Bequests and Planned Giving

A Bequest or Planned Gift establishes a legacy at Trinity for generations to come. It can also offer you and your family substantial financial benefits and tax savings.

Many alumnae, alumni, parents and friends have included Trinity in their estate plans through bequests, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, and other forms of planned giving.

To learn more about including Trinity in your estate planning, contact the Development Office at 202-884-9720, or


The simplest way to make a planned gift is to make a bequest in your will. Following are some examples of various types of bequests:

Specific bequests are used to make a gift of a specific dollar amount or specific assets, such as securities.

Residuary bequests are used to give all or a portion of the rest, residue, and remainder of your estate after payment of expenses and any specific amounts designated to other beneficiaries.

Designating the purpose of a bequest:

Unrestricted: The most useful type of bequest is unrestricted, allowing the funds to be allocated by Trinity wherever the need is greatest.

Restricted: You may designate your bequest to support a special program or purpose that reflects your interests (for example: student scholarships, faculty research and development, or library acquisitions). We encourage you to discuss a restriction with Trinity development staff to be sure that it can be accommodated.

To discuss making a Bequest or Planned Gift to Trinity or for assistance in drafting language, please contact contact the Development Office at 202-884-9720, or by email at  Trinity does not provide any legal or tax advice, and we encourage you to seek independent professional counsel when making bequests and planned giving arrangements.

About Bequests

Bequests to Trinity – Information and Sample Language

A gift to Trinity in your will or revocable trust proclaims your confidence that we will continue to serve our mission and make a difference in the lives of future generations. A bequest is easy to arrange, will not alter your current lifestyle in any way and can be easily modified to address your changing needs.

Notifying Trinity that you have included the university in your estate plans will allow us to recognize you with membership in the Sr. Julia McGroarty Society in the Honor Roll of Donors which is published each fall.

Residual Bequest Language

A residual bequest comes to us after your estate expenses and specific bequests are paid.

I give and devise to Trinity Washington University, located in Washington, DC, all (or state a percentage) of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, to be used for its general support.

Specific Bequest Language

Naming Trinity as a beneficiary of a specific amount from your estate is easy.

I give and devise to Trinity Washington University, located in Washington, DC, the sum of $_____ to be used for its general support.

Contingent Bequest Language

Trinity can be named as a contingent beneficiary in your will or personal trust if one or more of your specific bequests cannot be fulfilled.

If (insert name) is not living at the time of my demise, I give and devise to Trinity Washington University, located in Washington, DC, the sum of $_____ (or all or a percentage of the residue of my estate) to be used for its general support.

Retirement Plan Beneficiary Language

You may name Trinity as a beneficiary of your IRA or other qualified retirement benefits. Donors should consult with their tax advisor regarding the tax benefits of such gifts.

Naming Trinity as the beneficiary of a qualified retirement plan asset such as a 401(k), 403(b), IRA, Keogh or profit sharing pension plan will accomplish a charitable goal while realizing significant tax savings. It can be costly to pass such assets on to heirs because of heavy tax consequences. By naming Trinity as a beneficiary of a retirement plan, the donor maintains complete control over the asset while living, but at the donor’s death the plan passes to support Trinity, free of both estate and income taxes.

Making a charitable gift from your retirement plan is easy and should not cost you any attorney fees. Simply request a change of beneficiary form from your plan administrator and add “Trinity Washington University, Washington, DC” as the full or partial beneficiary. When you are done, please return the form to your plan administrator and notify Trinity so we may include you in the Sr. Julia McGroarty Society.

Customized Language

If you or your attorney would like Trinity to provide you with customized beneficiary language that is specific to your goal and interest, please contact Patrick D. Kellogg, Chief Development Officer, Development and Alumnae\i Relations at 202-884-9721, or contact the Office for Development and Alumnae/i Relations at 202-884-9720.

Office for Development and Alumnae/i Relations

Trinity Washington University

125 Michigan Avenue, NE Main Hall 380

Washington, DC 20017

202-884-9720/Fax 202-884-9729

Making a Bequest to Trinity

Thank you for your intent to remember Trinity in your will.  We are grateful for your foresight. By doing so, you join a number of distinguished friends and alumni who established a living legacy at Trinity Washington University.

In all documents, you may refer to Trinity as Trinity College (our legal name) in Washington, DC or also Trinity Washington University in Washington, DC.

In making bequests, it is possible to give a specific dollar amount or a percentage of the estate, a strictly personal decision.  Another important factor is the inclusion of any restrictions, versus a decision to make an unrestricted gift.

An unrestricted testamentary gift to Trinity would be put to the best use for the institution as a whole, whether it be to grow the endowment, enhance the Annual Fund or go to a project critical to Trinity’s future (as we have done with the Trinity Center for Women and Girls in Sports and are we are currently doing with the Campaign for Trinity’s Second Century to build the new Trinity Academic Center.)

A restricted testamentary gift, as the name implies, is for a particular purpose, i.e., scholarships, library, technology, etc.  Ideally restrictions would be as broad as possible to insure that your generosity is readily available for use at Trinity.  If the intent is to create a scholarship for a particular major or geographical area, the University requests permission to award another student in the event no student fitting the scholarship profile is matriculating at the time of award.

Please share with friends and classmates your support of Trinity in your estate planning.  Remembering Trinity with a testamentary gift insures that the devotion you feel to this fine institution lives on into the future.

If you have further questions regarding your bequest, please contact the Office for Development and Alumnae/i Relations by phone at 202-884-9720 or via email We are delighted to be available to you during this process.

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