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Sowing the Seeds of Success

Charles and Venita Jean Green

Venita Jean and Charles Green lived a comfortable life farming and teaching. Through their estate, they've shared their gifts of goodwill through a student scholarship.

They sowed for a living. Charles and Venita Jean Green spent their lives sowing; he sowed seeds, and she sowed knowledge. Ten years ago, Truman State University was the beneficiary of what they reaped from a lifetime of sowing.

Charles was born on a farm near Downing, Missouri, and spent his childhood working the land. He attended Truman (then Northeast Missouri State Teachers College) for two years until he joined the Army in 1942 to fight in World War II. Once the war ended, Charles returned home and started farming.

Venita Jean grew up on a farm near Memphis, Missouri. She taught at Friendship School in Granger before attending Truman to earn a B.S. and M.A. in elementary education. She then taught in Keokuk, Iowa, sowing the seeds of knowledge in a generation of elementary children.

From these humble beginnings, Charles and Venita Jean built a comfortable life. They worked with various charities, and shared a love of education and fond memories of Truman. What may amaze you is that upon their deaths, they left a legacy of more than $2 million. Within their estate, they were able to leave money to their nieces and nephew, several charities, and over $500,000 to Truman for scholarships for students from Schuyler and Scotland counties.

They sowed, and others have reaped the benefit of their hard work and generosity. In the past 10 years, the Charles B. and Venita Jean Green Scholarship has helped 18 students with more than $139,000 in scholarships. Through their estate they have continued to sow, only now they are sowing seeds of success for students at Truman.

Like the Greens, you can make an impact on students' futures with a gift in your estate plan. Contact Marie Murphree at 660-785-4124 or mmurphree@truman.edu.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Truman State 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 Truman State University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Kirksville, Missouri, 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.

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 Truman 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 Truman 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 Truman 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 Truman where you agree to make a gift to Truman 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.

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