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Closely Held Stock*

If you hold stock in a closely held business, you may be able to use that stock as a powerful way to support our future.

Closely held stock is most often used to support our work in the form of:

An outright gift. You can make a gift of closely held stock as long as the constituting documentation for the business permits additional owners and it is debt-free. The donation of closely held stock first requires you to value the interest in the business entity.

Review this checklist to see if you may benefit from donating closely held stock. Then, consult your professional legal and tax advisors to see how to maximize the benefits of this tax-efficient strategy for making a difference.

  • You are a majority shareholder in a closely held corporation.
  • You would like to remove retained earnings from the corporation, without having them taxed again.
  • You would like to maintain a controlling position in the corporation’s outstanding stock.
  • You would like to avoid capital gains taxes on the shares you donate to Bowdoin College.
  • You would like to receive a federal income tax deduction for the full appraised value of the gift.
  • You would like to support our mission.

A gift in your will or living trust. If you are not ready to make a gift of these assets during your lifetime, consider making a gift of all or a portion of your closely held stock through a bequest in your will or living trust. If your estate is worth more than the current exemption amount, you will receive a federal estate tax charitable deduction for the value of your gift.

A charitable remainder trust. You may be able to use all or a portion of your closely held stock to fund a charitable remainder trust. If you do, you receive a federal income tax deduction on the appraised value of your gift and you pay no capital gains taxes at the time of the gift. The trust pays you or other named individuals payments every year for life or a term of years. When the trust term ends, the remaining principal goes to Bowdoin as a lump sum. Although a charitable remainder trust with a flip triggering event works well with most business interests, this type of trust cannot be the owner of S Corporation stock.

A charitable lead trust. In certain situations, you can create a charitable lead trust that allows you to pass your closely held stock to your heirs after supporting Bowdoin. The trust makes regular payments to Bowdoin for a period measured by a fixed term of years or the lives of one or more individuals. After the term ends, the remaining assets, including any appreciation, pass to your heirs. A properly designed lead trust will produce an estate or gift tax deduction for the value of that portion of the trust designated for Bowdoin.

* A gift of closely held stock requires special handling, so you should always consult with your legal or tax advisor first.

For answers to your questions, contact Nancy Milam or Liz Armstrong in the Office of Gift Planning at 207-725-3172 or giftplanning@bowdoin.edu. Nancy and Liz can provide you additional information on giving a gift of closely held stock.

Should you include Bowdoin in your estate plans, please use the legal name (Bowdoin College), the legal address (4100 College Station, Brunswick, ME 04011) and the Federal Tax ID number (01-0215213).

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Bowdoin College 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 Bowdoin College [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 a charitable account sponsored by a public charity that donors use to support their philanthropy.

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.

A lead trust holds appreciating assets for a term of years (or for your lifetime), and makes quarterly or annual payments to Bowdoin College. The College benefits from the stream of reliable, steady gifts from the lead trust, and you're able to witness the impact of your gifts during your lifetime. At the end of the trust's term, all remaining trust assets are distributed to your designated beneficiaries with greatly reduced (in some cases zeroing out) gift and estate tax, regardless of how much the trust has grown.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 Bowdoin as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 Bowdoin 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 Bowdoin where you agree to make a gift to Bowdoin 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.

With a retained life estate, the donor(s) irrevocably deeds a personal residence or farm to the College, but retains the right to live in it for the rest of his/her life, a term of years, or a combination of the two. The term is most commonly measured by the life of the donor or of the donor and the donor’s spouse.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.