Bequests and Planned Giving

Planned Giving - 200 for 200 Legacy Challenge
Défi 200 ans 200 legs


Bequests and Planned Gifts

McGill University owes its very existence to the foresight of a generous planned gift. The University was founded in 1821 with a bequest from the estate of Scottish-born Montreal merchant James McGill. McGill has since grown from a small college to one of the world’s leading research and teaching universities, thanks to the extraordinary legacy of many generations of supporters.

Make your mark

The 200 for 200 Legacy Challenge – which aims to secure 200 legacy gifts in celebration of McGill’s 200th anniversary – has officially begun! It’s an opportunity to minimize your tax burden, maximize your impact, and create a legacy that lasts.

How to make a transformative difference

A planned gift is a charitable donation which can be arranged during your lifetime, but is not available to the University until sometime in the future. Along with a gift in your Will through a bequest, there are other planning options that will also offer you financial benefits while allowing you to achieve your philanthropic goals and ultimately make a transformative difference.

Have you included McGill in your estate plans?

Please let us know. Completing a simple form helps McGill ensure your estate plans are carried out, and allows us to express our appreciation during your lifetime.

Ways to Give


A bequest is a gift made through a will and may include cash, marketable securities, closely held stock, real estate, or tangible personal property. A bequest is one of the most common types of planned gift that McGill receives from an individual.

There are several types of bequests to choose from:

Specific bequest: Designate a fixed dollar amount or specific property to McGill.

Residual or proportional bequest: Designate either your entire estate or a percentage of your estate after other specific bequests are distributed. The advantage of designating a portion of your estate to McGill University is that the bequest automatically adjusts in size as your estate increases or decreases over the years.

Contingent bequest: McGill is only given a bequest in the event of the death of the primary beneficiary named in the will.

Testamentary trust: A testamentary trust is one that is created as part of the provisions of your will to assure the long-term fulfillment of your wishes. It allows you to devise a trust to provide for the ongoing needs of your spouse and family, while retaining the capital to provide a legacy to McGill.

Learn more...

Leaving McGill in your Will

Suggested Bequest language and pertinent information to give to your lawyer/notary/estate planner

Dean’s Legacy Fund: Perpetuate Your Annual Gift

The endowed Dean’s Legacy Fund gives donors an opportunity to perpetuate their support of their Faculty, and empowers deans to apply funds to their greatest needs, making the Faculty more nimble in responding to emerging challenges and opportunities, and fostering new discoveries that lead to exceptional student and research experience. Loyal donors to McGill’s Annual Fund will be able to continue their support in the same way they have during their lifetime for generations to come.

By contributing an endowed gift through your estate plans, the legacy of your annual gift will continue to benefit the dean’s greatest priorities well into the future.

Suggested bequest language: “I give and bequeath the sum of $.... to McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada to augment the Dean’s Legacy Fund in the Faculty of Agricultural &Environmental Sciences, the income of which is to be used for the dean’s greatest priorities”

The following table outlines the amount of endowed funds to perpetuate various levels of annual gifts.













*For illustration purposes, endowed interest calculated at a rate of 4%

For more information, please contact:
Ron Henry, University Advancement - Macdonald Campus
ron.henry [at] or 514-398-7695

Charitable Gift Annuity

Benefit now, have an impact later

A McGill charitable gift annuity is a great way to increase your income, while supporting higher education. McGill University can provide annual, semi-annual or quarterly payments to you and/or your co-annuitant for the remainder of your life, in return for an irrevocable gift of cash or securities. The annuity rate is based on the age of the income recipient(s). This is an ideal giving vehicle for donors 70 years and older, with a minimum investment of $10,000.

Learn more...

Life Insurance

A gift of life insurance can have a far greater impact than you might think. A relatively small effort today may one day have a considerable influence on McGill’s future students, researchers and faculty.

There are several ways of making a gift through life insurance...

Retirement Plan Assets

Protect your savings

Although you may want your heirs to receive all the assets remaining in your retirement plan, estate and income taxes could reduce its value by close to 50 per cent, leaving your loved ones with only a small fraction of what you had intended. In addition to the income tax due on the assets, the plan is also subject to federal and provincial estate taxes.

Rather than see your hard-earning savings diminished by taxes, you may wish to consider donating all or part of your retirement plan. Amounts from retirement plans for charitable use are still included in your taxable estate, but they are fully deductible from your estate as charitable gifts. This type of gift is appropriate for single or widowed individuals without dependents, as retirement plans are taxable to anyone other than a spouse or dependent child.

Learn more...

Charitable Trusts

Geography matters

With a charitable remainder trust, you can make a major donation of capital, while you continue to receive income.

Find out more, depending on where you live.

IRA Charitable Rollover

IRA Charitable Rollover – U.S.

All IRA Charitable Rollovers by U.S. citizens, whether they attended McGill or not, should be in the name of “The Friends of McGill University, Inc.”

Learn more...

Contact Us

The staff of McGill’s Bequests and Planned Gifts Office will be pleased to assist you and your legal/financial counsel in creating your gift of a lifetime.

Macdonald Campus

ron.henry [at] (Ron Henry)
Telephone: 514-398-7695 
Email: ron.henry [at]

General number: 514-398-7984
Email: development.macdonald [at]

University Advancement, Macdonald Campus
Laird Hall, Room 199B
Macdonald Campus, McGill University
Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC H9X 3V9

McGill Bequests and Planned Gifts Office

Telephone: 514-398-3560 or 1-800-567-5175 (toll-free in North America)
Email: [at]

Bequests and Planned Gifts
McGill University
1430 Peel Street
Montreal, QC H3A 3T3

Information on this site is of a general nature and not intended to constitute financial or legal advice. Please consult your income tax, financial and/or legal advisors before arranging a planned gift. All requests for information are confidential.

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