An Instrumental Decision

Milton BludworthMilton Bludworth, 96, grew up in a musical family and pursued his interest in music as a member of the Mustang Band. Seven decades later, fond memories of playing in the clarinet section motivated him to include SMU's band in his will.

"While I didn't know it at the time, my experience at SMU meant a lot to me," he says.

He performed under the direction of Frank Malone, who had played with the famous Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and shaped the Mustang Band into one of the nation's top college swing bands. Milton thoroughly enjoyed the music and camaraderie, and laughs when remembering that the director called him the "next-to-worst clarinet player who had ever played in the band."

Following graduation in 1942, Milton enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as a chaplain's assistant in Italy during World War II. After the war, he joined Temco Aircraft Company and later owned the first Budget Rent a Car franchise in Dallas. In the intervening years, he built a successful career, raised a family and retired.

Milton BludworthWhen it was time to make plans for the future, he allocated a percentage of his estate to the Mustang Band in his will. Milton says he felt he "owed SMU something" for his education and the wonderful experiences.

Last year he toured the new Mustang Band Hall and found a surprise. In a display of memorabilia from the archives, a program from the 1938 Pigskin Revue caught his attention. He pointed out his name and photo, then posed with the program for a new picture, creating another piece of band history.

Planned gifts such as Milton's help secure a bright future for the University. Thanks to visionary donors, students in the years ahead will have opportunities to make their own cherished memories at SMU.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Southern Methodist University a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Southern Methodist University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Dallas, TX, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to SMU or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to SMU as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to SMU as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and SMU where you agree to make a gift to SMU and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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