Paying It Forward for the Next Generation

Regent John Hearn

Regent John Hearn is creating a lasting legacy at Sigma Nu by including a gift to the Sigma Nu Educational Foundation Inc. in his future plans.

John Hearn (Mu Chapter, Georgia), 66th Regent of Sigma Nu, is a product of legacies.

His late father, Judge George Hearn III, was a Sigma Nu, as was his older brother, George Hearn IV. His chapter has a legacy of excellence with numerous Rock Chapter awards. And one of his chapter brothers and mentors, Robert Durham, preceded him as Regent. He is conscious of his role in leading an organization that creates a legacy of ethical leaders, and he has committed to making a planned gift in his family's estate plan to ensure that legacy is supported.

When asked why he decided to make this commitment, John replies, "I believe that ethical leaders are needed now more than ever. We need to see Sigma Nu thrive rather than just exist. We have to pay it forward for the next generation."

He sees the local chapters as "incubators" for ethical leadership development but, "A local chapter would not exist without the national organization, which allows us to scale our collective efforts. The national organization thus needs alumni support for the benefit of the local chapters where our hearts are tied."

In the late 1990s, his chapter had a serious dip in membership and needed the assistance of the headquarters staff to recover. John says, "I hadn't seen the caliber and capability of the organization or appreciated its support until then. Our chapter wouldn't be here if it wasn't for that support." It was after his chapter began to prosper again that he became involved in national leadership.

He has approached his role on the High Council as a business person—always conscious of his responsibility of being a good steward of student fees and alumni contributions. "After I became involved at the national level, I saw the direct impact our organization makes in the development of ethical leaders—and how important every dollar is towards that goal." He goes on to say, "There are numerous external threats facing the Greek system right now—and we need a strong national organization to combat these threats."

John believes it's important for other Sigma Nus to join him in his planned giving legacy. "It will make a difference in the lives of young men, and the organization works hard to be a good steward of the funds provided."

To learn how you, like John, can create a lasting legacy at Sigma Nu with a gift in your estate plan, contact David Mainella at david.mainella@sigmanu.org or 540-463-1030 today.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Sigma Nu Educational 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

Bequest Language

"I give, devise and bequeath (the sum of/percentage of/residue of my estate) to the Sigma Nu Educational Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation with principal offices in Lexington, Virginia, to be utilized for the general benefits of the Sigma Nu Foundation, Inc. (for specified program of the Foundation)."

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 Sigma Nu 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 Sigma Nu 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 Sigma Nu 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 Sigma Nu where you agree to make a gift to Sigma Nu 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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.

First name is required
Last Name is required
Please include an '@' in the email address

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

First name is required
Last Name is required
Please include an '@' in the email address