Giving through your estate

There are a variety of ways that you may consider for providing a gift through your estate. You might consider the following options:


In your will, you may make a gift of cash, securities, real estate, or other assets. Your gift may be a specific sum or asset, or it may be a percentage of your residuary estate. A gift by will can also establish a charitable trust, the income from which can benefit those for whom you wish to care beyond your lifetime with the trust assets coming to the Disciples Divinity House and other charitable organizations at some future time. Gifts by bequest can help reduce taxes on some estates.

Charitable Trusts

There are many forms of charitable trusts which may fit your needs for current income and for the future protection of family and others, plus help reduce estate or income taxes. Trusts offer donors creative ways to achieve personal philanthropic and financial objectives

Charitable Gift Annuities

Annuities give donors the option of receiving income, either immediately or in the future, as well as allowing for the designation of beneficiaries. Using annuities for retirement planning and income can provide donors with additional flexibility.


Whole life insurance policies can offer donors unusual options for providing an estate gift to the Disciples Divinity House. Fully or partially paid-up policies, or a new policy may allow a donor to make a sizable gift and receive estate or current income tax savings.

Retained Life Estate

Donors may transfer ownership of a residence, farm, or investment property and retain the privilege of occupancy during their lifetime. When the property is available to the Divinity House, it can be sold or retained for income which will become part of the permanent endowment fund.

Pension Plan/IRA

Donors may designate the Disciples Divinity House as the beneficiary of an IRA or pension plan. Donors receive the full benefits of these plans during their lifetimes. Distribution of a pension or IRA to a charitable organization may eliminate both estate and income taxes.


Many of these special estate gift instruments offer donors the opportunity to transfer appreciated property and other assets as well as reduce estate and income taxes or probate costs. Even if you believe your estate is of a size that will not be affected by current estate tax laws, creative planning which takes into consideration these opportunities will ensure that both your charitable gift desires and your desires for financial well-being are appropriately addressed. How you choose to make an estate gift will depend on your personal philanthropic and financial goals.

Please contact the Dean when you have decided to include the Disciples Divinity House in your estate plan so that she may assist you in exploring the most effective ways to implement your decision.

The Disciples Divinity House works cooperatively with The Christian Church Foundation, Inc. and so a meeting with a representative of the House and a Foundation staff member may be appropriate. You should also consult with your personal legal counsel and financial advisers.

In providing for an estate gift, please use the designation "The Disciples Divinity House of the University of Chicago."