Sample Language For Bequests

You can include a gift to SMU in your will or trust. Below are sample provisions that your advisors can use to memorialize your charitable intentions toward SMU. Please contact our Office of Gift Planning for assistance in wording your bequest.

Specific Bequest
With a specific bequest, you may stipulate that a certain percentage of your estate, a certain dollar amount or particular assets be given to SMU. Examples of such language may include:

  • "I give $______ to Southern Methodist University, a nonprofit corporation in Dallas County, Texas, for its general purposes."
  • "I give _____% of my estate to Southern Methodist University, a nonprofit corporation in Dallas County, Texas, for its general purposes."
  • "I give the following described property to Southern Methodist University, a nonprofit corporation in Dallas County, Texas, for its general purposes: [describe property]."

Residuary Bequest
With a residuary bequest, you may state that all, or a portion, of the estate be given to SMU after specific gifts are distributed to other beneficiaries. Examples of such language may include:

  • "I give all of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate to Southern Methodist University, a nonprofit corporation in Dallas County, Texas, for its general purposes."
  • "I give _____% of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate to Southern Methodist University, a nonprofit corporation in Dallas County, Texas, for its general purposes."

Restricted Bequest
If you want to designate how SMU uses your bequest, your will or trust should specify a particular purpose. To ensure that your goals can be accomplished, please contact us before you sign your estate planning documents. An example of such language may include:

  • "I give [amount, description of asset, percentage of estate, remainder, etc.] to Southern Methodist University, a nonprofit corporation in Dallas County, Texas, to be used for [purpose]."

Restricted Bequest for Endowment
If you want your bequest to be held in perpetuity while the income stream is used to support SMU, your will or trust must specify that the gift creates an endowed fund. To ensure that your goals can be accomplished, please contact us before you sign your estate planning documents. An example of such language may include:

  • "I give [amount, description of asset, percentage of estate, remainder, etc.] to Southern Methodist University, a nonprofit corporation in Dallas County, Texas, for the creation of [name of donor endowment fund], with the income being used for [purpose] in accordance with its endowment spending policy."

Guidelines for minimum levels for new named endowment funds are available at smu.edu/endowment.

CONTACT US
Please let us know if you have included SMU in any of your planning so we can properly record your gift intention and welcome you as a new member of the Dallas Hall Society. Notifying us of your plans is also a great way to encourage others to follow your lead in supporting the mission of SMU.

eBrochure Request Form

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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 gift 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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

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