Planned gifts

Everyone would like to leave a legacy. With thoughtful estate planning, everyone can. Planned gifts make it possible for you to secure long-term financial benefits for yourself and your family while supporting the future of Berkeley Engineering — its students, faculty and groundbreaking research.

A planned gift can help you in a number of ways:

  • Increase your current income or provide income for a loved one
  • Reduce your income tax immediately
  • Reduce or eliminate capital gains taxes on the transfer of appreciated assets
  • Pass assets to family members or others at a reduced tax cost
  • Make a larger gift to Berkeley Engineering than you thought possible

Some of the most popular planned gift arrangements are described below. For detailed information about these options and others, suited to your age and life circumstances, please visit the Office of Gift Planning website. We'd be happy to meet with you to discuss the best fit for you, your family and your devotion to the college.


In your will or living trust, you can direct assets to Berkeley Engineering. A charitable bequest not only extends your lifetime commitment to the college, but also reduces your estate’s tax liability. You can arrange to give a specific dollar amount, property or a percentage of your estate. Residual and contingent bequests provide first for your family, and then, if circumstances permit, for the college.

Charitable gift annuities

A charitable gift annuity is a contract between you and the UC Berkeley Foundation. In exchange for a gift of cash, stock or property, the donor (or someone else named by the donor) receives an annuity that pays a fixed amount of money for life. Charitable gift annuities offer the option of receiving annuity payments immediately or deferring until a later date.

Charitable remainder trusts

With a charitable remainder trust, you transfer money or property to the UC Berkeley Foundation stating that the assets be earmarked for the College of Engineering. The foundation manages and invests these assets and makes payments to you or other beneficiaries for their lives or the time period specified in the trust agreement. When the trust terminates, the assets in the trust pass on to the college to be used as you specified. Charitable remainder trusts offer various federal income and estate tax deductions. In addition, if appreciated assets are used to fund a charitable remainder trust, you avoid capital gains taxes.

Real estate

A gift of real estate can be an effective way to make a significant gift to the college. You may be entitled to an income tax deduction for the property’s full appraised fair market value. Almost any marketable real estate is suitable, including personal residences, farms, commercial buildings, forest land and investment property. Unencumbered property is best and generates the greatest tax benefit.

Retirement assets

When you plan your estate, it may seem natural to designate a family member as the successor beneficiary of your retirement plan, and use other assets to make a charitable gift. But using retirement assets to make your donation and leaving other assets to your heirs often allows you to give more to your heirs. Since the college is a nonprofit organization, we won’t pay income tax on the distribution, nor will the gift be subject to estate tax. The entire amount comes to the college, and your heirs will benefit from a reduced estate tax burden.