Planned Giving

Maximize your philanthropic goals

Make a difference in people's lives and always be remembered for your contribution
Benefit yourself, your family and Samuel Merritt University with your planned gift
Help us fulfill our mission for many years and generations to come

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Gift Planning

Learn About Wills and Bequests


Your will is a signed document that will be used to determine the distribution of your property, if your will is accepted by probate court. Without a will, the court follows state law to distribute your assets and appoint guardians for minor children. Your will can include a trust and you can name a trustee. A will is an essential part of transferring your property at the right time to the right people at the lowest cost.


A bequest is a gift in a will or estate plan to benefit family and friends-and even a non-profit organization such as Samuel Merritt University. A bequest may be composed of a specific dollar amount, a percentage of an estate, a specific asset, or the residue of your estate. Many donors appreciate the tax benefits that may be provided through bequests. SMU is grateful to the generous University partners who are investing in the future of a health sciences education through their estate plans.

If you have included Samuel Merritt University in your estate plans, please let us know so we can welcome you as members of the 1909 Legacy Society, learn about your goals, and recognize your generosity.

What are the benefits of making a bequest?

  1. You leave a lasting legacy to be remembered
  2. You lessen the burden of taxes on your family
  3. You may receive estate tax savings

How can I learn more?

How do I make a bequest?

A bequest is one of the easiest gifts to make. With the help of an advisor, you can include language in your will or trust specifying a gift be made to family, friends or Samuel Merritt University as part of your estate plan.

What are my options?

A bequest can be made in several ways:
  1. You can gift a specific dollar amount or asset
  2. You can gift a percentage of your estate
  3. You can gift from the balance or residue of your estate
  4. You can make a beneficiary designation of certain assets

How do I get started?