The Grécourt Society
Alumnae and friends who have included Smith in their estate plans through a will, trust, retirement plan, life insurance policy or life income gift are eligible to join The Grécourt Society. This program, established in 1994, gives the college the opportunity to acknowledge your thoughtful planning for Smith's future.
You may use the Estate Plan Intentions Sheet to signify your bequest intention to Smith College. There is also specific language you or your attorney may wish to use to make a bequest with various instruments.
Smith College Tax ID: 04-1843040
Bequest Through a Will
Making a will is a wonderful way to take stock of your values and priorities. The first step is usually to ensure that your loved ones are provided for. You then have the opportunity to consider whether you might leave a legacy to your favorite charities.
Remember that your nonprofits rely on you year-in and year-out. Whether you are a volunteer, an occasional donor or an annual contributor, your charities will miss you when you are gone, and your death will leave a gap that no one else can fill. Consider leaving a portion of your estate to charity.
It is recommended that you articulate your charitable gifts as percentages of your estate, rather than specific dollar amounts. Statistical evidence indicates that most people leave larger estates than they anticipate.
Smith alumna Linda Sosnowitz '69, an attorney in New York City specializing in wills and estates, has written an informative and helpful article on wills.
Download the article (PDF)
Bequest Through Life Insurance
Life insurance that is not needed by family members can be designated for Smith and other charities.
If you are carrying an active life insurance policy that you no longer need, consider donating it outright to Smith. You will receive gift recognition, and the college will put the proceeds from the policy to work right away.
Bequest Through Retirement Funds
Retirement assets are easily designated for charity on the Estate Plan Intentions Sheet (above). You can name a charity to receive 100 percent or a portion of your retirement account upon your death.
Retirement assets have never had taxes paid on them, so they are subject to income taxes when you withdraw them. If you die before withdrawing them, your heirs must pay the income taxes on the assets at their own respective tax rates. If you have a taxable estate, the assets will also be subject to inheritance taxes.
"Charitable Times" (PDF): article on potential double taxation of retirement assets left to your heirs in Smith College newsletter
Bequest Through a Trust
To benefit Smith (or other charities) after your death through a trust, please consider one of the following different forms of trusts.
- Charitable remainder trust
- Charitable lead trust
- Living trust: A living trust is a document with which you direct the transfer of your assets at your death. A living trust can help assets pass outside of the probate process, can continue after your death, and is revocable at any time. Your attorney or financial advisor can discuss if this instrument may work for your individual situation.
Sue and Alma, both members of the Class of '52, owned paid up life insurance policies that were no longer needed for their original purposes. They decided to donate the policies to Smith. The process was simple: Sue and Alma named Smith College as owner and beneficiary of their policies, Smith surrendered the policies to realize the funds immediately, and Sue and Alma claimed charitable income tax deductions for the surrender value of their policies. (Donors are responsible for obtaining an independent qualified appraisal of the policy.)
"We no longer needed the policy for its original intention, and the money wasn't growing for us. The cash value was close to the face value, and it pleased me that I could use the policy to make a gift to Smith. It was a simple process, and I was able to get the gift matched as well!"
"It was an easy decision to make. The asset was there and not needed anymore. Smith's mission is very important to me, so what better way to use the policy than to support my college? In today's world, Smith is an exciting place to be, and I was happy to complete the gift in honor of my 50th reunion."