We all enter a time in our life when we need to have documents in place for the distribution of possessions and assets that we have accumulated over a lifetime. This is best accomplished by having a will or living trust as the roadmap for this distribution. More than you may realize, your will or living trust also tells the story of your life and values.

Understandably, you will leave assets to loved ones. But what else defined your life and the values you are hopefully imparting to your next generation? These values are often demonstrated by the organizations and causes you supported during your lifetime, such as Claremont McKenna College.

As you put these documents in place, please consider a gift to Claremont McKenna College so that we can continue to fulfill our mission of graduating responsible leaders for tomorrow’s world of affairs.

Making Income Part of Your Heir’s Inheritance

While most estate planning revolves around the transfer of assets to heirs, there are many good reasons to consider making income a part of your heir’s inheritance. A key surprising benefit of doing so, is the ability to make a gift to charity that you may have never thought possible, while still providing a full inheritance to your heirs. Learn more by clicking on DISCOVER THE POWER OF IN INCOME INHERITANCE above.

An estate gift may be right for you if:

  • You want to make a gift to Claremont McKenna College.
  • You want the flexibility to change your mind.
  • You want continued access to your wealth, should you need it.
  • You are concerned about outliving your resources.
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Large or small, your estate gift will make an important contribution to our long-term strength and our ability to carry on with our activities.

But what if you don't have a will or living trust? You are not alone. Most Americans don’t have a will.

Without a will, the laws of your state will decide how your estate is divided. Typically, the probate court will divide your estate among your closest surviving family members according to a formula, and none of your estate can go to Claremont McKenna College or any other charity. If you wish to have a say in how your estate is distributed, you must have a will or living trust. We encourage you to work with an experienced attorney to create a will or living trust that accomplishes your goals for your estate.

Select the type of estate gift for your estate plan
There are several ways that you can define the amount of your charitable gift to Claremont McKenna College. They are:

  • General - for a certain dollar amount. For example, “the sum of $25,000.”
  • Specific - A gift of a specific item or items. For example, you give 1,000 shares of ABC Corporation.
  • Contingent - A gift that will be made only if one or more conditions are met. For example, you give $25,000 provided we still offer a particular program or, “in the event my spouse does not survive me.”
  • Residual - A gift that will be made from the remainder of your estate once all other estate gift, debts, and taxes have been paid. For example, you give 25% of the rest of your estate. This approach assures that your family will be taken care of before your estate makes a gift to us.  

Ways to specify how we may use your estate gift
You have several options for telling Claremont McKenna College how we may use your gift once we receive it. They are:

  • Unrestricted – This is a gift for our general purposes. This can be the most useful kind of gift because it allows us to put your gift to the best possible use at the time we receive it.
  • Restricted – This is a gift for a specific use, such as a special project or program that is important to you. It is best for you to consult with us before placing restrictions on your gift to be sure we can carry out your wishes.
  • Endowment – This is a gift where our organization invests your donation along with the rest of our endowment. We distribute these funds in accordance with our endowment spending policy. This approach assures that your gift will continue to benefit us long after you're gone. An endowed gift can be restricted or unrestricted.
  • In Memory of – This is a gift made in honor of someone else. Any form of estate gift can also be an honorary gift. We would be pleased to recognize the people you wish to honor with your gift.

Make sure we can carry out your wishes
It is very important that your estate gift be accurately and clearly described in your estate plan so that we can carry out your wishes as you intended. We are pleased to consult with you regarding the terms of your estate gift to make sure that we will be able to carry out your intentions. In order to avoid any possible question that your estate gift is to our organization, be sure to include our full legal name and our federal tax identification number in your bequest.

Legal name: Claremont McKenna College

Current address: 400 North Claremont Blvd., Claremont, CA 91711

Tax identification number: 95-1664-101
We are happy to provide you with sample estate gift language to assist you and your attorney. 

You have complete flexibility to change your estate gift at any time. If circumstances change in a way that makes you want to revise your gift to us, you can.

Tax benefits
Because your estate gift intention is revocable, you do not receive an income tax charitable deduction when you create it. Rather, your estate will receive an estate tax deduction for the full value of your estate gift in the year it is made. Depending on a variety of factors, including the size of your estate and estate tax law at the time your estate is settled, this deduction may or may not save estate taxes.

Estate gift alternatives
In addition to adding estate gift language to your will, many assets can be transferred by beneficiary designation.

Learn More

Please let us know if you have included Claremont McKenna College in your estate plans. We would truly appreciate the opportunity to thank you for your thoughtful gift and to confirm that we can carry out your wishes


Kristie Ortega, a widow, has been a supporter of Claremont McKenna College for many years. Kristie is in good health now, but does not want to be a financial burden to her children should she require expensive health care in the future.

Claremont McKenna College is one of two charities to which she has been most dedicated. She would like to make a lasting gift to each of them in memory of her husband. After discussing her options with her estate planning advisor, she decides to create a residuary estate gift in her will for each of her two favorite charities. Each charity will receive 50% of the remainder of her estate after all other obligations, such as taxes and estate gifts to her children and grandchildren, have been taken care of.


  • Kristie’s assets will remain available to her should she need them.
  • The revocable nature of her gift will minimize the possibility that she will ever need financial help from her children.
  • If her estate is worth what she expects when it is settled, she will be able to provide generous legacy gifts to the two charities that have meant the most to her and her late husband.


Jack Stark ’57 on the Importance of Including CMC in Your Estate Plans

Planned Giving from Claremont McKenna College on Vimeo.