Mineral Rights: A Gift From Under Your Feet

Have you ever thought of making a gift that comes from below? If you are an owner of mineral rights, you have an opportunity to make a gift to the West Virginia University Foundation, qualify for an income tax charitable deduction, and support Mountaineers.

When you own real estate, your property rights typically include surface rights (above the ground) and mineral rights (below the ground). A mineral right is the right to extract minerals that lie below the surface of the property. These minerals may include oil, gas, coal and precious metals.

Complete Your Gift in 3 Simple Steps

A gift of mineral rights can typically be accomplished in three easy steps.

  1. The owner contacts the WVU Foundation to provide information about the gift including location, type, and value. The WVU Foundation will then perform its due diligence to confirm that we can accept the gift.
  2. If the WVU Foundation Board of Directors accepts the gift, the owner signs a deed or other appropriate conveyance and delivers it to the Foundation.
  3. The WVU Foundation records the deed with the recorder’s office in the county and state in which the land is located.

A gift of mineral rights requires careful planning because tax benefits vary depending on the type of interest owned and the donor. The tax treatment of gifts of mineral rights depends, for example, on whether you own the land and mineral rights, you own only the mineral rights, or you own mineral rights royalties.

Consult your professional legal and tax advisors before making your gift of mineral rights to determine the most effective way to manage your taxes and support WVU.

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Gifts That Pay

Your payments depend on your age at the time of the donation. If you are younger than 60, we recommend that you learn more about your options with this FREE guide Deferred Gift Annuities: Plan Now, Benefit Later.

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Next Steps

  1. Contact Matthew Clark at 304-284-4033 or plannedgiving@wvuf.org to discuss the possibility of giving mineral rights to the WVU Foundation.
  2. Seek the advice of your financial or legal advisor to make sure this gift fits your goals.
  3. Include the WVU Foundation in your plans, please use our legal name and federal tax ID.

Legal Name: West Virginia University Foundation, Inc.
Address: One Waterfront Place 7th Floor, PO Box 1650, Morgantown, WV 26507-1650
Federal Tax ID Number: 55-6017181

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the WVU 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 WVU Foundation, a nonprofit corporation currently located at One Waterfront Place 7th Floor, PO Box 1650, Morgantown, WV 26507-1650, 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 WVU Foundation 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, 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 WVU 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 WVU 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 WVU Foundation where you agree to make a gift to the WVU 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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