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Revocable & Irrevocable

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Glossary

Deferred gifts are gifts that will be received by Clarkson at some point in the future. Two terms often heard in conjunction with deferred gifts are "revocable" and "irrevocable."  (Outright gifts, gifts you make today or pledge into the near future, are most often considered revocable until they are completed).

Your gift intention is "revocable" if you reserve the right to change your mind about making the gift at any time. A bequest intention is a good example of a revocable gift. You may increase or decrease the amount of a bequest at any time, or you may change, add or delete charities from your will or living trust whenever you wish.

An "irrevocable" gift cannot be taken back once it has been planned. Funding a Clarkson charitable gift annuity is irrevocable; it is a gift plan that cannot be changed once it has been created.

The federal government encourages philanthropy by offering income tax charitable deductions for certain gifts to charity. You can imagine, however, the problems that could arise by claiming a deduction for a revocable gift, and so you can see why revocable gifts offer no income tax deduction while irrevocable gifts will generally yield some level of income tax deduction.

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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. 2/2014)