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Sample Bequest Language

One of the simplest ways to make a planned gift to the MFA or the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) is through a bequest in your will or a provision in your living trust. You may indicate that the MFA or SMFA is to be the recipient of a specific amount, a percentage of your estate, or a particular piece of property.

Outright Bequest

To make an outright bequest to the MFA/SMFA, you designate in your will a specific asset or amount of money you wish to bequeath. You may wish to use the following language when making your outright bequest:

"I give and bequeath [describe property] to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, for its general corporate purposes [or other purposes]."

Residual Bequest

To make a residual bequest to the MFA/SMFA, you designate in your will a percentage of the remaining value of your estate to come to the MFA/SMFA after all outright bequests have been made. You may wish to use the following language when making your residual bequest:

"I give and bequeath ____ percent of the residue of my estate to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, for its general corporate purposes [or other purposes]."

Contingent Bequest

To make a contingent bequest to the MFA/SMFA, you designate in your will conditions under which a portion of your estate will come to the MFA/SMFA. You may wish to use the following language when making your contingent bequest:

"If any or all of my heirs named herein under have predeceased me, I give and bequeath the portion of my estate reserved for that person or persons to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, for its general corporate purposes [or other purposes]."

Restricted Bequest

While the majority of bequests the MFA/SMFA receive are unrestricted and are used wherever the need is greatest, you may wish to designate your bequest for a particular purpose. If you wish your bequest to establish an endowment fund, you may wish to use the following language in your will:

"I give and bequeath the sum of ____ dollars to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to establish an endowment fund, to be known as the __________, to provide unrestricted support for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In years when fund expenditures are less than fund income, the balance is to be accumulated.”

If you wish your bequest to establish an endowment fund to benefit a particular program or department at the MFA/SMFA, you may wish to use the following language in your will:

"I give and bequeath the sum of ____ dollars to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to establish an endowment fund, to be known as the __________, to provide support for the following purposes: __________. In years when fund expenditures are less than fund income, the balance is to be accumulated. If in the future, in the opinion of the Trustees of the Museum of Fine Arts, the income cannot usefully be applied for the above purpose(s), it may be used for other purposes that will permit appropriate recognition of the intent of this gift.”

Contact Us

We suggest that you consult with the MFA/SMFA in determining which purposes and departments are most in keeping with your wishes. Please note that to create a named fund, a minimum gift or bequest of $100,000 is required.

To learn more about including the MFA/SMFA in your will(s), please contact Susan Veroff, Director, Planned Giving, at 617-369-3427.