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Spirit is published three times per year by the Texas A&M Foundation, which manages major gifts and endowments for the benefit of academic programs, scholarships and student activities at Texas A&M University.

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The Legacy

The Twofold Benefits of Trusts

By Cassidy Hudson '16

Writer/Former Intern

For Stephanie Sneed Langenstein ’89, a unique planned gift option presents the opportunity to support her passions during her lifetime. Through two charitable lead trusts, she is benefiting Texas A&M University while protecting her family’s future assets.

Charitable lead trusts, funded during your lifetime or through your will, allow you to support Texas A&M and pass assets to your family with significant estate and tax savings.

After the Foundation receives a set annual payout from her trusts for a fixed time period, the trusts will terminate and the remaining principals will go to Langenstein’s family with little or no transfer tax due. For Langenstein, the trusts are a win-win—she can leave her mark on Texas A&M without sacrificing her family’s financial security.

Your Trust, Your Way

As an undergraduate, Langenstein learned the importance of a well-rounded education and appreciated the opportunity to pursue diverse interests and experiences at Texas A&M. She directed that her trust payouts reflect these lessons by expanding education beyond the ordinary.

Two charitable lead trusts established by Stephanie Sneed Langenstein '89 (left) support student travel experiences through the Stark Northeast Tour, chemical engineering faculty and global study scholarships for engineering majors like her daughter Elizabeth '17 (right).

One of her lead trusts will create two gifts: First, global study scholarships for engineering students; and second, an endowment for the Memorial Student Center J. Wayne Stark Northeast Tour, which annually provides about 20 high-achieving students the opportunity to visit prestigious business and law schools on the East Coast.

Langenstein hopes these gifts will lighten financial burdens associated with travel and encourage students and their families to make an investment in education beyond the Texas A&M campus.

“Travel to other parts of the country and world changes your perspective and helps you see other cultures in a new and improved light,” Langenstein said. “Through my gifts, I hope students will be encouraged to get out of their comfort zones.”

Her second lead trust will establish a faculty fellowship and an endowed professorship in chemical engineering, Langenstein’s field of study. She hopes the gift will support research opportunities and inspire a spirit of philanthropy among women in chemical engineering.

“As women start to lead in education and the work force, we need to make ourselves visible in the philanthropic community,” said Langenstein. “I hope other women will consider my gift to support faculty a challenge to do the same.”

Langenstein’s Texas A&M experience has come full circle: She and her husband Rich are parents to an Aggie mechanical engineer, Elizabeth ’17, and George, who will enter Texas A&M's PATHS Certificate Program this fall. A mother of four, including three sons adopted outside of the U.S., Langenstein instills in her children Aggie values, a drive to explore the world and the spirit of giving.

Giving Through a Charitable Lead Trust

If you’re interested in passing assets to your family while minimizing or eliminating gift or estate taxes, a charitable lead trust is an excellent option. With interest rates at their lowest levels in decades, now is a good time to create a charitable lead trust and benefit Texas A&M University at the same time.

How It Works

1. Establish Trust: You transfer cash, securities or other property to a charitable lead trust.

2. Choose Support: Create the endowment of your choice through the Texas A&M Foundation. You can support students, faculty, colleges or outside-the-classroom experiences.

3. Choose Duration: You decide how many years the trust will make annual payments to the Texas A&M Foundation to support your endowment.

4. Asset Transfer: When the trust term ends, the remaining assets plus any growth are transferred to your family at significant tax savings. Depending on investment performance, your family could receive more than you initially contributed.

Zero Tax Plan

With current low interest rates, it is possible to set up a charitable lead trust that will allow you to transfer assets to your family with zero transfer tax. The IRS assumes that a lead trust is only earning at the current low federal rate. If the actual investments of the trust produce a higher return and pay earnings to charity over a number of years, the full value of the trust may be transferred to your family with zero gift tax.

Contact:

Glenn Pittsford '72

Vice President for Gift Planning
Office of Gift Planning