Do more than you thought possible by including Duke in your long-term plans while achieving your own personal and philanthropic goals. Estate gifts are simple to establish and allow you financial flexibility to adjust your plans depending on your needs. Your support will leave a lasting impact at Duke for generations to come.

Consider five ways to support Duke while planning for your future:

  • Establish a bequest by naming Duke as a beneficiary in your will or revocable (living) trust. This is the most common way to support Duke through a deferred gift.

    The following language is an example of how a bequest to benefit Duke may be worded: I give, devise and bequeath to Duke University, a qualified 501(c)(3) charitable organization located in Durham, North Carolina, _____ percent of my residual estate (or a specific bequest of $__________, or other personal or real property appropriately described) for (a specific college, school, program or unrestricted use), to be used in accordance with the terms of the most recent written directive I have signed with the University, and, if none exists, to be used as directed by the (e.g. President, Provost, Athletic Director, Dean of the School of ___) at Duke University.
  • Gifts of retirement plans name Duke as a primary or contingent beneficiary of a retirement account (e.g. IRA, SEP, 401(k), 403(b), ESOP, etc.). This gift may enable you to make a larger gift than you anticipated because income and estate taxes are not imposed when plan assets are distributed to Duke.

    Your retirement account’s plan administrator/company that manages the account can help you designate Duke University as a primary or contingent beneficiary on the plan’s beneficiary designation form. Please be sure to send us a copy of any paperwork designating Duke as the beneficiary.
  • Testamentary life-income gifts include charitable gift annuitiescharitable remainder unitrust or charitable lead trusts and can 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 a loved one.
  • Gifts of life insurance may name Duke as a beneficiary of your policy. If you retain any control over the policy, no income tax deduction is allowed. However, if Duke is named both the sole owner and beneficiary of a paid-up policy, you may receive an immediate charitable deduction for the lesser of the policy’s fair market value or the net premiums paid. Additional premiums you pay may also be tax deductible.
  • Charitable lead trusts can be used to transfer assets to children or other loved ones at a significantly reduced tax liability.

Gift Documentation

Please let us know if you have included Duke in your estate plans so we may know how to fulfill your gift once it ultimately comes to Duke. Complete a confidential Confirmation of Legacy Gift Form and please contact our staff with any questions you may have.

Unwrapping Gifts: Bequests and Retirement Account Designations

There are many reasons why you should consider making a planned gift to support Duke University. Phil Buchanan, senior philanthropic counselor of gift planning at Duke, describes the advantages of two different types of estate gifts. A bequest or retirement account designation can have a significant impact.

Unwrapping Gifts: Retirement Planning

Planning for retirement remains a critical part of every person’s life. Anne Morrison Bradley, associate director of gift planning at Duke University, describes how to align individual retirement goals with a legacy gift to Duke.