Beneficiary Designations

Make a Gift in 3 Easy Steps

Beneficiary Designations Are Easy and Flexible

Not everyone wants to commit to making a gift in their will or estate. Some prefer the increased flexibility that a beneficiary designation provides by using: 

  • IRAs and retirement plans
  • Life insurance policies
  • Commercial annuities

It only takes three, simple steps to make this type of gift. Here's how to name St. Mary’s University as a beneficiary:

  1. Contact your retirement plan administrator, insurance company, bank or financial institution for a change-of-beneficiary form.
  2. Decide what percentage (1 to 100) you would like us to receive and name us, along with the percentage you chose, on the beneficiary form.
  3. Return the completed form to your plan administrator, insurance company, bank or financial institution.

Learn More

Download our FREE guide Beneficiary Designations: The 3 Easiest Ways to Leave Your Legacy. View My Guide

An Example of How It Works

Older couple smiling Robert and Carol treasure the financial help they've been able to give their children and St. Mary’s University over the years. The couple recently updated their will to leave stocks and real estate to their kids. They left St. Mary’s University a $75,000 IRA to be transferred following their lifetime. Because St. Mary’s University is tax-exempt, all $75,000 will help support our mission.

If Robert and Carol had left the IRA to their children, approximately $21,000* would have gone to pay federal income taxes-leaving only $54,000 for their family's use. Robert and Carol are happy knowing they are making the most of their hard-earned money thanks to their updated estate plan.

*Based on an assumption of a 28 percent marginal income tax bracket.

See How It Works

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to St. Mary’s University a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to St. Mary’s University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at One Camino Santa Maria, San Antonio, TX 78228, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to St. Mary’s University or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the gift tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to St. Mary’s University as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to St. Mary’s University as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and St. Mary’s University where you agree to make a gift to St. Mary’s University and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

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eBrochure Request Form

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