Thomas I. Bergin Society FAQ

How do I qualify for The Thomas I. Bergin Legacy Society?
Membership in The Thomas I. Bergin Legacy Society is extended on a confidential basis to Santa Clara University alumni and friends who have arranged a deferred gift—for example, through a bequest or trust, or who are planning to do so for SCU (regardless of the size of the gift). There is no other requirement or obligation.

Can my gift plans remain anonymous?
SCU is dedicated to preserving the confidentiality of our donors' gift plans. Your name will only be used in honor rolls as a member of The Thomas I. Bergin Legacy Society with your permission.

What is the connection between The Thomas I. Bergin Legacy Society and other SCU giving societies?
The Thomas I. Bergin Legacy Society recognizes the method of giving, not the size of gift. It is possible to be a member of The Thomas I. Bergin Legacy Society and also arrange an outright or deferred gift in an amount appropriate to qualify for other giving recognition levels.

What are the benefits of membership in The Thomas I. Bergin Legacy Society?
Members receive updates from Santa Clara University on legal and tax changes that may affect estate planning, recognition in a special honor roll of contributors, if they choose, and an invitation to an annual luncheon and Back to the Classroom event.

What if I change my plans?
Santa Clara University acknowledges that any revocable gift plan may change in the future. The Thomas I. Bergin Legacy Society provides recognition for your current intention to support the mission of SCU.

Do I need to share my estate planning documents with Santa Clara University?
It's not necessary to do so, but it can be helpful. For example, all estate planning documents should use Santa Clara's full, legal title—The President and Board of Trustees of Santa Clara College—to ensure that your eventual gift will come through the University's preferred channel for private support and will be used according to your wishes.

Because wills, trusts, and other documents are legally binding, the purpose must be clearly stated, or the document could create a gift that does not follow your intentions or support the University's mission. Sharing your plans with SCU will enable us to use your gift in a manner that is most aligned with your interests and values.

You may wish to share a copy of only a portion of your estate planning document, or you may describe your gift on The Thomas I. Bergin Legacy Society enrollment form. SCU's planned giving staff is available to consult with you and your professional advisor. Our goal is to ensure that your estate document uses the correct legal title of Santa Clara University and that we understand and will be able to carry out your wishes.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Santa Clara University a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Santa Clara University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053-1400, or its successor thereto, ______________ [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to SCU or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate, or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property, or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to SCU as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to SCU as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and SCU where you agree to make a gift to SCU and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

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eBrochure Request Form

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