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Gifts by Will

A gift to Mercyhurst through your will, also commonly referred to as a bequest, or a living trust is often the easiest way to make a gift. Such a gift allows you to take care of your family and remain in control of your assets during your lifetime. Because a bequest is revocable, if your circumstances change, your bequest can change, too. There may also be favorable estate tax benefits for such a gift.

Bequest Purposes

Bequests may be unrestricted and go to support the ongoing operating expenses much like the Annual Fund. Bequests can also be designated by you for a restricted purpose such as to create an endowed scholarship fund, to support a special project or to be added to the general endowment. Because the needs of the University vary over time, another option is to designate your bequest to the area of greatest need as determined by the Board of Trustees.

Where to Start

  • For an Estate Planning Worksheet, contact Ryan J. Palm, assistant vice president for advancement, at (814) 824-3320 or rpalm@mercyhurst.edu.
  • Your state may require that your will be drafted by an attorney. Pennsylvania is one such state.
  • Consider how you want to support Mercyhurst. You may want to use the Sample Bequest Language provided (PDF). Other options are also available and we are always willing to work with you and your advisers.
  • Consider what assets you may want to give to Mercyhurst. It may be cash, appreciated stock or securities, personal property, or real estate.
  • Be sure to use the University’s legal name and address:
    • Mercyhurst University, located at 501 East 38th St., Erie, Pennsylvania, a not for profit organization, organized under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • If you choose to designate a specific purpose for your gift, it is strongly recommended to include the following language:
    • In the event at some future time due to a change of circumstances, in the judgment of the Board of Trustees, it becomes impractical to apply my estate gift to the designated purpose(s) or such purpose has adverse legal consequences for Mercyhurst University, then the funds may be used for such other closely aligned purposes as shall most nearly accomplish my wishes.

A gift through your will entitles you to membership in the O’Neil Society, the recognition society for those giving to Mercyhurst through their will or other estate-related gifts.

Last updated on February 11, 2014

Mercyhurst Alumni is on Facebook Follow Mercyhurst Alumni on Twitter Connect with other alumni on LinkedIn The Official Mercyhurst Alumni YouTube Channel