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Beneficiary Designation Gifts


What is a Beneficiary Designation?

Beneficiary designations can be made easily as they generally only require a beneficiary designation form from a bank, brokerage or other financial institution. Beneficiary designations can include: bank accounts, appreciated securities, life insurance, retirement assets and other financial instruments, such as CDs or US Bonds.

To make your gift, contact the person who manages your account or insurance policy, such as your banker, broker or insurance agent. Ask for a new beneficiary designation form and complete the form designating Niagara University as a beneficiary on the account. You can indicate the percentage or the dollar amount designated to Niagara. At the end of your life, your account or insurance policy will be allocated according to your beneficiary designations.

Gifts Through Your Will or Living Trust

Many people would like to help strengthen the long-term viability of Niagara University but feel they cannot afford to make such a gift today. A bequest provision can be made through your will or revocable trust which can provide a future gift to Niagara University and make no impact in your current spending or lifestyle. The advantages of make a bequest include:

  • It is not payable until death, so it does not affect your assets or cash flow during your lifetime.
  • It is private – your will is not filed or made public until your death, and
  • It is revocable – you can change the provisions in your will or trust at any time until death.

What is the best way to include Niagara University in my will?

When including a provision for us in your will, you will want to make sure that your intention is stated clearly and that you have our correct name and address. Below is language that we prepared that you can use as you draft your intention.


Bequest Language

Unrestricted bequest for the Niagara Fund (general purposes):

“I hereby give, devise, and bequeath to Niagara University (or alternatively to Niagara University for the College of…), located at 5795 Lewiston R8oad, Niagara University, NY 14109, for its general purposes (…dollars) (…percent) (all the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate).”

Bequest for endowment:

“I hereby give, devise, and bequeath to Niagara University, located at 5795 Lewiston Road, Niagara University, NY 14109, (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 Niagara University (or alternatively to Niagara University for the College of…).”

Bequest for endowed scholarship:

“I hereby give, devise, and bequeath to Niagara University, located at 5795 Lewiston Road, Niagara University, NY 14109, (money or property to be bequeathed) to establish the (…Scholarship), the income from which shall be used for financial aid to students enrolled in Niagara University. 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).”

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 Niagara University Board of Trustees, 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 objectives and purposes of Niagara University, giving consideration to my special interest as evidenced by the purpose described above.”

If you have included Niagara in your estate plans, please let us know. We would like to thank you for your generosity, make sure the purpose of your gift is understood by Niagara, and recognize you as a member of the Marcus Brown Heritage Society.

Gifts of Life Insurance

You may be surprised to learn that your surplus, paid-up life insurance policies can be used to fund a gift to Niagara University. If you donate a policy, your charitable deduction will be the lesser of the fair market value of the policy – we can guide you in determining this – or your cost basis, which is the total of your net premium payments.

Alternately, your annual income may be healthy, but you know that ongoing family obligations will make it difficult for you to accumulate capital. If you take out a new life insurance policy naming Niagara University as owner and beneficiary, you can deliver a large benefit to us from income rather than capital.

You will make deductible annual gifts to Niagara University in the amount of the premium payments; we will, in turn, pay the premiums to the insurer.

Or, you can also transfer ownership of an existing policy which is not yet paid up.

Your charitable deduction will be determined in the same way as if you had given us a paid-up policy. We reserve the right to surrender your policy or to keep it in force; you can make deductible gifts to offset the premium payments if we elect to continue the policy.