Bequests create a legacy of scholarship for donors who include the Institute for Advanced Study in their will. Bequests have come from Friends, Faculty, former Members, Trustees, and from those unknown to the Institute until their gift arrived. Each bequest, large or small, has its own story. Donors who inform us of their bequest intentions become members of the Institute's Einstein Legacy Society.
John Rassweiler, a Friend of the Institute for Advanced Study since 1992, has long supported the mission of the Institute to encourage and support fundamental research in the sciences and humanities. Rassweiler feels strongly that the Institute has an important role as an educational institution and as one of the world’s leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry.
Rassweiler served as Chair of the Friends of the Institute for Advanced Study's Executive Committee from July 2008 through June 2010, and during that period grew to appreciate the day-to-day administration of the Institute. "I place great value on the exceptional level of fiscal responsibility and prudence with which the Institute carries out its mission."
In recognition of these important factors, Rassweiler made a decision to incorporate a bequest for the Institute in his estate plans, and noted, "It was an easy way for me to make a larger gift to the Institute, above and beyond my annual membership at the Chairman’s Circle level. I was working with my attorneys on a minor revision to my will, and simply told them of my intentions, and asked that they send a letter to the Institute."
We recommend seeking legal and tax planning advice, but would also be happy to assist you in making the Institute for Advanced Study part of your estate plans. The tax ID number for the Institute for Advanced Study is 21-0634988.
Unrestricted vs. Restricted
An unrestricted bequest enables the Institute to direct your gift to where it will have the greatest impact. Wording for an unrestricted bequest might include:
“I give and bequeath to the Institute for Advanced Study—Louis Bamberger and Mrs. Felix Fuld Foundation, a nonprofit corporation located in Princeton, New Jersey, the sum of _____ dollars ($_____) [or _____% of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate], [or the property described below] for such purposes as the Trustees of the Institute shall determine to be in the best interests of the Institute.”
Alternatively, you may wish to restrict your bequest to a specific area or interest—a particular School, a Faculty position, Memberships, libraries, or facilities. If you plan to restrict your gift, please include the Institute in discussions with your financial advisors, to ensure that your wishes can be carried out. We are happy to tailor a gift agreement to meet your needs. It is important that your restricted restricted bequest include a clause to allow for other uses under changed circumstances in the future, as below:
“If in the future, a majority of the Trustees of the Institute, determine that due to changed circumstances it is impractical or wasteful to use this fund in the manner I have described, then the fund shall be used for a related purpose and in a manner the Trustees determine most nearly accomplishes my wishes.”
In addition, the following bequest types will help you further tailor your gift to meet your personal estate-planning goals:
Specific Amount vs. Residual Percent
A bequest can be written to specify the amount the Institute will receive from the donor's estate, or so that the Institute receives all or a percentage of the residuary estate after specific amounts bequeathed to other beneficiaries have been distributed and estate-related expenses have been paid.
In a contingent bequest, the Institute receives a part or all of your estate only if the other beneficiaries do not survive you.
A testamentary charitable remainder trust can be created through a will such that assets are set aside in a trust and can provide income for a family member or friend. The Institute receives the remainder of the trust after a specified number of years or after the trust beneficiary dies. Alternatively, by providing trust income payments first to the Institute for a number of years, a testamentary charitable lead trust can be used to pass assets to heirs with significant tax advantages to the estate.
Retirement savings require special attention in the estate planning process, as they are not generally governed by one’s will, but by the beneficiary designations of the retirement account. Estate and income taxes may apply to bequests made from your retirement plan to individuals other than your spouse, such as your children. Children who establish an inherited IRA account for these funds are subject to taxable distribution requirements. Depending on the size of your estate, your marital status, and your heirs' individual financial needs and goals, it may be preferable to designate the Institute as beneficiary of all or part of your retirement assets, creating a charitable deduction for your estate.
More complex options include naming a charitable remainder trust as the beneficiary, which would provide a stream of income to an individual and the remaining amount to the Institute.