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Planned Giving

A Gift Tomorrow

Planned giving offers you a path to make a donation to the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in the future without impacting your financial picture today.  It makes an investment that will have a life-changing impact on the students in the future and ensures the strength of the School for new generations.  There are several ways to structure a gift to meet a donor’s particular interests.

Wills & Estates

A will is a legal document that ensures your estate is distributed and your family is cared for as you direct.  With a will, your wishes are carried out.  Without a will, the state makes all major decisions, including how your assets will be distributed. No charitable gifts can be made from your estate without a stated designation through a will.

Naming the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf [WPSD] in your will or living trust allows you to make a charitable gift and, at the same time, allows you to maintain control over your assets during your lifetime. The terms of your will are flexible and can be changed should you need to modify your charitable bequests.

Giving to WPSD through your will and estate is a special way to share your support for School beyond your lifetime. Bequest language is simple and the charitable bequest can be either a fixed dollar amount, a percentage of the total estate or a percentage of the residual estate.  Sample language is provided below.

Specific Bequest Language: “I give to the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, located in Edgewood Borough, PA, the sum of $_______ to be used for its general operating support (or for the support of a specific program).

Percentage of Estate Language: “I give _____% of my estate to the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, located in Edgewood Borough, PA.”

Residual Bequest Language:  A residual bequest comes to WPSD after your estate expenses and specific bequests are paid. “I give and devise to the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, located in Edgewood Borough, PA, all (or a stated percentage) of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, to be used for its general operating support (or for the support of a specific program).

Contingent Bequest Language: WPSD can be named as a contingent beneficiary in your will if one or more of your specific bequests cannot be fulfilled: “If (insert name) is not living at the time of my demise, I give and devise to WPSD, located in Edgewood Borough, the sum of $_________ (or all or a percentage of the residue of my estate) to be used for its general operating support (or for the support of a specific program).

We suggest contacting an attorney to prepare or modify a will that reflects your express wishes.


A Revocable Living Trust is an arrangement you make for the management and distribution of your assets, creating a financial plan that can provide for your needs today while also designating future gifts.  A Trust is a legal arrangement, and the designated trustee becomes responsible for holding and investing your assets, collecting income, paying normal expenses, and distributing net income.

The term “revocable” means that you can change the provisions in the trust. The term “living” refers to the management of your assets while you are still alive. This relieves you of any concerns should you become ill or no longer want this responsibility.

Like a will, a trust also determines how assets will be distributed upon death, but a trust offers additional benefits. Notably, a trust is a private document and not a matter of public record like a will. Also, assets in a trust do not go through probate, potentially saving time and money.

You can learn how to set up a trust document with the help of a qualified attorney.

Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, & Securities

If you would like to donate securities to WPSD, it’s important to know if they have increased or decreased in value since you purchased them. If your securities have increased in value over time, donating them to a nonprofit will enable you to avoid capital gains taxes while potentially providing a charitable deduction for the fair-market value of your gift.

In circumstances where your securities have depreciated, you will be better served by selling them first and donating the proceeds. This allows you to receive a deduction for your capital loss plus you gain a charitable deduction for the amount donated.

You may also elect to make a gift of securities by naming WPSD as a beneficiary, either through your will or through a beneficiary designation account at some security brokerage firms. While you will not receive a charitable contribution deduction on your income tax returns, you will reduce the amount of your estate that may be subject to tax. In addition, assets in a beneficiary designation account avoid probate.

Retirement Assets

Retirement Assets are tax-deferred retirement accounts, designed to promote savings for retirement, and include profit sharing, IRAs, 401(k), 403(b), and Keough and pension plans.

As some individuals approach retirement age, they discover that they have accumulated more funds than they will likely use. If you have a larger estate, subject to both income and estate tax, retirement assets may be the best vehicle for you to give to WPSD. You can give a portion of your retirement assets now without penalty, provided you are over 59 ½.

Another option is to give your Retirement Assets upon your death by designating WPSD as the primary or contingent beneficiary. This avoids both significant income and estate taxation. By naming WPSD as a beneficiary of a retirement plan, you maintain complete control over the asset while living, but at death, the plan passes to support WPSD, free of both estate and income taxes.

Making a charitable gift from your retirement plan is easy and should not require an attorney or any fees. Simply request a change of beneficiary form from your retirement plan administrator. When the form is complete, return the form to your plan administrator and also notify the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf.  We can also assist you with the proper language for your beneficiary designation to WPSD.  Contact Matt Campion, Director of Institutional Advancement at 412.244.4250 or mcampion@wpsd.org.

Life Insurance

Most people purchase a Life Insurance policy to provide for their children, protect their home mortgage, or secure retirement funds. As people age, they often find that they no longer need financial protection in these areas. If that describes you, your Life Insurance policy can be used to support the on-going work of the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf.

Depending upon your needs and circumstances, there are a number of ways you can use your policy for charitable means.  For example, you can name WPSD as the owner and beneficiary of your policy, as the sole beneficiary, as a co-beneficiary, or secondary beneficiary.  Alternatively, you may assign annual dividends to WPSD as a charitable contribution which may be deducted on your income tax return. Finally, you may fund a gift annuity with your policy. Tax benefits will depend upon on the method of giving you choose. Your insurance agent can help you navigate the different options with a new or your current policy.  Contact Matt Campion, Director of Institutional Advancement at 412.244.4250 or mcampion@wpsd.org, if you have more questions or need more information.