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Charitable Remainder Trust Repays Debt of Gratitude


Giving back to the University of Detroit Mercy was high on the list of priorities when the late Richard Elander (E&S '55, GR '56) and his wife, Barbara, sat down to draw up their estate plan.

The Elanders met as students at the University, where he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in biology. While he completed his Ph.D. elsewhere and she earned her two degrees at another university, they both wanted to give back to Detroit Mercy because it provided the foundation for their life together.

The Elanders made Detroit Mercy's College of Engineering and Science one of four recipients of a charitable remainder trust (CRUT) primarily funded by stock options acquired during Elander's 40-year career with four pharmaceutical companies. They specified that the gift should be used for microbiology and biochemistry programs.

These research areas were important to Elander's career in research and R & D management. His assignments included managing research laboratories in India and Japan. He retired as Vice-President of Biotechnology at Bristol-Myers Squibb. In 1998, the College of Engineering and Science named him Science Alumnus of the Year for his life long achievements in microbiological and biochemical research.

Barbara Elander recalls her husband saying the University enabled him to set a good course for his life as a young man. He was particularly grateful for the guidance provided by the late Professor Paul Forsthoefel, S.J., who designed a graduate course for him in genetics the year after the discovery of DNA. Many years later, the Elanders became acquainted with Nobel Prize winner and the co-discoverer of DNA, Francis Crick, and his wife, through a series of classical music concerts in La Jolla, California.

The broad education the University provided in the liberal arts, especially in philosophy, also proved to be invaluable. "I learned a lot about the fundamental principles of life, which became more important as one grows older and matures," she recalled him saying.

The Elanders respected the emphasis on excellence in the Jesuit-Mercy tradition at the College of Engineering and Science. The University of Detroit Mercy meant a lot in their lives. Barbara and her husband’s legacy will be a part of Detroit Mercy's bright future, aiding students long after they are gone.

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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 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 Detroit Mercy 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 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.

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