Ensure your legacy with planned gifts

Contributed by Cat Comley Adams, Director of Advancement, MU Extension

Planned gifts are a significant source of support for MU Extension. Friends of Extension have made planned gifts that range from life insurance worth $10,000 for 4-H youth development to more than $4 million to preserve agricultural research. Sometimes planned gift donors inform us they have included extension in their estate plans.

Other times, the gift arrives without prior knowledge. When a planned gift comes to us unexpectedly, it can be a challenge to honor the donor’s wishes because the instructions in the estate documents are often short and vague at best. When donors let us know during their lifetimes that they have created a planned gift for extension, we are able to put plans in place that will ensure their wishes are carried out thoroughly.

Informing extension of interest in, or to document, a planned gift is as simple as contacting the extension development professionals: myself, Cat Comley Adams; Cynthia Crawford, director of donor education; or James Preston, who is our liaison with the MU Office of Gift Planning and Endowments. We can provide assistance in the gift planning process to ensure the information needed for advisors is well prepared and donors are equipped to make tax-wise decisions. We will also manage the gift documentation process at the University of Missouri. Any information provided will be handled and filed in a confidential manner. In recognition and thanks for planned gifts, donors receive membership in the Mizzou Legacy Society.

My job as director of advancement for MU Extension is to ensure the intent of a donor’s generosity is fulfilled completely. As we continue to communicate the many ways our constituents may give back to MU Extension, my hope is that understanding of the process will improve. As always, I am pleased to answer any questions related to this topic. It can be very complicated! Please allow us to honor your dedication to extension by preserving your legacy in precisely your terms.

“What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?”
— Winston Churchill