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Brad Simmons gives back to Detroit Mercy as an advisor and donor

Brad Simmons

Professors of the College of Business Administration educated Brad Simmons '79, '84 not only about accounting and finance, but also about ethics as a way to assess and solve problems. Those attributes have served him well in his 30-plus years at Ford Motor Co.

After serving in roles that ranged from accounting and finance to government relations, Brad rose to the position of controller of the Ford Fund, the philanthropic arm of the company. For the past eight years, he has been director of the Office of Executive Chairman. This role takes Brad across the country and around the world as Bill Ford's chief of staff. Brad advises his boss about events, speaking engagements and initiatives that he may wish to get involved with—at the company, in industry, and in the community.

Brad is a generous donor to University of Detroit Mercy and has named the University in his estate plans. "Keeping up the physical facilities of the Detroit Mercy campuses is capital intensive and is critical to attracting to new students," he says. He wants his estate gift to continue the legacy of great instructors and deans, including his mentor Professor of Business Administration Gerald Cavanagh, S.J.

"I think it's important to give back to institutions that have given to me and shaped me," says Brad, who is chair of the College of Business Administration Advisory Board. Being a co-op student at Chrysler Corp. as an undergraduate opened many doors for him upon graduation, including his first job at Ford.

As a Detroit native, he forecasts a solid turnaround for the city and the state of Michigan. "I continue to be impressed by the spirit, attitude and commitment of the region and the state's leaders. Our challenge is to retain or attract back the next generation of college graduates. Keeping Detroit Mercy a vital part of the city helps in its renewal."

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to University of Detroit Mercy 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 give to University of Detroit Mercy, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 4001 W. McNichols Road, Detroit, MI 48221-3038, or its successor thereto, ______________* [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 Detroit Mercy 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 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 Detroit Mercy 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 Detroit Mercy 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 Detroit Mercy where you agree to make a gift to Detroit Mercy 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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

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

eBrochure Request Form

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