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Maintaining Ties With Ball State

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Phil and Esther Ball’s generosity is helping BSU students succeed.

Benefiting From a Charitable Remainder Unitrust

Some people may view Muncie as a small, quiet town in the middle of a cornfield. But for Phil and Esther Ball, Muncie is a cultural center that has a little bit of everything.

Both Phil and Esther are natives of Muncie and have lived there most of their lives, enjoying the theater, museums, and sporting events on and around the Ball State campus.

They are of no relation to the Ball family that founded the university, but Phil and Esther label themselves as members of the "old and original Muncie Ball family." Phil's ancestors came to Delaware County, Ind., in 1810, and he believes they journeyed from Virginia on Conestoga wagons. His research shows that Ball State's Ball family came to Muncie in 1887 by train.

Regardless, Phil and Esther have always been close to Ball State. Phil grew up two blocks from the university and studied there for two years. He went on to earn his bachelor's (1940) and doctor of medicine (1942) degrees from Indiana University and doctor of medical science degree from the University of Minnesota in 1951.

Esther grew up a mile away from campus and earned two degrees from Ball State, her bachelor's in social sciences in 1940 and her master's in history in 1969. Esther marched in the commencement parade with David Letterman, who was graduating with his bachelor's degree.

Esther worked for J. Edgar Hoover as a cryptographer in the FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and then as a receptionist/typist in the Chicago field office during World War II. "I worked for military intelligence and decoded German text and data from German newspapers," Esther says. "I was eventually given instruction in the Russian language as well."

Phil, then a medical intern at the Cook County Hospital in Chicago, and Esther married just before he went on to travel the world for 2½ years with the Navy. When he returned, they had their three children and moved multiple times across the country. Phil continued work as a physician while Esther participated in multiple local organizations and maintained the home.

Phil's demanding medical career eventually brought the family back to their home in Indiana, where they remain today. He has retired from medicine, but shares his wit and wisdom as a guest columnist for The Star Press in Muncie.

The Charitable Remainder Unitrust

To show their continuous support for Ball State, Phil and Esther established a charitable remainder unitrust. The trust provides them with income during their lifetimes, and then the remaining assets will be used to fund the Dr. W. Philip and Esther E. Ball Scholarship Fund, providing unrestricted funding for student scholarships. They also made a gift of life insurance several years ago.

"We talked to our attorneys about what we could do with some of our appreciated stock investments. They told us we could either give a lot away to Washington, D.C., in capital gains tax and other potential taxes-or give it to a worthy cause," Phil says. "We wanted to help students succeed at Ball State."

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Ball State University 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

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Ball State University 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 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.

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 gift 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 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 the foundation 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 the 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 foundation where you agree to make a gift to the 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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