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Planned Giving Frequently Asked Questions

What assets can I use to make a gift to the Syracuse Health Science Center Medical Alumni Foundation?

Generally speaking, almost anything can be donated to the Foundation, including real estate, personal property, cash, annuities, retirement plans, life insurance policies, etc.

Through your will or living trust or with a distribution from a retirement plan or life insurance policy, you can designate a gift to Syracuse Health Science Center Medical Alumni Foundation.

What tax deduction will I receive for my gift?

Your tax benefits will depend on several factors: the type of gift, the time at which it is made and whether it is outright or deferred.  In general here are some guidelines:

  • Outright gifts to Syracuse Health Science Center Medical Alumni Foundation generate a full income-tax charitable deduction.  Ourtright gifts of appreciated securities are deductible at fair market value, with no recognition of capital gains.
  • Gifts of personal property, like art, books and collectibles, are fully deductible so long as they are applicable to Syracuse Health Science Center Medical Alumni Foundation's mission.  We can advise you on this point.  
  • Bequests do not generate a lifetime income tax deduction.  However, they are exempt from estate tax.
  • Similarly, life insurance distributions to Syracuse Health Science Center Medical Alumni Foundation are not income-tax deductible, but are exempt from estate tax.  If you have made us the irrevocable owner and beneficiary of a policy during your lifetime, you may deduct annual gifts that offset premium payments and possibly the value of your policy at the time of contribution.

I want to set up a life insurance policy, name Syracuse Health Science Center Medical Alumni Foundation as beneficiary, but retain ownership of the policy.  Can I deduct the premium payments I make?

No.  The IRS would not consider that a "completed gift" - they'd say that, as the owner of the policy, you could change the beneficiary designation to a friend or family member.  We must be made the irrevocable owner of the policy for gifts offsetting premium payments to be deductible.

I've heard that transferring gifts of IRA assets to charity is advantageous.  Why?

Qualified retirement plans such as IRAs, 401(k), 403(b), and Keoghs allow individuals to defer paying taxes on a portion of their income until the assets are withdrawn during retirement years.  However, after a person's death, these accounts are exposed to income tax and in some cases estate taxes, at a combined rate that could rise to 75% or even higher on large taxable estates.  The only way to avoid both income and estate tax on your retirement plan is to give those assets to a charity.  By designating Syracuse Health Science Center Medical Alumni Foundation as your beneficiary, you will ensure 100% of the value of your account benefits Syracuse Health Science Center Medical Alumni Foundation.

 The material presented on this website is not offered as legal or tax advice.  You are urged to seek the advice of your tax advisor, attorney, and/or financial planner to make certain the gift you are considering fits into your overall circumstances and planning.

Please note that our legal name is Syracuse Health Science Center Medical Alumni Foundation.


To learn more, contact us.

The Upstate Medical Alumni office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.  Our Executive Director, Paul E. Norcross can be reached at (315) 464-4362 or norcrosp@upstate.edu and our Associate Director, Lori A. Murphy can be reached at (315) 464-4359 or murphyL@upstate.edu.  You can also fill out the short form below with your contact information and we'd be happy to contact you


Planned Giving Interest Form


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Upstate Medical Alumni Foundation

Setnor Academic Building #1510
750 East Adams Street
Syracuse, NY 13210

Phone: (315) 464-4361
Fax: (315) 464-4360
Email: medalum@upstate.edu

Alumni Supporting Future Alumni