Gifts of Appreciated Securities to Life Income Funds

Securities Held in Street Name with a Bank or Broker

If your securities are in street name, you can transfer your shares to the College by Depository Trust Company (DTC) wire by completing a securities transfer letter, sending it to your broker, and submitting a copy to the Trust & Estate Administration Office.

Securities transfer letters for specific gift intentions:

Please note the gift of securities is complete when you, and your transfer agent, have delivered the securities to the appropriate life income account – this means that you no longer have control of them. Merely instructing your transfer agent to complete the gift is not enough to satisfy the IRS legal requirement. The College absorbs all transfer costs.

If you would prefer to discuss your transfer with the College first, please contact the Trust and Estate Administration Office, as recited below.

Securities Held in Physical Certificate

Please contact this office to assist with the transfer.

Important Additional Information

Gift Value for Life Income Gifts

The gift value of the securities is the mean of the high and low price on the date one of the following occurs:

  • The securities are transferred via DTC wire to the appropriate Williams life income account; or
  • The securities are placed in a properly titled account (i.e., Williams College Pooled Income Fund I) with the corresponding tax identification number at your brokerage firm (transfers to a bank’s shared charitable gift account do not accomplish the transfer); or
  • The securities and stock powers (in the donor’s name) are received by Williams for the appropriate life income fund account; or
  • The date on the stock certificate for securities already placed in the name of the life income fund with the appropriate tax identification number and not the College’s tax identification number (unless it is for a gift annuity).

Gift Splitting

If you would like your gift of stock divided among a variety of purposes at the College, please contact this office before initiating the process.

Depreciated Securities

In general, it is not advisable to give securities that are presently worth less than you paid for them. If the sale of stocks or bonds would result in a deductible loss, it is usually to your advantage to sell them to establish a tax loss and then donate the proceeds to Williams.

Split Certificate

You may have a certificate for more shares than you want to give to Williams. If so, please contact this office for assistance.

Short-term Appreciation

It is usually inadvisable to make a charitable gift of appreciated securities when your capital gain is short-term (i.e., you have owned the securities twelve months or less). Such a gift to a life income fund is deductible only as a percentage of it cost basis, and not its market value.

Limits on Deductibility

The ceiling on deductibility of your gift of appreciated securities is 30% of adjusted gross income. However, you may carry over any excess as a deduction for as many as five additional years.

Closely Held Stock

Making a gift of closely held stock to a life income fund must be reviewed by this office before the College accepts them. (NOTE: Donors need to obtain a “qualified appraisal” in order to satisfy IRS regulations.)

Tender Offers

If you have stock subject to a tender offer, please be sure to consult with your tax advisor before making a gift and contact this office.

Mutual Fund Shares

Transferring appreciated mutual fund shares provides the same tax benefits as a gift of appreciated securities, except there are a number of additional steps involved in the transfer. If you are interested in this type of transfer, please contact this office for assistance.


Wililams College Trust & Estate Administration Office
75 Park Street
Williamstown, MA  01267
Telephone: 413-597-4533
Facsimile: 413-597-4573
Email: [email protected]