Bequest Language

The Office of Planned Giving at Michigan State University was founded to help you define and execute your charitable intentions in the most beneficial manner for you and MSU. By having planned giving incorporated in your comprehensive estate plans, you can enjoy the satisfaction of providing significant future financial support for Michigan State University.

Listed below are some examples of common language you can use to fulfill your goals:


Bequest Language

You can name the college or unit of your choice as a beneficiary of a residual charitable bequest from your estate. Here is sample charitable bequest language to share with your attorney:

I give and devise to Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, all (or state percentage) of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, to be held, administered, and used by the Board of Trustees for the unrestricted support of the (insert college or program) at Michigan State University.

I instruct that all my charitable gifts shall be made, to the extent possible, from property that constitutes "income in respect of a decedent" as that term is defined in the Internal Revenue Code.


Bequest Contingent Language

The college or unit of your choice can be named a contingent beneficiary in your will or personal trust Here is sample charitable bequest language to share with your attorney:

If (insert name) does not survive me, I give and devise to Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, all the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, to be held, administered and used by the Board of Trustees for the unrestricted support of the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State University.

I instruct that all my charitable gifts shall be made, to the extent possible, from property that constitutes "income in respect of a decedent" as that term is defined in the Internal Revenue Code.


Bequest Endowment Language

It's easy to direct your future gift through your will(s) or personal trust(s). Here is sample charitable bequest language to share with your attorney:

I give and devise to Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, the sum of $________ (minimum charitable bequest must exceed $30,000) to be held, administered, and used by the Board of Trustees for the establishment of an endowed fund in support of the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State University. The earnings from the fund are to be disbursed by the College per the terms of the completed endowed fund agreement on record at Michigan State University. The endowed fund shall be named the ____________________________________.

I instruct that all my charitable gifts shall be made, to the extent possible, from property that constitutes "income in respect of a decedent" as that term is defined in the Internal Revenue Code.


Bequest Specific Language

Naming a college or program as the beneficiary of a specific amount from your estate is easy. Here is sample charitable bequest language to share with your attorney:

I give and devise to Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, the sum of $_________ (or specified percentage) to be held, administered, and used by the Board of Trustees for the unrestricted support of the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State University.

I instruct that all my charitable gifts shall be made, to the extent possible, from property that constitutes "income in respect of a decedent" as that term is defined in the Internal Revenue Code.


Retirement Plan Assets Language

It's easier than you may realize to give your remaining retirement plan assets to MSU. It is an extremely effective strategy to reduce estate and/or income taxes. Here are some ways you can make a significant future gift to MSU and the college or unit of your choice through your retirement plan (401k, 403b, IRA's).

  • Name MSU as a primary beneficiary of part or all remaining assets in your retirement plan at your death
  • Name MSU as a contingent beneficiary
  • Name MSU at the death of your surviving spouse

Simply request a change of beneficiary form from either your employer or the financial institution managing your retirement plan(s). Make the necessary changes, return the form to your retirement plan manager and notify the college or unit of your intent.