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Charitable Bequests

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Glossary

Definition
A gift intention to charity described in a will or living trust.

Further Information
By far the most common deferred gift plans for Clarkson are bequests through wills and living trusts. A bequest is a flexible planning tool that can be created or changed with relative ease over your lifetime. A charitable bequest should include the proper legal name of the University and its location. It may also include the University’s federal identification number to prevent confusion with other charities. The bequest should state your intentions clearly; e.g., is the gift unrestricted, restricted to a certain purpose, or maybe intended to create or be added to an endowment? Is your bequest in memory of you and/or other loved ones? Is your bequest a specific gift, or a contingency or percentage of your estate? (see below)

You may wish to discuss your charitable intentions with Clarkson to ensure that your gift can be used as you intend. Clarkson may wish to document your desires for future reference. Additional descriptions not appropriate to a will, e.g., endowment guidelines, may be created and placed on file at the University. Contacting Clarkson offers peace of mind to you, and allows the University to say “thank you.”

A codicil is an amendment or an attachment to a will. It is often used to update or make adjustments to a will without revising the entire document.


Note: There may be tax advantages to your estate and your heirs if you make charitable bequests from IRD income (Income in Respect of a Decedent) such as a retirement plan. A statement in your will may direct that “all of my charitable bequests be made, to the extent possible, from income in respect of a decedent” (your legal counsel can provide specific language tailored to your circumstances). More recently, it is advised that gifts might be planned directly from the IRD asset, such as naming Clarkson a beneficiary of your retirement plan, to avoid potential income tax issues to your estate. Your tax and legal advisors can help you craft a plan that best fits your circumstances.


Depending on your circumstances, your bequest may count at full value in Clarkson fundraising campaigns and your next anniversary reunion. Contact the Annie Clarkson Society for further details.

The correct name to use in a bequest provision is:

Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York
Federal ID #15-0543659


Sample Bequest Language.

Request our Estate Planner Organizer to help you gather and organize your personal and financial data, and create your lists and outline your priorities before you meet with your advisors to create or update your estate plan.

Request a copy of our Philanthropic Planner to help you explore and organize your philanthropy, and create your own philanthropic plan.


Request our Personal Affairs Organizer to help you document and organize information and personal preferences to pass on to your survivors.

Tax and Financial Implications
A bequest intention is a revocable gift; therefore, there is no income tax charitable deduction at the time it is created. An estate tax charitable deduction is created when the gift is made at the time the estate is settled.

A living trust is a separate legal entity used to hold and manage property during life. Just as in a will, a bequest intention in a living trust does not offer an income tax charitable deduction when it is created.

 “Types” of Charitable Bequests
A bequest of a specific amount or a specific asset describes the dollar amount or the asset (e.g., a home, artwork or collectible) that you wish to give to Clarkson.

A percentage of all or part of your estate may allow your gift intention to grow as your estate becomes larger over time.

Leaving the remainder, or a percentage of the remainder, of your estate allows you to take care of other heirs before a gift is made to Clarkson.

A contingency bequest provides a gift under certain circumstances, e.g., if certain heirs predecease you.

A gift may be planned to create a testamentary trust to provide income for heirs first, with the remainder ultimately going to Clarkson when the trust ends.

Process to Create
While every gift situation is unique, there are several steps that may be outlined to help clarify the process.

  1. You decide. Philanthropy is a lifelong process. At some point you may wish to express your thanks to Clarkson and help ensure the Clarkson experience for students today and into the future, and decide that a bequest intention is the way to begin.
  2. You talk. You may meet with your financial and legal advisors to create or update your will and estate plan, and include a charitable bequest provision.
  3. We talk. You may wish to speak with the gift planning office at Clarkson to make sure that your wishes can be accomplished at Clarkson, and to create the necessary documentation so that those who come after us can fulfill your intentions.
  4. You sign. You make a final review and sign the appropriate documents with your advisors, and maybe the gift planning office, creating or modifying your bequest.
  5. You relax. You have just connected yourself with the past and the future as you continue the good work of those who came before you and prepare the way for those who will come after you. Enjoy the moment!

What to Expect After Your Plan is Created

The creation of your plan is the start of a new relationship with Clarkson:
  • If you are a new member of the Annie Clarkson Society, you will receive letters of welcome.
  • As a Society member, you will receive the Society newsletter and annual report each year.

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This web page does not provide legal or financial advice, nor is it a comprehensive review of the topic. You should consult your legal and financial advisors and Clarkson University before making or planning your gift. (rev. 4/2014)