to create a legacy that will live on by helping others.

A revocable living trust, just like a will, contains your specific directions about who will receive your possessions and assets, when they will receive them, and how. Unlike a will, a revocable living trust provides management of your property and assets should you become ill or incapacitated, and continues beyond your death.

Revocable living trusts involve three parties: you, a trustee of your choice, and your beneficiaries.

The first trustee is usually you and your spouse. During your lifetime, as long as you are able, you retain control of assets and can change or dissolve the trust at any time. A successor trustee, named by you, is a person or entity (bank or trust company) who will manage the trust according to specified terms when you no longer choose to or are unable to.

Beneficiaries frequently need assistance and direction to safeguard their inheritance. A revocable living trust will allow you to exercise control over their use of property and assets after your death. They will also avoid the expense and inconvenience of probate.

Your attorney and financial advisors will help you determine whether a revocable living trust or a will best meet the needs of you and your family. More preparation time and expense is involved in establishing and maintaining a revocable living trust. The amount and type of assets included in your estate are also considerations. Which option you choose will depend on your own circumstances

Please consider including the USO of Missouri in your estate plans. Your legacy will help us continue to support our military troops and their families.

Beyond a Will or Trust – Beneficiary Designations

Sue Elling made the USO of Missouri the beneficiary of the insurance policy provided by her employer. Her children are grown and she has other assets to leave them. She fondly remembers when deployed, the USO was a touch of home. She wants other young women to have the same comforting memory.

Sue chose to make her gift from one of three types of assets which are not controlled by a will or trust. These assets which are controlled by beneficiary designation forms include:

  • Checking accounts, Saving accounts and Mutual Fund accounts
  • Life insurance and insurance annuities
  • Retirement accounts including an IRA, 401(k) or 403 (b)

Using a beneficiary designation form, you choose one or more individuals or charities, such as the USO of Missouri, to receive a portion or all of the account value. It is also a good idea to list a contingent beneficiary in case the named individuals predecease you. Beneficiaries may be revoked or changed at any time during your lifetime.

With the exception of retirement accounts, most inheritances from these assets do not trigger income tax consequences. The benefit to your heirs of donating retirement accounts to charity will be discussed in a future article.

Contact your financial institution, insurance agent, financial advisor or plan administrator for the proper forms to make your beneficiary designation. Be sure to update your beneficiaries when you have changes in your life. Remember; your will doesn’t control these assets so a former spouse might receive the money instead of your intended beneficiary.

Please consider including the USO of Missouri in your estate plans. Your legacy will help us continue to support our military troops and their families.

Finding a Hidden Gift Source

You may have been surprised that Sue Elling used her life insurance policy to make a gift to the USO of Missouri in the bequest designation article.

We think of life insurance as a cost effective way to provide financial protection for a young family or surviving spouse. Perhaps you purchased it from a commercial insurance company, your workplace includes it as a benefit or maybe it’s the original policy provided by the military when you enlisted.

Over the years, your circumstances may have changed. The family has grown up, you have small paid up policies or a good nest egg. There are ways to make a gift to the USO of Missouri and provide for you family too.

Existing Insurance Policies

The USO of Missouri can be named owner and beneficiary of the policy. Smaller, older paid up policies could be surrendered, providing an immediate cash gift and a charitable tax deduction for you.

If premiums are still due, a pledge is made for yearly cash gifts to the USO of Missouri. These gifts are used to pay the premium, keeping the policy in force resulting in an eventual gift of the full face amount.

Should you prefer to maintain ownership, including the right to change beneficiaries, options are:

  • naming the USO of Missouri sole or partial primary beneficiary with a family member; or,
  • naming us as contingent beneficiary to receive the proceeds only if your primary beneficiary predeceases you.

Both of these options can be applied to workplace benefit insurance as well.

Creating a Future Gift With a New Policy

The USO of Missouri can be named owner and beneficiary of a new policy. This option is especially cost effective when two related donors purchase a two-life, second-to-die policy. With two lifetimes before benefit payment, a generous future gift can be made with little impact on current cash flow.

Consult your insurance agent, financial advisor or plan administrator for the proper forms to make your beneficiary designation. Your tax advisor and insurance professional will be able to answer tax deductibility questions. Be sure to update your beneficiaries when you have changes in your life. Remember; your will doesn’t control these assets so a former spouse might receive the money instead of your intended beneficiary.

You might choose to name the USO of Missouri as a beneficiary, or make an outright gift so that the surrender value is immediately available to fund services.