Plan today to make a future impact

Discover how to include a charitable bequest in your will and estate plans.

Major life events mark our most important milestones. As we all continue to adjust in these uncertain times, flexibility is key. We reconsider what is most important to us, re-examine our plans, and try our best to prepare for what’s to come.

If you are looking for a way to have an impact at Duke but feel hesitant given the current climate, you might consider a charitable bequest. A charitable bequest is a flexible planned giving option that allows you to support the university while maintaining access to your funds in case you need them. Bequests can help you achieve your personal and financial goals while providing vital support for the Duke students, faculty, departments and programs that matter most to you for generations to come.

Two of the most common charitable bequest options:

  1. Include Duke in your will or revocable trust – also known as a living trust.
  2. Name Duke as a beneficiary of your retirement plan.

Benefits of a charitable bequest:

  • Contribute any dollar amount or percentage of your estate.
  • Retain control of your assets in case you need them.
  • Revise plans as your financial needs and goals change over time.
  • Direct your gift to support the areas at Duke you care about most.
  • Gain potential tax benefits.
  • Plus: a charitable bequest counts toward your class gift total at your next reunion!

Ready to learn more?

Download the 2021 charitable bequests how-to guide to find out how you can make an impact at Duke far into the future.

Learn how to include Duke in your will and other long-term plans.
Discover the benefits and potential tax advantages.
Follow our four-step guide to get started.

The experts at Duke’s Office of Gift Planning are available to work with you and your financial advisors. Contact them today at or 919-613-1521.

This information is provided with the understanding that neither Duke University nor the authors are providing legal, accounting, or other professional advice or counsel. Please consult your personal counsel about the financial, tax and legal implications of any gift.

TAGS: Charitable Giving Strategies retirement account designations bequests wills Estate and Retirement Planning revocable (living) trusts

About the author

Gift Planning

Duke University’s Office of Gift Planning specializes in charitable gift planning for estates, charitable trusts and annuities, and other complex current and future gift plans.

For more information, please contact the Duke University Office of Gift Planning at 919-681-0464 or