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Leave a legacy to La Crosse schools and your community through a planned gift to LPEF

Help make the future brighter for public school students in La Crosse! If you have the vision and desire to support the long-range needs of children in our community, we invite you to consider a planned gift to the La Crosse Public Education Foundation. Through your philanthropic giving, you can create a lasting legacy, while also enjoying a wide variety of tax benefits.

Why are planned gifts important to LPEF?

  • They are often substantial, even from donors of modest means.
  • They can provide a significant kick-start to an innovative project or address an emerging need.
  • They provide long-term sustainability for our mission to enhance learning opportunities for students in the School District of La Crosse.
  • When placed in an endowment, they are a gift that “keeps on giving” as only net investment returns are spent.

Why could a planned gift to LPEF be right for you?

  • They help you express and clarify your philanthropic intentions.
  • They provide an opportunity for you to make a substantial gift to LPEF out of your estate wealth, rather than impacting your current day-to-day discretionary income or retirement assets.
  • They often provide substantial tax advantages to you and your family, including opportunities to provide lifetime income for you and/or other family members.
  • They ensure that a portion of your estate wealth is invested in future generations right here in La Crosse.

What if you have already provided for LPEF in your estate plan?

Thank you for your vision and support for public schools in La Crosse! If you have not yet notified LPEF of your plans, please contact Executive Director David Stoeffler at 608-787-0226 or email: david@lacrosseeducationfoundation.org This allows for proper recognition and celebration of your generosity, and allows LPEF to clarify the intent of your gift.

Planned giving options

Please explore these options for planned giving to LPEF. In explaining potential tax advantages of certain gifts, LPEF may make references to commonly understood benefits and tax consequences. However, it is our policy to remind benefactors that LPEF does not provide tax, legal, financial or related advice concerning gifts, and encourages benefactors to seek out their own personal advisers on such matters, including attorneys who specialize in estate planning.

The LPEF staff can help you learn about the most pressing needs in local schools, and can help personalize a giving plan that reflects your interests and values.

  • Our staff has the expertise to help you establish an endowed fund that can grow through thoughtful and tax-effective gifts made during your lifetime and/or through estate planning.
  • We also can help devise a proper recognition program that will document your story of giving and your commitment to public education for future generations.

Bequests, wills and living trusts

LPEF accepts and encourages benefactors to make will bequests and living trust provisions designating LPEF, or a specific existing endowed fund, as the beneficiary. Donations must support and/or enhance the mission and purposes of LPEF, and otherwise conform with LPEF’s gift acceptance policy.  Other bequests (for example, gifts of real estate or investment personal property) may be accepted upon approval by the Board of Directors.

  • If the benefactor provides no specific direction, the LPEF Board will determine the best use for the bequest, including whether to create a new endowed fund, a new board-advised fund, or to use the bequest in support of a current priority.
  • LPEF strongly encourages benefactors to provide notification when intending to name LPEF as the beneficiary of will bequests or living trusts. This allows for proper recognition and celebration of your generosity, and allows LPEF to clarify your intent.

Next steps: Please speak to a legal adviser and ask to designate a specific dollar amount, or a percentage of the residue of the estate, to the La Crosse Public Education Foundation, La Crosse, Wisconsin. (If required, LPEF’s Tax ID number is 39-1610700.)

Retirement plans

LPEF may be designated as a beneficiary of a retirement fund, such as an Individual Retirement Account, 401k, 403b, or other qualified retirement accounts. Usually this involves completing and submitting a simple form to an investment adviser, or making a change in online/digital beneficiary designation. Such forms may provide limited space for directing the gift, so LPEF strongly encourages benefactors to provide notification when intending to name LPEF as the beneficiary of a retirement plan. This allows for proper recognition and celebration of your generosity, and allows LPEF to clarify your intent.

Next steps: When completing the form, designate a percentage of the plan to the La Crosse Public Education Foundation, La Crosse, Wisconsin. (If required, LPEF’s Tax ID number is 39-1610700.)

Payable on death account

A simple way to provide a gift upon death is to list LPEF as the beneficiary of a specific financial account, such as a bank checking or savings account, or a brokerage or investment management account. This allows funds in the account to be transferred to LPEF outside of probate. Usually this involves completing and submitting a simple form with the benefactor’s financial institution.

Next steps: When completing the form, benefactors designate a percentage of the account to the La Crosse Public Education Foundation, La Crosse, Wisconsin. (If required, LPEF’s Tax ID number is 39-1610700.)

