In Gratitude for Gannon

Loraine and Jim Ahearn ('61)

Loraine and Jim Ahearn ('61)

Jim Ahearn '61 appreciates the time he spent at Gannon and the influence it had on his life. Now he and his wife, Loraine, have chosen to honor the University with a legacy gift.

Jim and Loraine Ahearn consider themselves blessed. They've been happily married for 43 years, raised two terrific children, had rewarding careers and are now enjoying an active retirement. In gratitude for all their blessings, Jim and Loraine have designated a gift for Gannon in their estate plans as a way of giving back to one of the places that helped them get where they are today.

Jim attended Gannon on a basketball scholarship, graduating in 1961 with a B.A. in history. He recalls Gannon as a "warm, gentle place" with supportive faculty who really cared. He met many wonderful people at Gannon, some of whom he is still friends with today. Coming from the big city of Brooklyn, N.Y., Jim loved the small, tight-knit community at Gannon, as well as the community of Erie itself.

Making their home in Rochester, N.Y., Jim served 26 years as the president of the Upstate New York Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, while Loraine taught special education. They have participated in Gannon alumni events in the Rochester area and returned to Gannon for Jim's 40th class reunion. "I plan to make the fiftieth reunion as well," notes Jim.

Jim feels very fortunate to have been able to go to Gannon, which he couldn't have done without the help of those who made his scholarship possible. Now he wants to help provide similar opportunities for others. "One thing I learned from Gannon is that you take care of your community," Jim says.

Jim and Loraine have made financial contributions to Gannon throughout the years, but they wanted to establish a gift that would reach into the future. Now on a fixed income, they decided that including a bequest for Gannon in their will was the best way to do this. "A deferred gift is a painless, easy way to give back to the school I love," explains Jim. He and Loraine understand that a small percentage of their estate can make a big difference in the lives of future students.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Gannon 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, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Gannon University, Erie, Pennsylvania, a not-for-profit organization, organized and existing under the law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, [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 Gannon 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 Gannon 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 Gannon 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 Gannon where you agree to make a gift to Gannon 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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