Gifts That Pass Outside of a Will

Several common financial instruments allow account holders to make beneficiary designations. A donor can make changes to these designations at any time and can do so without re-writing or creating a new will or trust. Beneficiaries can include charitable organizations like St. Olaf College.

Which Accounts Are Eligible?

  • Retirement accounts – IRAs, 401(k), 403(b)
  • Insurance products – Life insurance policies, commercial annuities
  • Bank accounts – Checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs
  • Donor advised funds

Key Benefits

Naming St. Olaf as a beneficiary of these accounts has several advantages:

  • Flexibility – You can make changes to your beneficiary designations at any time.
  • Privacy – Beneficiary designations avoid probate, a public and potentially expensive legal process required to settle some estates.
  • Cost effectiveness – Because these gifts pass outside of a will, you and/or your heirs can avoid legal expenses.

Because every financial institution differs in their methods of recording and facilitating beneficiary designations, we recommend contacting your brokerage, insurance company, bank, or donor advised fund directly. Whether in paper or electronic form, they can provide all the information needed to complete the process.

Your financial institution may need to know the college’s federal and state tax ID numbers in order to complete the beneficiary designation form. Our federal tax ID number is 41-0693979. Our Minnesota tax ID number is 20133.

Please note that a will or trust drafted with the assistance of an attorney is an important piece of a comprehensive estate plan. These estate documents should be worded carefully and should not contradict the directives of your beneficiary designations. More about including St. Olaf in your will or trust.

Is St. Olaf already included in your estate plans?

Sharing the details of your gift with us is beneficial to you, St. Olaf, and future donors. Plus, it’s entirely confidential. Learn how to share your intent.

Ready to speak to someone on staff?

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