Transfer on death deed

Certain states, including Wisconsin and Minnesota, allow for real estate owners to name whom they want to inherit their property after they die. If properly signed and recorded, this transfer on death (or TOD) deed will allow the real estate described in the deed to pass to named beneficiaries outside of probate. (*see disclaimer below) Benefactors are asked to discuss intentions with LPEF prior to executing a transfer on death deed, as LPEF will only accept gifts of real estate (including time-shares) after approval by the Board of Directors.

Life insurance

A gift of life insurance is a simple way in which to make a significant gift to LPEF. Some life insurance has a cash value that can be donated to a charitable organization. LPEF also will accept life insurance in the form of wholly paid policies for which LPEF is named as both the owner and the irrevocable beneficiary. Benefactors should contact their insurance provider for more information and forms. LPEF may require a copy of the life insurance policy before accepting any gift, as the policy may need to be appraised by a qualified appraiser in order to set a cash value for purposes of a determining the tax deduction for the benefactor. If a life insurance policy requires continuing premium payments, the donor shall provide a written pledge to continue making those payments, and may receive a charitable tax deduction when those payments are made. LPEF shall not incur any liability or assume any obligation relating to a gift of life insurance, unless approved in advance by the Board of Directors.

Charitable trusts

Benefactors may want to speak to their investment adviser about establishing a charitable trust for the benefit of LPEF, using one of these mechanisms (*see disclaimer below):

  • A Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust (CRAT) or a Charitable Remainder Unitrust (CRUT) can be established to provide a lifetime income stream, and the benefactor receives one charitable deduction for the present value of the “remainder interest” that is given to charity. (A benefactor may make additions at later dates and receive additional charitable deductions.) At death, the remaining funds in the Trust go to LPEF.
    • A CRAT pays its income beneficiary (generally the benefactor) a specified sum each year that is not less than 5% nor more than 50% of the initial fair market value of all property placed in the trust.
    • A CRUT pays the income beneficiary (generally the benefactor) a fixed percentage each year, not less than 5% nor more than 50% of the net fair market value of assets, as valued annually.
    • Please note: To gain tax advantages, the trust must satisfy specific IRS requirements for either a CRAT or CRUT. (*see disclaimer below)
  • A Charitable Lead Annuity Trust (CLAT) or a Charitable Lead Unitrust (CLUT) can be established to provide an annual gift to LPEF, while the benefactor receives an annual charitable deduction. At death, the remaining funds in the trust typically go to family members or other beneficiaries. As with remainder trusts, a CLAT provides fixed annual payments based on the initial investment, while a CLUT provides annual payments based on a fixed percentage of the account value.

Contributions made to a charitable trust are irrevocable, although, depending on how it is established, the benefactor may be able to change beneficiaries. Speak to an investment adviser about tax benefits.

Charitable gift annuity

An alternative vehicle to discuss with an investment adviser is to establish a charitable gift annuity, which is a contractual agreement between the benefactor and LPEF. The benefactor makes a gift of cash or other assets, and in exchange, LPEF agrees to pay a fixed periodic payment to one or two annuitants. When the annuitant(s) die, the amount remaining benefits LPEF.  Charitable gift annuities may be established only with the approval of the LPEF Board of Directors.

Other options for gifts during your lifetime

General guidelines for donations to LPEF

A contribution may be designated for a specific program or purpose, or a gift may be left undesignated. If a gift is to be restricted to a certain program or purpose, the preference must be stated when the gift is made. Unless otherwise specified in the agreement to accept the gift, LPEF staff will use its discretion to direct the gift to a purpose as close as possible to the benefactor’s intent. Whenever possible, LPEF will use existing programs and funds, or will consult with the District on a suitable use. Benefactors may be consulted as a courtesy.

Contributions must support and/or enhance the mission and purposes of LPEF. Contributions which subject LPEF to burdensome or unusual restrictions will not be accepted.

  • LPEF does not accept gifts for student scholarships.
  • LPEF does not solicit funds for capital improvements in the School District of La Crosse, but will facilitate pass-through grants and gifts for such purposes when the impact on staff workload is minimal.
  • LPEF will not, in most cases, assume any indebtedness in connection with a gift. Exceptions must be approved in advance on a case-by-case basis by the Board of Directors.
  • Expenses associated with the conveyance of a gift made to LPEF shall be borne by the donor. Once the gift has been received, LPEF assumes responsibility for any fees associated with the maintenance or sale of a gift, such as the cost of liquidating publicly traded securities.

DISCLAIMER: It is our policy to remind benefactors that LPEF does not provide tax, legal, financial or related advice concerning gifts, and encourages benefactors to seek out their own personal advisers on such matters.

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