Carnegie Mellon University

Give to CMU

Beneficiary Designation

A beneficiary designation is one of the simplest ways to make a gift to Carnegie Mellon University. This type of gift requires the single act of filling out a form.  

You can specify the individuals and charities you want to support and you can also specify the percentage of the assets you want each beneficiary to receive.

Beneficiary designations are available when giving the following assets: 

Retirement Assets

An alternative to a bequest gift is to designate the Carnegie Mellon University as the beneficiary of any one or more of your retirement assets. This gift is simple because you can control the transfer of these assets at your death without changing your will or living trust. All you need to do is request (and complete) a new beneficiary designation form from your plan administrator. There is no need to modify your will or living trust.

A gift of retirement assets has the added advantage of being among the most tax-wise ways to make an estate gift. This is because your retirement assets, if left to individuals, will be subject to income tax when they receive distributions and, in the case of most non-spouses, those distributions must take place within 10 years, potentially pushing designated beneficiaries into higher tax brackets. With a gift to a non-profit such as Carnegie Mellon, 100 percent of the funds are available for its charitable purposes. If you want to remember us in your estate plan, it is often better to leave other types of assets – cash, securities, real estate – to your heirs and give the more heavily taxed retirement asset to Carnegie Mellon University.

Life Insurance

Life Insurance policies may also be used to make a gift to Carnegie Mellon. You can arrange this type of gift by submitting to the insurance company a form designating that the Carnegie Mellon University receives all or a portion of the death benefit associated with your life insurance policy. As an alternative to naming Carnegie Mellon as the beneficiary, you can transfer ownership of the policy. Transferring ownership results in an immediate income tax charitable deduction and potential income tax savings in the year of the gift.

Other Assets

Commercial Annuity Contracts - In the event a commercial annuity has a remaining value at the end of your lifetime, you can name Carnegie Mellon to receive all or part of the remaining amount. This gift is accomplished by designating the University as a beneficiary (sole or partial) on the appropriate form from the insurance company.

Bank Accounts - You can instruct your bank to pay Carnegie Mellon all or a portion of what remains in a checking or savings account. Your bank can provide you with the appropriate beneficiary designation form.

Investment Accounts - You can instruct your investment company to transfer to Carnegie Mellon some or all investments held in the account at the time of your death. Your broker or agent can advise you of the process for making this type of gift.