Jernigans Continue Army Legacy Through Charitable Giving

Deciding which charitable organizations to support makes sense at any age. Including the National Army Museum in an estate plan—whether it is through a bequest, a trust, or a life income gift—not only continues the legacy of the National Army Museum’s mission, but also establishes the donor’s legacy.

COL Pat Jernigan (USA-Ret.) and her husband, LTC David Jernigan (USA-Ret.), have been a part of the Army for most of their lives. They met and married while serving in the Army.

The Jernigans, who both turned 70 1⁄2 a few years ago, are interested in providing their legacy gift to the National Army Museum project. “We’re actually more interested in ensuring the legacy of the Army,” COL Pat Jernigan says. “When I am gone, I want to know it [the Museum] will still be here.”

After they turned 70 1⁄2 they both had to take their required minimum distributions (RMDs) from their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). The first year they deferred them. However, the next year they had two years’ worth of RMDs, leaving them with a big tax bill. After a brief conversation with Rachel Hartmann, the Army Historical Foundation’s Senior Major Gifts Officer, they realized they could put their RMDs toward the National Army Museum and not have to incur any taxes on that income. In fact, they decided to pledge out their giving for a few years so they will now have their names permanently inscribed on the Donor Wall that will be featured in the Museum’s main lobby.

The IRA Charitable Rollover provision, which is permanent, allows those who are 70 1⁄2 to roll over up to $100,000 annually to a charitable organization and not incur any taxes.


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