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Support 54 Years Ago Leads Derryberrys to Pay it Forward

Thomas and Margaret Derryberry

Thomas and Margaret Derryberry

Thomas Derryberry entered Freed-Hardeman College in 1960 as a college freshman, although he had not graduated from high school. After completing 10th grade in Lexington, Tennessee, he began working as a mechanic for the highway department.

"One day," he says, "W.A. Bradfield called me out from under a truck and asked if I would consider going to FHC. I told him I couldn't for two reasons. One, I had never progressed beyond the 10th grade, and two, I had no money." Undeterred, Bradfield told him to show up and he would take care of him.

When Thomas came to FHC, he already had a family. Academic work was something of a challenge, but he succeeded as a student. He gives credit to four members of the faculty: LaVonne Scott for English, C.P. Roland for math, Dr. John David Thomas for speech and Bradfield for his promotion of evangelism. Thomas passed the courses for his degree from FHC but still couldn't graduate.

"E. Claude Gardner said I couldn't graduate because I didn't have a high school diploma. I had to take the GED before he would give me my diploma," Thomas says. "I may have been the first person to finish college before I finished high school."

He began working with Life of Georgia in 1964 and stayed with the company for 30 years, retiring in 1995 as a district manager in Little Rock, Arkansas. Along the way, he has remembered his alma mater, establishing a legacy through the Thomas and Margaret Derryberry Endowed Scholarship Fund and his estate. "Looking back," he says, "had it not been for the Christian foundation for my life, I know I could not have been as successful or as happy with my life."

When it came time to make estate plans, Thomas and Margaret, his wife of 48 years, chose to meet with Thompson & Associates at the invitation of Freed-Hardeman. The confidential, complimentary service specializes in creating personal estate plans that allow an estate to live on as an extension of the individual. The plan first focuses on the individual's values and beliefs and later incorporates their assets. The resulting plan helps individuals combine their values with their valuables.

The estate planning service is provided as a gift to friends of the university. It costs nothing, and individuals are not asked to make a charitable gift. It helps individuals design a plan that limits the money captured by the government, includes an allocation strategy to maximize gifts to loved ones and charity, protects family and friends from the burden of estate administration, and creates a legacy reflective of the individual's values.

"I trust FHU because I was a student there and have been with them through the years," Thomas says. "We are so happy Freed-Hardeman invited us to consider Thompson & Associates for our estate planning. They knew what they were doing."

"One of the great things about working with the Thompson representatives," Thomas says, "was there was no pressure to go in any particular direction. They gave us options and explained the wisdom and pitfalls of each."

The Derryberrys selected the options that interested them. "We ended up with a living trust, new wills and a power of attorney. When it was over, there was a sigh of relief," he says.

If you are interested in learning more about how to begin the estate planning process with Thompson & Associates, please call or email Kyle Lamb, CFP® at or 1-800-348-3481, ext. 6020.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Freed-Hardeman 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 give to Freed-Hardeman University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 158 E. Main Street, Henderson, TN 38340, 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 FHU 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 FHU 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 FHU 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 FHU where you agree to make a gift to FHU 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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