Why beneficiary designations are so powerful
Assets not included in your will are called non-probate assets. Examples are 401(k)s, IRAs, life insurance policies, and other accounts. Designating the Pi Kappa Phi Foundation as a beneficiary can have a big impact and may avoid unwanted taxes for your heirs.
Common gifted assets for beneficiaries
- Life insurance
- Joint real estate
- Joint bank accounts
- Joint property ownership
Designate Pi Kappa Phi Foundation as a beneficiary to one or more of your accounts.
We have partnered with FreeWill to offer this free online platform that will walk you through the process of setting up your beneficiaries. These gifts have a big impact and can often prevent unwanted taxation.
Make your mark with Pi Kappa Phi.
Since 1904, Pi Kappa Phi has prepared generations of young men to lead in their chapters, campuses, and communities. Their impact is the legacy of our Founders: a story of exceptional leadership which has bettered the world around us. Through a planned gift, you can leave a legacy that will advance the story our Founders began. Planned gifts allow you to make a lasting impact on Pi Kappa Phi.
Gabe Gehret’s story
A staff member of Pi Kappa Phi recently asked me, “Gabe, why did you identify Pi Kappa Phi in your estate plan?”
“Dr. Patrick Figley” is the answer that came immediately to my mind. Giving back to the Fraternity was instilled in me by the example set forth by Mr. Pi Kappa Phi, Former National President, and Chi (Stetson) alumnus Dr. Patrick Figley. When Dr. Figley assumed the role of National President at the 1998 Supreme Chapter in Chicago, I was Chi Chapter’s Archon. Dr. Figley called me up on stage and presented me with his “brother pin” to wear for the next two years while he wore the National President’s Pin. For me, this was one of the greatest honors in my life and I vowed to myself to “earn it” by being the best Pi Kapp I could be.
That event and the promise to myself shaped what has become a lifetime of giving back to the fraternity. It also was the foundation of why Pi Kappa Phi is part of my estate plan.
The idea started soon after I graduated from Stetson University. I entered the work force as a financial planner and earned my license to sell insurance. Like most people, I had debts and burial obligations that I wanted to make sure were paid in full should I die. To cover this need, I decided to buy a 20-year term life insurance policy. At that stage of life, a term policy with a $1 million death benefit was very affordable. Even though this was more than 10x the death benefit that I needed at that time, I remember thinking, “I will overpay for my insurance by the cost of a case of beer every month and doing so will guarantee a huge gift to the Fraternity if I die”. With that in mind, I signed up for the policy and named the Pi Kappa Phi Foundation as one of the primary beneficiaries on my life insurance.
Years later, in my early 40’s, my 20-year term policy was up for renewal. I still had the need for life insurance to take care of my obligations and beneficiaries, as well as to fund my gift to Pi Kappa Phi. Because of this, I decided to maintain the inflated death benefit. The type of policy I purchased was a “convertible term policy with a long-term care rider”. This policy still had the affordable rates of term insurance, but at any time it can be “converted” into a permanent universal life policy without a health or insurability review.
I was pleased when the Fraternity rolled out the Gateway Society for those that have named the Fraternity in their estate plan. I hope that as Dr. Figley led me by example, I am now inspiring others to do this as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
The simplest type of planned gift is made by designating planned gifts by beneficiary designation. These gifts aren’t made in your will. They are made possible by updating the beneficiary on your insurance policy, retirement account or IRA. Simply indicate what percentage of your retirement accounts or insurance policy goes to your loved ones and what percentage goes to the Pi Kappa Phi Foundation.
Retirement Account: You can designate Pi Kappa Phi on all, or on a portion of, a retirement account, such as a 401(k), 403(b), or an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) by contacting the trustee at the company or bank that administers the funds. When you make a designation to Pi Kappa Phi from your retirement account, you retain possession of the total amount of the asset for as long as you need. The remainder is designated to the Pi Kappa Phi Foundation. Consult your accountant, tax adviser or attorney about the comparative advantages of leaving your retirement account funds to the Pi Kappa Phi Foundation.
Insurance Policy: You can designate the Pi Kappa Phi Foundation as a partial or full beneficiary of an insurance policy you no longer need or use. Often, you receive a benefit as well: Pi Kappa Phi receives the cash value of the policy, and you can claim the gift amount as a charitable gift tax deduction.
Qualified Charitable Distribution: Once you turn 70 1/2, you may start withdrawing money out of your IRA. This is known as a Qualified Charitable Distribution. At age 73, you must start withdrawing money out of your IRA. This is known as your Required Minimum Distribution. In either case, federal law allows you to make a direct charitable transfer from your IRA to a qualified charity like the Pi Kappa Phi Foundation. The law allows individuals who are 70 1/2 or older to donate gifts from their IRA accounts in any amount up to $100,000 each tax year. Your gift is not considered income, making it tax free. This applies to IRAs only, not 401(k) or 403(b) accounts.
Donor Advised Funds: Donors can support the Pi Kappa Phi Foundation with contributions directly from individual donor advised funds. You can designate the Pi Kappa Phi as a full or partial beneficiary of any remainder in a donor advised fund upon your (and your spouse’s) passing.
A non-probate asset is an account or other asset that won’t be governed by the decisions you make in a will. Instead, these accounts commonly have an assigned beneficiary that you choose. Types of non-probate assets include many retirement accounts, life insurance, some bank accounts and some assets (like a house or vehicle) that you jointly own with another person.
The most commonly gifted non-probate asset is an IRA or 401(k). This is because these accounts are always taxed (even for people below the estate tax threshold). Giving these accounts to charity keeps your heirs from having to pay unexpected taxes.
Yes! Even if you have a will in place you still need to designate beneficiaries for your non-probate assets.
Yes! Gifts of any size are deeply appreciated. Many people choose to leave a percentage of their estate, which scales up or down with your estate size.
No. You can usually make these easily and at no cost to you.
Yes. You are always free to revise or update your estate plans.
More ways to make an impact
Gifts in a will or trust
Donations in your will or trust are (by far) the most popular type of planned gift. Learn more, or get help starting your will (for free!).
Popular tax-smart gifts
Many people are increasingly choosing to give non-cash assets, so they can have a bigger impact at less cost to them.