Never Leave That Till Tomorrow Which You Can Do Today

Delores and Weldon Cole smilingIt is July as I write this greeting. It is hot today. It was hot yesterday. It will be hot tomorrow. But as you read this, it is September and fall is in the air, reminding us that winter is coming. The one thing we know about the weather is that it will change. Just as seasons change, so do fashions, laws and circumstances—and so should the plans that are designed to provide a stable financial future for our loved ones and us.

As you review your estate plans to ensure that your family, friends and others will benefit in the ways that you desire, you may find that with careful planning, you can provide a special gift that will benefit future generations of University of North Alabama students as well.

Growing up in Addison, Ala., Delores and Weldon Cole never imagined they would be in a position to create an endowment to fund college scholarships. Weldon was born in 1936 on a farm six miles from Addison, and Delores was born two years later. As Weldon tells it, "We were both spanked by the same doctor." Except for Weldon's military service, the two years and six miles that separated them at birth are about as far apart as they have been since they first met in the Addison public school system.

After Weldon graduated from Addison High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, making him eligible for GI Bill education benefits. After Delores graduated as valedictorian, she enrolled at Florence State College, predecessor to UNA. After his threeyear stint in the Army, Weldon followed his high school sweetheart to Florence State where they were married in 1957. According to Weldon, "I never went to college a ‘single day' in my life."

The young married couple soon found themselves having to make a difficult choice—one faced by many people in their generation. Although Delores was an outstanding student majoring in business administration, she and Weldon decided that she would give up her studies while he finished his degree.

So Delores began working as secretary to Dr. Christianson, head of the Business Department, and later as secretary to Mr. Otis Peacock, extension director. While excelling in his studies, Weldon also worked part time at Sears, sold advertising for the local newspaper, and was editor of the Lion Gridiron and business manager for the Flor-Ala. Weldon graduated in 1960 with the highest accounting GPA, was elected to Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities and to the Florence State Hall of Fame, and received the Turris Fidelis Key. He represented the state of Alabama at the White House Conference on Children and Youth. He was awarded a scholarship to the University of Alabama where he earned an M.B.A. in 1961.

For the next 39 years, Delores and Weldon followed his professional path to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Georgia, Illinois and Wisconsin. Before he retired as senior vice president, corporate planning and business development, at Albany International Corporation of Albany, N.Y., Weldon held various executive positions with Continental Can Co. and Cities Service Co., and practiced public accounting with the firms of Hurdman, Cranstoun, Penney & Co. as well as Price, Waterhouse & Co. in New York.

After his retirement, Weldon and Delores returned to Alabama to devote themselves to public service and philanthropy. In 2006, they established the Delores and Weldon Cole Honors Endowment, dedicated to benefit the University of North Alabama Honors Program. Annual earnings from the fund are used for scholarships, salary supplements, program support and enrichment.

According to Dr. Vince Brewton, director of the Honors Program, "We are deeply grateful to Delores and Weldon Cole for their generosity in support of the Honors Program. Private giving on behalf of higher education nationally is the true margin of excellence—the difference between good enough and outstanding. Our goal in the Honors Program is to offer an unsurpassed educational experience to students from the region and the nation in the inimitable atmosphere of the UNA campus community. The Coles' gift to the Honors Program is a beautiful illustration of alumni trust in the direction of the university, and donors can be certain that every penny of their gifts goes directly to scholarships and academic enrichment for our students."

In addition to their Honors Endowment, the Coles have also made a testamentary gift in their will, the income from which will be dedicated to the University Honors Program.

As a true philanthropist, Weldon says, "We've always heard, ‘Give till it hurts.' I say, ‘Give till it feels good!' "

To learn more about establishing or reviewing your will, please use the enclosed reply card to request Your Guide to a Better Will, and start "feeling good." If you prefer, I welcome your call or e-mail.

Dr. Barry Morris, Director of Planned Giving

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the University of North Alabama Foundation 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

Bequest Language

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to University of North Alabama Foundation [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 the UNA Foundation 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 the UNA Foundation 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 the UNA Foundation 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 the UNA Foundation where you agree to make a gift to the UNA Foundation 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.

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