A gift by will or living trust, also known as bequest, is one of the easiest gifts to make. You can create it in any dollar amount, gift specific property or designate a percentage of your estate.

But what if you don't have one?

Don't worry, you are not alone. Most Americans don't have a will.

If you die without a will or living trust, the laws of your state will decide how your estate is divided up. Typically, this means your estate will be divided up among your closest surviving family members according to a formula, and none of your estate will go to Bryn Mawr or any other charity. If you wish to have a say in how your estate is distributed, you must have a will. We encourage you to work with an experienced attorney to create a will that accomplishes your goals for your estate.

  More on Gifts By WIll.

There are several ways that you can define the amount of your charitable gift to Bryn Mawr. They are:

  • A gift of a specific dollar amount. For example, you give $25,000.
  • A gift of stock, personal property or real estate. For example, you give 1,000 shares of ABC Corporation.
  • A gift that will be made only if one or more conditions are met. For example, you give $25,000 provided we still offer a particular program or service.
  • A gift that will be made from the remainder of your estate once all other bequests, debts, and taxes have been paid. For example, you give 25% of the remainder of your estate. Often called a "residuary bequest," this approach assures that your family will be taken care of before your estate makes a bequest to Bryn Mawr.  

Ways to specify how we may use your bequest

You have several options for telling Bryn Mawr how we may use your bequest, once we receive it.  They are:

  • An unrestricted bequest – This is a gift for our general purposes. This can be the most useful kind of gift because it allows us to put your gift to the best possible use at the time we receive it.
  • A restricted bequest – This is a gift for a specific use, such as a special project or program that is important to you. It is best for you to consult with us before placing restrictions your bequest to be sure we can carry out your wishes.
  • An endowed bequest – This is a gift where Bryn Mawr invests your gift along with the rest of our endowment. We distribute these funds in accordance with our endowment spending policy and your wishes. This approach assures that your gift will continue to benefit us long after you're gone. An endowed bequest can be restricted or unrestricted and is a minimum of $100,000.
  • An honorary bequest – This is a gift made in honor of someone else. Any form of bequest can also be an honorary bequest. We would be pleased to recognize the people you wish to honor with your gift.

Make sure we can carry out your wishes
It is very important that your bequest be accurately and clearly described in your estate plan so that we can carry out your wishes as you intended. We are pleased to consult with you regarding the terms of your bequest to make sure that we will be able to carry out your intentions. In order to avoid any possible question that your bequest is to our organization, be sure to include our full legal name in your bequest: Bryn Mawr College.

We are happy to provide you with sample bequest language to assist you and your attorney. Keep in mind, you have complete flexibility to change your bequest at any time. If circumstances change in a way that makes you want to revise your gift to us, you can. 

Is Bryn Mawr in your estate plan? 

Please let us know if you have included Bryn Mawr in your estate plans. We would welcome the opportunity to thank you for your thoughtful gift.

For more information on this gift or any other of our gift planning options please contact Dianne Johnson, at 610-526-6597, giftplanning@brynmawr.edu.

The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes include federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results.

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Remembering Bryn Mawr College in your Will is a wonderful way for you to make a lasting gift. Large or small, your bequest will have an impact at the college and for future generation. 

Ways you can define a charitable gift in your estate plan

  • A gift of a particular amount of money.  For example, you give $25,000.
  • A gift of a specific item or items.  For example, you give 1,000 shares of ABC Corporation.
  • A gift that will be made from the remainder of your estate once all other bequests, debts, and taxes have been paid.  For example, you give 25% of the remainder of your estate. Often called a "residuary bequest," this approach assures that your family will be taken care of before your estate makes a bequest to us.  

Ways to specify how we may use your bequest

  • An unrestricted bequest – This is a gift for our general purposes.  This can be the most useful kind of gift because it allows us to put your gift to the best possible use at the time we receive it.
  • A restricted bequest – This is a gift for a specific use, such as a special project or program that is important to you.  It is best for you to consult with us before placing restrictions your bequest to be sure we can carry out your wishes.

Make sure we can carry out your wishes
It is very important that your bequest be accurately and clearly described in your estate plan so that we can carry out your wishes as you intended. We are pleased to consult with you regarding the terms of your bequest to make sure that we will be able to carry out your intentions. In order to avoid any possible question that your bequest is to Bryn Mawr College, be sure to include our full legal name in your bequest.

Legal name: Bryn Mawr College
    
We are happy to provide you with sample bequest language to assist you and your attorney. 

You have complete flexibility to change your bequest at any time.  If circumstances change in a way that makes you want to revise your gift to us, you can.

Tax benefits
Because your bequest is revocable, you do not receive an income-tax deduction when you create it.  Rather, your estate will receive an estate-tax deduction for the full value of your bequest in the year it is made.  Depending on a variety of factors, including the size of your estate and estate tax law at the time your estate is settled, this deduction may or may not save your estate substantial estate taxes.  

Bequest alternatives
In addition to adding bequest language to your will, here are a few other simple ways for you to make a bequest to us:

  • Make Bryn Mawr a designated beneficiary of a retirement plan or life insurance policy
  • Make Bryn Mawr a designated beneficiary of savings bonds
  • Make Bryn Mawr the beneficiary of your donor advised fund
  • Instruct your bank to "pay on death" to Bryn Mawr some or all of a specific bank account
  • Instruct your brokerage firm to "transfer on death" to Bryn Mawr some or all of a specific brokerage account

Please let us know if you have included Bryn Mawr in your estate plans.  We would welcome the opportunity to thank you for your thoughtful gift.