Create a Plan for the Future

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Create a Plan for the Future


It’s easy to include Princeton in your estate plan. Testamentary gifts can be allocated to general support or to a program, initiative, or area of study that is important to you.

What kind of impact can your gift have? James Leslie, Class of 1759, attended Princeton with the help of a gift of 13 British pounds from a “Fund for Pious Youth.” His bequest, in 1792, became Princeton’s first scholarship fund, and has supported hundreds of students since then. This year, 11 students received grants from the Leslie Fund.

Bequest Basics

A bequest is a gift that benefits Princeton after your lifetime.

Through a bequest, you can direct a specific dollar amount or assets to the University. Or, you can direct all or a percentage of the remainder of your estate after your other beneficiaries have received their inheritances and estate-related expenses have been paid.

No will is necessary to designate the University as a beneficiary of your IRA, retirement plan, life insurance, or bank account.

There are two ways to make a gift through your estate:

  1. Make a gift through provisions of your will or trust
  2. Name Princeton as a beneficiary of your IRA or qualified retirement plan, insurance policy, or bank account

Bequest Language

The following bequest language can be used in your will: I give and bequeath to the Trustees of Princeton University, a New Jersey not-for-profit corporation, the sum of ________ Dollars {or all the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate} to be used for the purposes of the University at the discretion of its Board of Trustees. The University’s tax ID number (EIN) is 21-0634501.

More details can be found in the Bequest Fact Sheet, which includes the steps for making a bequest. If you are considering a restricted bequest for a specific purpose, please contact the Office of Gift Planning for more information before you proceed.

In some circumstances, you can document your bequest intention and receive recognition for your provision for Princeton during your lifetime. To learn more, please contact the Gift Planning team at

Members of the Gift Planning staff are available at 609.258.6318 or to discuss your plans, and, should you wish to restrict the purpose of your gift or create a general purpose endowed fund, can provide sample language for you and your attorney to review.

Certain IRS limitations apply. The information presented is not intended as legal or financial advice. Please consult your own professional advisors to discuss your specific situation.

We encourage you to contact Gift Planning at 609.258.6318 or as a first step. We can help you explore how you can accomplish your bequest intentions for Princeton through gifts of any amount in preparation for a meeting with your attorney or tax advisor.

Create an Estate Plan

Princeton’s Guide to Estate Planning can be used as a starting point when creating a new estate plan, helping you think about your options, and can provide helpful tips when you update your existing plan. We hope this book helps you think about your options, including how your generosity can contribute to Princeton’s commitment to excellence.

Your Wishes and Goals

Keep these three questions in mind when considering your plan:

  • Whom do you want to benefit?
  • What charitable organizations do you want to remember?
  • Do you want to keep taxes and administration costs to a minimum so your family and charities receive your assets intact?

Get Started Today

The first step of every estate plan is to compile an inventory of personal data. The next step is to consult an attorney who specializes in estate planning.

Real Estate and Other Assets

Giving a gift of real estate, closely held assets and business interests can be a highly effective philanthropic and financial strategy. Each of the following gift arrangements has distinct tax benefits.

  • Your property can fund a trust that will make payments to you or someone you name.
  • You can make an outright gift of real estate, which can fund a professorship, endow a scholarship, or support a particular initiative.
  • If you are planning to sell your real estate, you can transfer ownership of an interest in the property to Princeton; following the sale, the University will receive its share of the proceeds.
  • You can give Princeton your home, but retain the right to live in it for the rest of your life—and receive an income tax deduction.


  • Your gift can be designated for a specific purpose
  • Property that you contribute is removed from your taxable estate.
  • You receive an income tax deduction for the fair market value of the real estate, no matter what you originally paid for it.
  • You pay no capital gains tax on the transfer.
  • No need to sell the property yourself
  • Recognition as a member of the 1746 Society

Learn More

  • Download the Real Estate Fact Sheet to learn the steps for making a gift of real estate.
  • To discuss the tax and other benefits of making a gift of real estate, contact Gift Planning at 609.258.6318 or e-mail


Gifts from your Individual Retirement Account can be given to an eligible charitable organization, like Princeton.

Charitable Lead Trusts

Charitable lead trusts allow you to make a significant gift to your children, grandchildren, or other heirs on a date you specify, while also making a gift that benefits Princeton now.

How it works:

  1. You contribute assets or securities to a charitable lead trust at Princeton.
  2. Your lead trust makes annual payments to Princeton for a fixed term — generally between 10 and 20 years.
  3. The trust principal then passes to your heirs.

Could a CLT work for you?

Please use our online gift calculator, or contact us.


  • You set the term for the trust.
  • Professional asset management by a trustee of your choice; if you choose Princeton to manage your trust, managers at TIAA Kaspick and the University will oversee the investment of your trust in a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds.
  • Federal charitable income tax deduction.
  • Reduce tax cost to your heirs.
  • Payments to the University can be designated for a specific purpose.
  • Recognition as a member of the 1746 Society.

Certain IRS limitations apply. It’s best to seek the help of an estate planning attorney to avoid undesirable legal or tax results.

Testamentary Gifts from Retirement Plans

Retirement plans and IRAs are among the most highly taxed assets in an estate: 50% or more of the assets can be lost to estate and income taxes.

Alumni and friends who would like to make a tax-efficient bequest should consider naming Princeton as a beneficiary of an IRA, Keogh, tax-sheltered annuity, qualified pension, or profit-sharing plan—it’s the most tax-efficient way to create a legacy.

How It Works:

  1. Name Princeton as a beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k) or other qualified plan.
  2. Designate the University as the recipient of all or a portion of the balance of your plan through your plan administrator.
  3. The designated balance passes to Princeton after your passing.


  • Continue to take regular lifetime withdrawals during your lifetime. Beneficiary designations only take effect upon death.
  • After your lifetime, funds pass to the University free of taxes.*
  • Beneficiary designation can be revoked if your family’s needs change.

Beneficiary information:

  • The University’s tax ID number (EIN) is 21-0634501.
  • The date of establishment for Princeton University is October 22, 1746 (required on some beneficiary designation forms).
  • Please use the official name of the University — “The Trustees of Princeton University” — when naming the University as a beneficiary.

*Certain IRS limitations apply. The information presented is not intended as legal or financial advice. Please consult your own professional advisors to discuss your specific situation.

We encourage you to contact Gift Planning at 609.258.6318 or to discuss your gift of retirement assets to Princeton.

Gifts that Create Income Now

You can learn about gifts that provide payments for life, and also allow the University to support student and faculty endeavors, here.

Information for Estate Attorneys and Administrators

Our legal name is: Trustees of Princeton University
Our tax ID number is: 21-0634501
Our address and contact information for estates and trusts is:
Princeton University
Advancement / Gift Planning 
100 Overlook Center, Suite 300
Princeton, NJ 08540