Planning a Gift

Bryn Mawr Legacy: A Gift for Learning, A Gift for the Future


Bequests and Estate Planning

An individual may include the College in her/his will by leaving a percentage of an estate, a specific dollar amount, or by naming Bryn Mawr as the residual beneficiary. Bequests are a vital source of support for the College, representing 37% of all gifts received during the last ten years and providing crucial funding for core needs such as scholarships, faculty and academic innovation.

In most cases the most generous gift to the College is ensured by naming Bryn Mawr as beneficiary of a percentage of your gross estate and/or as a remainderman (receiving the remainder of your estate after all other bequests have been provided). A bequest to Bryn Mawr is deductible in determining the taxable estate for estate tax purposes, and there is no limit on the amount of the deduction.

  • Learn how to name Bryn Mawr a beneficiary in your will.
  • Testamentary gift plans
  • Estate Planning and Retirement Accounts
  • If you have already included Bryn Mawr in your estate plans, please let us know so that we can welcome you as a member of The Taylor Society.

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Naming Bryn Mawr as a Beneficiary in Your Will

As with any estate or financial planning decision, please consult your professional advisors before proceeding. Sample language for including Bryn Mawr as a beneficiary of your will follows:

"I give and bequeath to Bryn Mawr College of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania [ __ percent; OR the sum of $___ from my estate; OR all the rest, residue or remainder of my estate.] This gift may be used for [the general purposes of the College; OR at the discretion of its Board of Trustees; OR for scholarships, faculty salaries, OR _____ department support.]

If, as a result of changed conditions in the future, the income from this Fund shall not be needed for the purposes set forth above, the Trustees of Bryn Mawr College are authorized to use the income for other purposes as near as possible to the original purpose, or in their judgment for purposes which will help advance the aims of Bryn Mawr College."


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Testamentary Gifts Plans

Life-Income gifts such as charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, and charitable lead trusts may also be funded through your will. While these gift plans will not generate tax savings during your lifetime, they may reduce estate taxes and provide life income for other beneficiaries of your choosing.

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Retirement Accounts and Estate Planning

When drafting your will it is important to consider the tax treatment of each type of asset in your estate. The estate tax laws favor some forms of property over others. An alumna may have both long-term capital gain property (usually appreciated stock and real estate) and IRD property (retirement accounts such as pension and IRA). IRD property is income in respect of a decedent – meaning that this kind of property carries income tax obligations which must be paid by the person inheriting the asset. Although inherited property is usually exempt from income tax, IRD property is the exception. Since pension fund accumulations and IRAs can be sizable, the tax due could be significant and erode the intended amount of a bequest. (Note: A spouse is the only person who can roll over an inherited retirement plan to his/her own IRA and avoid paying income tax.)

The following example illustrates the importance of examining IRD property in making estate plans. A grandmother wants to leave each of her two grandchildren $100,000 in her estate. If she leaves one child $100,000 in appreciated stock, no income tax is due on this gift and the total value is maintained. However, if the second grandchild receives $100,000 from her grandmother’s IRA account, the entire amount will be subject to income tax since this is IRD property. (Note: If estate tax is due, both would be subject to the same estate tax).

If you are planning to remember Bryn Mawr, or another non-profit, in your will, it would be wise to consider leaving the IRD property to charity and the appreciated property to family and friends. Tax-exempt organizations will not be subject to income tax, and the total estate value will be maintained.

It is important to consult with your attorney and tax accountant when considering bequests of IRD property as there are various laws governing the transfer of retirement plans to charities that must be considered.

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