Late Admiral and his Widow Continue to Serve through Charitable Lead Trust

William D. HouserFrom the moment William D. Houser entered the Naval Academy at age 16, the Navy became his life. During his 35-year career as a naval aviator, he served as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air Warfare), Commander of Carrier Division Two of the U.S. Atlantic and Mediterranean Fleets, U.S. Navy Director of Aviation Plans and Requirements and military assistant to the Secretary of Defense. He fought in World War II and commanded fighter squadrons during the Korean War and the aircraft carrier CONSTELLATION during the Vietnam War. He retired a vice admiral in 1976, and received the Naval Academy's Distinguished Graduate Award in 2003.

"He was the youngest flag officer in the Navy at the time he became an admiral," said his second wife and widow, Jan.

As he grew older, Admiral Houser looked for ways to support several non-profit organizations close to his heart, including the Naval Academy Foundation, as well as to leave a legacy for his children and grandchildren. The couple decided to establish a charitable lead trust, which reduces potential taxes on their estates by first donating a portion of the trust's income to a number of charities to their favorite charities and then eventually transferring the remainder of the trust to their beneficiaries.

"We were always supportive of the Naval Academy Foundation," said Mrs. Houser, whose three sons-in-law have all served in the Navy, including Captain Robert Riera '69, USN (Ret.).

During Admiral Houser's lifetime, the trust helped provide support for athletics; wardroom improvements; science, technology, engineering and mathematics outreach initiatives and other programs. Since his death in 2012, Mrs. Houser has continued to expand the scope of programs benefiting from her family's support, most recently focusing on international programs. She will continue to direct the trust's proceeds throughout her lifetime, after which the gift will become unrestricted, able to support whichever programs most need additional resources.

"My first experience with a charitable lead trust was helping my mother set one up," said Mrs. Houser, who spent many years volunteering with educational and civic organizations in Washington. D.C., including the National Cathedral School for Girls, where she became friends with Peggy Kauffman, wife of former Superintendent Rear Admiral Draper Kauffman of the Class of 1933, and came to admire the Academy long before meeting Admiral Houser in 1998. "I directed the payments from my mother's trust for the first 10 years, and my children took over for the next 10. My husband valued both family and philanthropy, and I encouraged him to consider a charitable lead trust as a way of providing for both. I want our children and grandchildren to understand the importance of giving."


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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the United States Naval Academy Foundation 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 the United States Naval Academy Foundation, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 274 Wood Road, Annapolis, Maryland 21402, 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 the Naval Academy Foundation or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

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Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, 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 the Naval Academy Foundation 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 the Naval Academy Foundation 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 the Naval Academy Foundation where you agree to make a gift to the Naval Academy Foundation 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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