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Young Alumna Proves That It Is Never Too Early to Plan Ahead

Heather and Dan Ockenfels

Heather and Dan Ockenfels

"There is no time like the present to make a future gift to Truman!" states Heather (Stalling) Ockenfels, a 2002 Truman alumna.

While most young graduates under 40 are focused on the present, Heather and her husband, Dan, are helping plan for Truman's future with a provision in their estate plans to establish a named scholarship. This award will one day support students in financial need who are involved in Truman's residence hall government.

Reflection Leads to Action
Heather has never been one to shy away from a challenge or an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. These qualities have led her to work toward her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa while simultaneously working as the student conduct officer and critical MASS coordinator in the Office of the Dean of Students.

Naturally, Heather has been reflecting on her time at Truman where the foundation for a career in student affairs was laid. Experience in Centennial Hall government, working for residence life and serving as a student advisor significantly influenced Heather as an undergraduate. "Through that reflection, I realized that I would not have made it through college as a first-generation student without the amazing support of scholarships and someone else's decision to commit to a planned gift."

She adds, "Dan and I thought about where our gift could benefit others and Truman seemed the most appropriate place. I hope a student will benefit from this gift and continue their passion for involvement on campus."

What Prompted Their Gift?
Dan and Heather share a passion for philanthropy but surprisingly that is not what served as the catalyst for making their planned gift commitment to Truman. "Don't laugh," Heather says, "but we decided to make this gift because Dan and I learned how to ride motorcycles.

"Dan's mother insisted we have our affairs in order and we had our wills drawn up," she says. "It gave us an opportunity to really think about our legacy and how we could contribute to society and others well beyond our passing.

"It was challenging to think about the wills, as we are in our early 30s and most people our age aren't even thinking about retirement yet. However, we are so glad we went through the process. We feel more secure about our future knowing others will benefit from our lives."

Choosing the Best Way to Leave a Legacy
When considering how to best leave a legacy at Truman, Heather and Dan knew there were many options to consider. "For us, planning through a bequest made the most sense. Dan and I don't know what will happen next month, next year or 30 years from now. However, we know that our estate will continue to grow and if we take a minute now to make a commitment to Truman, we know that we have set a minimum for our gift. We think of this as an investment in the future of another Truman graduate."

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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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