Barbara Woods

Barbara WoodsBarbara Spruce Woods died July 30, but her generous legacy lives on. 

As faithful United Methodist and spouse of a United Methodist pastor, Dr. William A. Woods, Barbara Woods had a spiritual understanding of stewardship and generosity that motivated her toward acts of charitable giving. A practicing accountant until her retirement at age 81 and summa cum laude accounting graduate of Marshall University, she also had a keen financial mind. That combination led her to make charitable gift annuities. At the time of her death on July 30, she had sixteen gift annuities! 

Charitable gift annuities are a way donors like Barbara Woods can make a charitable gift while increasing their income at the same time. A charitable gift annuity is a contract under which the United Methodist Foundation, in return for a gift of cash or securities, agrees to pay a fixed amount of money to the donor for his/her lifetime. The annual payments are based upon the donor’s age at the time the gift was made at a rate determined by the American Council on Gift Annuities. At the donor’s death, the remainder provides a lasting benefit for the church or ministry chosen by the donor. In Barbara’s case, her sixteen charitable gift annuities will fund the Dr. William A. and Barbara S. Woods Memorial Trust, which will provide perpetual streams of income to equally benefit the churches they served together: First UMC in Weirton; Elm Grove UMC in Wheeling; Lost Creek UMC; Westmoreland UMC in Huntington; and Beverly Hills UMC in Huntington. 

Under her circumstances, Barbara knew that charitable gift annuities were the best way to make a planned gift. Of course she understood the tax benefits; she was eligible for a charitable contribution tax deduction for each gift annuity and most of the payments to her were tax-free. She often used appreciated securities as the basis of her gift, so she received favorable tax treatment of capital gains. More important to Barbara than the benefits to herself was the fact that through charitable gift annuities, she was able to make a larger gift for ministry. 

In addition to the charitable gift annuities, Barbara Woods named the United Methodist Foundation as a beneficiary of an Individual Retirement Account. That gift also will be added to the Dr. William A. and Barbara S. Woods Memorial Trust. The churches that benefit from Mrs. Woods’ generosity were unaware of her plans; they will be pleasantly surprised to learn that she has left a lasting legacy. 

Under her circumstances, charitable gift annuities were the best way for Barbara Woods to do well for herself while doing good for ministry; let The Foundation help you decide what type of charitable gift makes the most sense in your situation. Contact Kim Matthews or Jeff Taylor to consider the possibilities.