Carnegie Mellon University

Spring 2023

Read on for the latest edition of Tartan Traditions, and learn how will and estate planning, new federal tax law changes and gifts of retirement funds like IRAs could have financial benefits for you and your loved ones while meeting your philanthropic goals.

Never Too Early

Tepper School of Business alumnus Steve Feyer encourages Tartans of all ages to get their will and estate plans in place — the sooner the better.

feyer_700sq_gp-23-149_01.jpgCarnegie Mellon University alumnus Steve Feyer packed something a bit unexpected in his suitcase for a recent family vacation — his will and estate plan.

He wanted his brothers to serve as witnesses for his signature, but he also hoped that by being so upfront about the topic, he’d inspire his siblings to plan ahead, too.

“They were a bit surprised,” says Steve (pictured with Dean Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou), who at age 41 is the middle brother in the family. “It's not something that anyone ever wants think about. However, it's just a good idea to have plans for yourself. That moment, when you're not able to advocate your wishes, is frankly one of the most important moments in your life.”

Generosity Comes in Many Varieties

Do you want to support Carnegie Mellon University’s world-leading students, faculty and staff in a more impactful way, but you aren’t sure where to start? The Office of Development & Gift Planning has a variety of creative and customizable charitable gift options.

  • Name CMU as a beneficiary on your employee retirement plan, IRA and 401(k) to maximize your giving.
  • Remember CMU in your will or trust with a gift that allows you to direct your support to an area of CMU that’s close to your heart.
  • Designate CMU as one of the beneficiaries on your life insurance policy and enjoy flexibility to change your mind should the need arise.
  • Create a tax-advantaged charitable trust that provides lifetime income for you or your loved ones and eventually supports CMU.

Estate Planning Is as Easy as…


Set Your Priorities
Think about the people, places and programs that are most important to you and the type of legacy you want to leave. A gift of any size is a statement about what and who you value.


Name Your People
Select both the people who will receive assets or income from your estate and the executors who will be given the responsibility of distributing your estate’s assets. If possible, consider choosing different individuals for both groups.


Inventory Your Assets
Consider what could be included in your will and estate plan, such as your home and other real estate, retirement and investment accounts, personal property such as art or vehicles, savings and checking accounts, or savings bonds.


Seek Professional Counsel
Choose advisors to help distribute your assets to the people and causes that are closest to your heart. They could be an estate planning attorney, financial advisor, insurance agent, family member or representative of an organization you'd like to support.

SECURE Act 2.0 Increases Your Charitable Choices

A new tax law, known as SECURE Act 2.0, has changed rules governing retirement funds — and these changes could be beneficial to you as you consider gifts to Carnegie Mellon University.

For example, if you are age 70 1/2 or older, you can now make a one-time, tax-free transfer from your traditional IRA to create a charitable gift annuity.

With this new giving option, you can:

  • Create guaranteed lifetime income for your retirement
  • Help meet your required minimum distribution (RMD)
  • Support your favorite department, school or college, scholarship, academic program, student organization or research at CMU

Interested in achieving your financial goals and supporting Carnegie Mellon University?

Contact the Office of Development & Gift Planning to discuss your next steps.