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Bequest Language and Beneficiary Designations

Beneficiary Designations

  • You can designate Oakland University as a sole, partial or contingent beneficiary of a retirement, investment or bank account, or life insurance policy.
    Retirement Assets
    You can name OU as a beneficiary of your retirement plan and remove a highly taxable asset from your estate.
    Life Insurance
    Naming OU as a beneficiary of an unneeded life insurance policy removes the policy from your estate and costs you nothing out of pocket.
    Payable on Death/Transferable on Death
    Do you own mutual funds, securities or a checking, savings or CD account? You can leave all or a portion of your account by designating OU as the payable on death (POD) or transferable on death (TOD) beneficiary.
  • Use the following information to add OU as a beneficiary, just as you would an individual:
    Oakland University
    Wilson Hall, Room 203
    371 Wilson Boulevard
    Rochester, MI 48309-4486
    Tax ID# 38-1714400

Types of Bequests


There are a number of ways you can make a bequest to Oakland University.

Specific Bequest. A specific bequest involves making a gift of a specific asset such as real estate, a car, other property or a gift for a specific dollar amount. I give, devise and bequeath ___% of my estate to Oakland University, a public university of the State of Michigan, its successors or assigns, a charitable 501 (c)(3) organization located in Rochester, Michigan..

Percentage Bequest. Another kind of specific bequest involves leaving a specific percentage of your overall estate to charity. For example, you may wish to leave 10% of your estate to Oakland University. I give, devise and bequeath ___% of my estate to Oakland University, a public university of the State of Michigan, its successors or assigns, a charitable 501 (c)(3) organization located in Rochester, Michigan..

Residual Bequest. A residual bequest is made from the balance of an estate after the will or trust has given away each of the specific bequests. A common residual bequest involves leaving a percentage of the residue of the estate to charity. For example, you may wish to leave 30% of the residue of your estate to Oakland University. I give, devise and bequeath ___% of my estate to Oakland University, a public university of the State of Michigan, its successors or assigns, a charitable 501 (c)(3) organization located in Rochester, Michigan..

Contingent Bequest. A contingent bequest is made to charity only if the purpose of the primary bequest cannot be met. For example, you could leave specific property, such as a vacation home, to a relative, but the bequest language could provide that if the relative is not alive at the time of your death, the vacation home will go to Oakland University. I give, devise and bequeath ___% of my estate to Oakland University, a public university of the State of Michigan, its successors or assigns, a charitable 501 (c)(3) organization located in Rochester, Michigan..

Bequest Benefits


A bequest is generally a revocable gift, which means it can be changed or modified at any time. You can choose to designate that a bequest be used for a general or specific purpose so you have the peace of mind knowing that your gift will be used as intended. Bequests are exempt from federal estate taxes. If you have a taxable estate, the estate tax charitable deduction may offset or eliminate estate taxes, resulting in a larger inheritance for your heirs.

Bequest Language


In order to make a bequest, you should speak with your attorney. Your attorney can help you include a bequest to Oakland University in your estate plan. We have provided some basic bequest language to assist you and your attorney.

1. Specific Bequest

If you are considering making an outright bequest to Oakland University, we recommend the following language:

Bequest of a Specific Dollar Amount

I hereby give, devise and bequeath _________ and No/100 dollars ($DOLLARS) to Oakland University, a public university of the State of Michigan, its successors or assigns, a charitable 501 (c)(3) organization located in Rochester, Michigan.

Bequest of Specific Personal Property

I hereby give, devise and bequeath DESCRIPTION OF PROPERTY to Oakland University, a public university of the State of Michigan, its successors or assigns, a charitable 501 (c)(3) organization located in Rochester, Michigan.

2. Percentage Bequest

If you are considering making a bequest of a percentage of your estate to Oakland University, we recommend the following language:

I hereby give, devise and bequeath ____ percent (___%) of my total estate, determined as of the date of my death, to Oakland University, a public university of the State of Michigan, its successors or assigns, a charitable 501 (c)(3) organization located in Rochester, Michigan.

3. Residual Bequest

I hereby give, devise and bequeath to Oakland University, a public university of the State of Michigan, its successors or assigns, a charitable 501 (c)(3) organization located in Rochester, Michigan, ALL OR A PERCENTAGE of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate to be used for Oakland University's general use and purpose.

4. Contingent Bequest

If (primary beneficiary) does not survive me, then I hereby give, devise and bequeath to Oakland University, a public university of the State of Michigan, its successors or assigns, a charitable 501 (c)(3) organization located in Rochester, Michigan, DESCRIPTION OF PROPERTY to be used for Oakland University's general use and purpose.

Restricted Bequests


If you are considering a bequest but would like to ensure that your bequest will be used for a specific purpose, please let us know. We would be happy to work with you and your attorney to help you identify ways to give and meet your charitable objectives. We will also work with you and your attorney to craft language to accomplish your goals.

If you are making a restricted bequest, we recommend that your attorney include the following provision to give Oakland University flexibility should it no longer be possible for Oakland University to use your gift as you originally intended:

If, in the judgment of the Board of Directors of Oakland University, it shall become impossible for Oakland University to use this bequest to accomplish the specific purposes of this bequest, Oakland University may use the income and principal of this gift for such purpose or purposes as the Board determines is most closely related to the restricted purpose of my bequest.

Contact Us


Please contact us if you have any questions about how to make a bequest to Oakland University or to request any additional information that might be helpful to you and your attorney as you consider making a bequest to us.

If you have included a bequest for Oakland University in your estate plan, please let us know. We would like to thank you and recognize you for your gift.

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