Planned Giving

Welcome to the New York Theological Seminary Planned Giving site. This site was created to assist you with various gift planning options while taking into account your personal financial and estate planning needs.

We invite you to consider the following opportunities which qualify you for membership in the Heritage Guild.

Heritage Guild

The Heritage Guild at New York Theological Seminary is comprised of those who have agreed to sustain the long-term viability of the NYTS by making provision for the Seminary in their estate plans. To become a member of Guild, you need only to contact the Seminary’s office of Development and let us know that NYTS is in your estate plans. Members are then invited to join the President for an annual luncheon in December and to participate in any of the many other programs offered to friends of the Seminary throughout the year. If you would like more information about the many ways you could support NYTS through your estate plans, please contact the Development Office.

Ways to include New York Theological Seminary:


A charitable bequest is a very simple way of making a generous gift to New York Theological Seminary. When drafting or updating your will, we encourage you to consider including NYTS as a beneficiary of your estate, creating a legacy that will help ensure excellent theological education for future generations.

Bequests can be made for general unrestricted use by the School or you may choose to restrict your bequest gift for a designated purpose. There are several kinds of bequest gifts, but whichever you choose, it’s important that your intentions be specified in writing, using appropriate language. We encourage you to review the following options with your advisors.

Specific Bequest

As its name suggests, the specific bequest provides a gift in a specific dollar amount, or of specific assets. Such a gift can be conveyed as follows:

“I give to New York Theological Seminary, located in New York, NY the sum of $________________ or ________________(name of asset) for the general uses and purposes of said institution.”

Percentage Bequest

A percentage division of your estate keeps all bequests in proportion to one another, even as specific financial circumstances may change. Such a bequest may be conveyed as follows:

“I give to New York Theological Seminary, located in New York, NY, (percentage amount) of my total estate disposed of by this will, to be used for the general uses and purposes of said institution.”

Residual Bequest

Alternatively, you may choose to designate NYTS as a residue beneficiary of your estate. In that case, the Seminary will receive the assets remaining after other bequests have been fulfilled. The following language might be used in conveying such a bequest:

“I give the residue of my estate (or you may state a percentage of the residue) to New York Theological Seminary, located in New York, NY, to be used for the general uses and purposes of said institution.”

Testamentary Bequest

Through your will, you may also establish a testamentary trust. Such a trust supports selected beneficiaries during their lifetime, after which trust assets are assigned to Claremont. Language such as the following can be used to establish a testamentary trust:

“Upon the death of (name/s), or upon my death if (she/he) fails to survive me, the entire balance then remaining of the trust estate shall be distributed to New York Theological Seminary, located in New York, NY, for the general uses and purposes of said institution.”

Note that alterations in family status, changes in the law, alterations in the value of property you own, and so on can make your estate plan obsolete. Whichever form of bequest gift you choose, we therefore encourage you to update your will and any other plan documents as your circumstances change. NYTS encourages you to have a qualified attorney prepare or revise your estate plan.

Gift Annuity

A gift annuity is a contract whereby you (and/or another beneficiary, if desired) exchange a gift of money or securities for a fixed income for life. The amount of annual income is based on your age/s at the time the annuity is established. After your income payments begin, a significant portion of each payment is exempt from income tax when you donate cash for the annuity. You are also allowed a potentially significant charitable income tax deduction in the year the gift annuity is created.

Deferred Payment Gift Annuity

The deferred payment gift annuity differs from a regular gift annuity in that payments begin at a date in the future, such as the year you expect to retire. This gift vehicle allows you to make a gift now and use the resulting charitable deduction to lower your income taxes. Later, when you need the security of additional income, you will receive a fixed income for life.

Charitable Remainder Unitrust

The charitable remainder unitrust is ideally suited for those wanting to make a gift using highly appreciated assets currently yielding a low rate of return, while also desiring to avoid capital gains tax on the transfer of assets to New York Theological Seminary. You receive a unitrust amount for life in exchange for an irrevocable transfer of assets. The assets are managed as a separate fund paying a fixed percent (at least 5%) of the fair market value of trust assets as revalued each year. The percentage of the trust received as payment is agreed upon between you and New York Theological Seminary at the time of the gift. You receive a significant charitable income tax deduction in the year the trust is created.

The charitable remainder annuity trust guarantees you income for life at a fixed dollar amount in return for an irrevocable transfer of money or appreciated assets to the school. When the trust is created you set the dollar amount, which must be at least 5% of the value of the assets used to fund the trust. Capital gains tax is entirely avoided on the transfer of assets to the trust. Plus, you are entitled to an immediate charitable income tax deduction.

Charitable Lead Trust

Unlike the previously mentioned trusts, the charitable lead trust distributes income to New York Theological Seminary rather than you. After a specific period of time, the trust assets revert to you or are distributed to others (usually family or friends). There may be significant benefits, including possible estate and gift tax savings.

Gift of Home with Retained Life Estate

You receive an immediate charitable income tax deduction by deeding your home to New York Theological Seminary while reserving the right to use the property for life (a retained life estate). Your charitable income tax deduction will be a portion of the present fair market value of the property, depending upon your age, amount of depreciation, and IRS tables. While continuing to be responsible for taxes, insurance and maintenance, you also keep any income earned by the land. Upon your death, and the death of your spouse, the Seminary is free to dispose of the property and retain the proceeds. With this type of gift, you receive an immediate charitable income tax deduction and the value of your home or farm is removed from your taxable estate.

Retirement Plan Gifts

Your retirement plan will be subject to income tax after your death and may be subject to estate tax if you leave a large estate. You can avoid these taxes by naming New York Theological Seminary as a beneficiary of your qualified retirement plans, such as individual retirement accounts (IRAs), 401(K)s, 403(b)s, Keoghs or other plans. Simply ask the administrator of your plan for a death beneficiary change form, and indicate the amount or percentage of assets you wish to be transferred to New York Theological Seminary following your lifetime. Your spouse may need to consent to your designation.

It is important to choose the giving plan which best fits your financial situation. This web site provides a brief overview of the different ways you can help New York Theological Seminary through a variety of charitable gifts. We encourage you to consult your attorney or tax counsel to determine the best way for you to give under current tax legislation.


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