Gift Planning

Bill Lammers '70: A groundbreaking gift

Gift promotes alcohol and addiction awareness

Crediting his experience at Miami for offering his new life perspectives, Bill Lammers considers his past and future investments in Miami a privilege and hopes others will recognize the opportunity.

Crediting his experience at Miami for offering his new life perspectives, Bill Lammers considers his past and future investments in Miami a privilege and hopes others will recognize the opportunity.

By all accounts, Bill Lammers '70 was the all-American success story—a strong student, natural leader, model Naval officer, successful professional and an ideal family man.

Lurking in the shadows, though, were a troubled childhood, a lifetime of insecurities and a destructive quest to fill an unfillable void. The secrets of his addictions, including alcoholism, the "family disease," eventually spilled out, shattering his picture-perfect life in full public view.

At 52 years old, he hit rock bottom, checking into a Hazelden Addiction Treatment Center and beginning the process of learning how to live.

"Author Joseph Campbell once said, 'The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are,'" Lammers says. "In my recovery from addiction, starting 15 years ago, I am becoming, one day at a time, the person I was meant to be."

Now reconciled with his family and a member of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's board of trustees, Lammers is a passionate advocate in the effort to educate and help others in a national fight against addiction and other forms of alcohol and drug misuse.

Lammers' dedication to the cause also has inspired a groundbreaking and meaningful gift to Miami University. Through a recently announced gift in his will, Lammers has created the William J. Lammers Educational Fund for Alcohol and Other Addictions, which focuses on education and programming involving both students and their families.

While Lammers is committed to supporting the fund annually, he also wanted to ensure it would continue providing meaningful support beyond his lifetime. By naming the Miami University Foundation as one of the beneficiaries of his retirement plan, he is able to continue using the plan for his own income needs while also ensuring its continued growth. When he no longer needs that income, a percentage of the plan will formally endow the fund at Miami.

"In talking with parents of college students, no other issue comes close as a threat to the hopes and ambitions they have for their children," Lammers says. "There are way too many deaths and serious injuries from alcohol poisoning on college campuses. In working with Miami's gifted leaders, I felt I could make a difference in this unique way."

Lammers' gift also comes out of appreciation for his time at Miami, where he earned both a bachelor's in accountancy and an MBA. He credits his experience at Miami for offering him new life perspectives, teaching him the value of diligent work and instilling the importance of critical and creative thinking. He considers his past and future investments in Miami a privilege and hopes others will recognize the opportunity.

"As one of my mentors says, 'We must give not until it hurts but, rather, give until it feels good,'" Lammers says. "My financial support comes out of a profound sense of gratitude for my Miami Experience. It also comes out of the hope that other alumni and parents will recognize an opportunity to join in this effort to protect our students from the misuse of alcohol and drugs."

Follow in Bill Lammers' footsteps and give a gift to Miami University that makes you feel good. Contact Jayne Whitehead, H.A. '06, J.D. at 513-529-5223 or jayne.whitehead@miamioh.edu to discuss option that fit your unique circumstances.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Miami University 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 Miami University [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 Miami 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 Miami 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 Miami 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 Miami where you agree to make a gift to Miami 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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