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May/June 2002

Making a charitable gift using your retirement account

To encourage individuals to increase their savings for retirement, Congress created the Individual Retirement Account. Many Americans now use IRAs or employer-sponsored "qualified retirement plans" such as 401(k), 402(b), SEP, Keogh, profit-sharing, and pension plans to supplement their social security retirement. Today, retirement plan assets have become a substantial part of individuals' net worth, providing a significant source of retirement income and an important consideration for tax and estate planning.

While most people participate in these plans, few realize that should they die before depleting their account, up to 80 percent of the remaining assets could be consumed by taxes when left to individual heirs other than a spouse. That means your family may get only twenty cents on the dollar. If the remaining funds are left to heirs, they are subject to both an estate tax and an income tax.

The combined effect of both income and estate taxes may be a significant decrease in the amount of plan assets that you can pass on to heirs. Designating your spouse as a beneficiary of a retirement account merely delays and sometimes compounds, rather than eliminates, these tax issues.

However, a bequest of the same assets to a nonprofit organization completely avoids this twofold taxation. Retirement plan funds may be your best choice for funding a charitable bequest to the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation. These gifts are fully deductible for estate tax purposes. And because the charity is tax exempt, there is no income tax assessed.

Retirement fund gifts should be made after rather than during your lifetime to receive the full tax benefits. There are several options available to direct any remaining retirement assets to the NSHS Foundation after your lifetime.

Designating the Foundation as the beneficiary of a retirement account is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to make a significant gift that will impact the way the Nebraska State Historical Society is able to increase the appreciation and understanding of Nebraska's history.

To designate the Foundation as a beneficiary to your retirement accounts, request a beneficiary designation form from the account administrator. With this form, you can designate the Foundation as the sole or partial beneficiary.

Using your retirement account to make a charitable gift can reduce your taxable estate, making it possible to increase the amount of your estate that heirs could receive without tax penalties. If retirement benefits are designated to charity, other cash and stock passing to heirs will be received tax-free.

Because all decisions about your retirement security and your estate are among the most important you'll make, be sure to talk with your financial advisor, accountant, or attorney to review your unique circumstances and make plans for the distribution of your estate.

For more information about how you can make a charitable gift using your retirement account to help us safeguard and protect our state's history, contact the Foundation office at 888-515-3535 and 402-435-3535 in Lincoln, or, print out and return the information request form below.

Funding to reconstruct Cheyenne Barracks complete

Hanna watercolor of barracks

The funding to reconstruct the Cheyenne Outbreak Barracks at Fort Robinson has been completed! The NSHS Foundation and the Society are pleased to announce that the $150,000 needed to match the appropriation from the Legislature has been secured.

Work on the barracks has begun at Fort Robinson. The building's foundation has been laid, and the logs have been cut and are on site. If the weather cooperates, the barracks should be finished during the summer. The barracks will provide an authentic experience of the setting in which some of the most tragic and dramatic events of the Indian wars took place.

The barracks reconstruction is the final phase of the reconstruction and interpretation of three historically significant structures from the earliest period of the fort; the guardhouse, the adjutant's office, and the Cheyenne Outbreak barracks.

Our thanks to those of you who made contributions to this important project. Without your help, we would not have been able to accomplish the reconstruction of the barracks. One of the great stories of the Indian wars and the significant role Fort Robinson played during that time would have remained untold.

We look forward to announcing the celebration and official opening of the barracks later this summer, and we hope you will plan to be there to join us.


Information request form

_____Please send me additional information about how to make a gift to the Foundation in support of Nebraska history through charitable tax planning with retirement plans distributions from IRAs and other qualified retirement plans.

_____I am considering making a provision to the Foundation in support of Nebraska history and have a question. Please call me.

_____I have already made a provision to the Foundation in support of Nebraska history through

_____my will.
_____my retirement plan.
_____a life insurance policy.
_____a trust arrangement.

City                                                 State                         Zip

Mail to:

The Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation
215 Centennial Mall South #408
Lincoln, NE 68508
or call us at 888-515-3535 or 402-435-3535


Foundation Board of Directors

James W. Hewitt, Lincoln, President
Allison D. Petersen, Walton, Executive Vice President
Joanne F. Shephard, Valentine, Secretary
Robert D. Northrop, Lincoln, Treasurer
Jack D. Campbell, Lincoln
Thomas Creigh, Jr., Hastings
Sharon D. Davis, Omaha
Martha A. Greer, Lincoln
Diane N. "Diny" Landen, Omaha
Dr. Frederick C. Luebke, Lincoln
Lu Marcotte, Nebraska City
Dr. Martin A. Massengale, Lincoln
John D. Massey, Scottsbluff
George H. Moyer, Jr., Madison
James F. Nissen, Lincoln
Cynthia Olson, Lisco
Amy Scott-Willer, Omaha
John W. Webster, Omaha
S. N. "Bud" Wolbach, Grand Island
Dr. John Wunder, Lincoln

Dorothy G. Hevelone, Beatrice, Director Emeritus

Lawrence J. Sommer, Lincoln, NSHS Director, Ex-officio
Keith Blackledge, North Platte, NSHS President, Ex-officio
Jim McKee, Lincoln, NSHS Treasurer, Ex-officio

Contact Information:

Jackie Spahn, Executive Director
Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation
408 Lincoln Center Building
215 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, NE 68508-1813

Ph: 402-435-3535
Fax: 402-435-3986

March/April 2002 Issue

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Last updated 18 June 2002

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