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Office of Trusts, Estates, and Gift Planning
Cornell University
130 E Seneca Street, Suite 400
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 1-800-481-1865
Fax: 607-254-1204
Email:
gift_planning@cornell.edu

Disclaimer

Gifts by Will

Bequests

What will your legacy be?

If you are like many Cornellians, the university has played an important role in your life. Perhaps you found your life’s calling at Cornell or were encouraged to reach your full potential. Perhaps Cornell opened your eyes to new possibilities and ideas. Or perhaps you met your spouse and lifelong friends at Cornell. In ways both large and small, Cornell has probably influenced you.

It is almost impossible to put a dollar figure on what your experiences are worth. By making a bequest, you can acknowledge Cornell in a meaningful way and make a lasting difference for the university and for your own personal legacy.

What is a bequest?

The term “bequest” usually refers to a statement in your written will of your wishes to provide charitable funding for Cornell after your death. It is also common to provide charitable designations through retirement plans or IRAs, life insurance policies, revocable and irrevocable trusts, and government savings bonds.

Bequests have played an important role to Cornell University since Ezra Cornell made a gift of his farm far above Cayuga’s waters to establish the university. Today bequests account for a major portion of the university’s endowment and funding, and they sustain all aspects of university life. Every year the income from realized bequests on average equals or exceeds support generated by annual gifts to the university.

Suggested Bequest Language

An unrestricted bequest for general purposes:

“I hereby give, devise, and bequeath to Cornell University {or alternatively to Cornell University for the College or unit of…}, an educational corporation in Ithaca, New York, for its general purposes [the sum of $_______ ] OR [___ percent of all the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate].

A bequest for endowment:

“I hereby give, devise, and bequeath to Cornell University, an educational corporation in Ithaca, New York, [money or property to be bequeathed] to establish an endowment fund to be known as the [_________ Fund], the income from which shall be for the unrestricted use of Cornell University {or alternatively to Cornell University for the College or unit of __________].

A restricted bequest for scholarship:

“I hereby give, devise, and bequeath to Cornell University, an educational corporation in Ithaca, New York, {money or property to be bequeathed} to establish the {…Fund}, the income from which shall be used for financial aid to students enrolled in Cornell University {or alternatively to Cornell University for the College or unit of…}. The income of this fund may be used each year, or if not, may be used in a subsequent year or added to the principal of the fund. Awards from this fund shall be designated as the {…Scholarship, Fellowship, or Loan}.

If a specific use is stated, the addition of the following language will make certain that the bequest always remains productive:

“If, in the judgment of the Trustees of Cornell University, changed circumstances should at some future time render the designated use of this fund no longer appropriate, then the Trustees shall direct use of the fund to further the objects and purposes of Cornell University, giving consideration to my special interest as evidenced by the purpose described above.”

To get started, call our office at 1-800-481-1865.

• Download printable notification of bequest intention

• Myths About Wills

• Why You Need a Will

• Frequently Asked Questions About Wills

• Request a free eBrochure

• Read Our Guide to Bequests and Beneficiary Designations

• Contact us

More Information

Contact Us

Office of Trusts, Estates, and Gift Planning
Phone: 1-800-481-1865
Fax: 607-254-1204
Email: gift_planning@cornell.edu

 

Cornell University
130 E Seneca Street, Suite 400
Ithaca, NY 14850