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Dental Scholarship Honors Life of Alumni Lawrence Cotman

Lawrence Cotman

University of Detroit Mercy alumnus Lawrence Cotman D.D.S. '51 enjoyed life but he enjoyed it most by making life a little easier for those around him. He operated his dental practice for more than 41 years in Detroit, and throughout that time, provided free treatment to many, including life-long free care to the nuns at St. Thomas parish and to the families of the Naval Reserves. Cotman passed away October 26, 2005, but his legacy giving continues.

"My uncle dedicated his whole life to helping people who were committed to helping themselves," says Cotman's niece, Diane Cotman. "He was an extremely committed instructor at U of D Dental School, insisting on perfection from his students' work."

His close-knit, immigrant family and experience in the U.S. Navy, where he was a captain in the Naval Reserves, developed Cotman's strong moral values and high standards for success. He excelled at dentistry and earned awards, honors and achievements for accomplishments in every field he endeavored.

Friends describe Cotman as a giver, for he often donated gifts of money—many times anonymously—to friends, colleagues and quality organizations such as the YMCA and The Unity Church. Cotman's generosity to University of Detroit Mercy has been outstanding.

Diane Cotman says her uncle wanted others to help hard-working people who needed an opportunity for it was hard work, coupled with opportunity, which allowed him to achieve success in life. Dedication to this belief served as motivation for a dental scholarship funded through a bequest in Cotman's name at Detroit Mercy's School of Dentistry.

"He said that we were here to make the world better. We have to bring everybody up, not just ourselves," says Cotman. "He wanted everybody to succeed."

Cotman hopes that recipients of the Lawrence Cotman Scholarship possess the same noble qualities as her uncle. "He was an amazing man," she adds. "I am most proud that my uncle lived the life he professed he lived and he did it with his time and monetary contributions."

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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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