Office of Gift Development

Bequests and Estate Plans

Bequests are one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to support Indiana University School of Medicine. A bequest is when a donor provides now for a future gift by including it in an estate plan by having an attorney place a bequest provision in a will or trust.

A bequest may be in the form of an exact dollar amount, asset or percentage of an estate. As with all gifts, donors may direct support to a specific program or research area, or they can leave a general gift to benefit IU School of Medicine. Donors may even consider establishing a fund that bears your name.

Bequest Benefits

Aside from benefiting students, physicians and researchers at IU School of Medicine, incorporating a bequest has distinct advantages for a donor:

  • The donor’s estate receives an estate tax charitable deduction.
  • Use of assets is not affected during the donor’s lifetime.
  • Donors can leave a lasting legacy to help continue work that is personally important.
  • Donors may retain the right to change or reverse the bequest at any point.

Bequest Language

Wills and estate plans are technical documents that should be drafted by an attorney, and they may be revised and updated as needed. Donors should be sure to bring sample bequest language when meeting with an attorney:

“I give, devise and bequeath the [sum of/percentage of/residue of estate] to Indiana University Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation with principal offices located in Bloomington, Indiana, to be utilized for the benefit of Indiana University School of Medicine as specified in a gift agreement on file at said Foundation.”

One Donor’s Story

During the 1980s, in the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis, many people would shun those with the virus out of fear they might become infected. Dr. Robert Clausen was one of the few physicians in the South Bend, Indiana, area who would treat patients with AIDS – often in their homes in what amounted to palliative care.

The time he spent with his patients reinforced in him the firm belief that being a physician requires equal parts intellectual rigor and compassion. When Dr. Clausen began thinking about a legacy gift, he wanted to support a program that fosters both the art and science of medicine. The result: A scholarship for MD/PhD students at the South Bend campus. “It was just sort of a logical place to put my resources,” Dr. Clausen said.

He inserted bequest language in his estate plan leaving a portion of his assets to IU School of Medicine. “These are people that will be going into academia that have the clinical aspect in hand,” he said. “That sort of intellectual integrity is something that needs to be supported.”