The most common form is through a bequest/will. It can be for a specific amount, a percentage of your estate or as the residual/remaining beneficiary after specific bequests are met. It can be an unrestricted or restricted gift and may reduce or eliminate federal estate taxes.
A second form of is through life income agreements. These include but are not limited to charitable remainder trusts (unitrust, annuity trust or lead trust). Most of these represent larger gift amounts and can be irrevocable or revocable. Usually irrevocable trust agreements carry a greater estate tax benefit. Some guarantee the donor income for life.
A third popular planned gift is through life insurance. A donor can change the ownership of a paid up policy to the school or make it the primary beneficiary. If it not paid up the school has insurable interest if ownership is changed and regular premium payments are deductible as charitable donations. In addition some combine life insurance with a trust to financially benefit children/grandchildren.
It is always advisable to consult with an attorney and/or tax professional for specific advice before arranging for any planned gift.
Click here to see examples of Planned Gifts to Elder.