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Estate and Planned Gifts

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Planned gifts, such as bequests or charitable trusts, can be a way to provide for a future gift to charity.

They can help you take care of yourself and take care of Stanford.

Planned giving involves providing for a future gift to charities through your financial and estate plans. The School of Engineering welcomes gifts made through different planned giving arrangements, each of which has a number of benefits:

  • Provides for you or your loved ones
  • Entitles you to charitable income and/or gift or estate tax deductions
  • Enables you to leave a legacy for Stanford

Guidance for Professional Advisors

For attorneys, financial planners and other professional advisors, Stanford offers detailed guidance.

Options for Planned Giving


A bequest is a gift from your estate — cash, securities or other property — made through your will or revocable trust or through a beneficiary designation in your retirement plan or life insurance policy. A bequest costs nothing now, lets you retain control of and use your assets during your lifetime and is exempt from federal estate taxes.


Designating Stanford Engineering as a beneficiary of your retirement account is an easy, tax-efficient way to support the school. Simply contact the retirement plan administrator and complete the appropriate beneficiary designation form. Many plans also permit you to make the change directly online.

If you are 70 1/2 or older, you can make annual tax-free transfers directly from your IRA of up to $100,000. Although you aren’t entitled to a charitable income tax deduction for the distribution, these contributions count toward your annual required minimum distribution, are excluded from your taxable income and are not subject to annual charitable deduction limitations.

Life Income Gifts

A charitable remainder trust, charitable gift annuity or other life income plans offer payments to you or other individual beneficiaries you name and will benefit the school in the future. You may also be entitled to tax benefits, such as an income tax deduction and savings on capital gains tax. To explore how life income gifts might benefit you, use the Stanford Planned Giving Calculator.

Popular Planned Giving Vehicles

  • Life Income Gifts
  • Charitable Lead Trusts
  • Real Estate
  • Life Insurance
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Founding Grant Society

Our Appreciation

If you decide to include Stanford in your estate plans, we would like to show you our appreciation by inviting you to Stanford’s honorary society, the Founding Grant Society.