The English-Speaking Union of the United States: Education. Scholarship. Understanding.

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Planned Giving: Legacy Society

Including the ESU in Your Estate Plans

We invite you to become a member of the ESU Legacy Society.  The Society exists to acknowledge those loyal members who have had the foresight and dedication to include the ESU in their estate plans.

By honoring ESU Legacy Society members, we hope other members will be inspired to follow suit.  Enrolling in this honorary society is simply a matter of advising the ESU that you have included it in your will, no matter the size of your bequest.  We also welcome your planned gifts, such as gifts of life insurance or retirement plan funds.


If you have already prepared your will,
it is easy to amend it with a codicil. 
Click here
to download a template codicil.


To notify the ESU that you have included the organization in your estate plans and to become a member of the Legacy Society, please complete and send in this form. Click Here


ESU Legacy Society members will enjoy:

  • special recognition in our newsletter (or the option to be anonymous)
  • invitations to the ESU events
  • advanced notice of the ESU travel opportunities
  • an alliance with others who share your vision for a better future

A bequest simply is a statement in your estate plans that expresses your wish to give all or part of your assets to a loved one or charity, such as The English-Speaking Union, upon your death.  

A gift to The English Speaking Union of the United States, in your will or revocable trust enables you to support our ongoing mission to celebrate English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, teachers and members.  A bequest:

  • is easy to arrange.
  • will not alter your current lifestyle in any way.
  • can be easily modified to address your changing needs.

Sample Gift Language for Your Will or Revocable Living Trust

Residuary Gift Language:

A residuary bequest comes to us after your estate expenses and specific bequests are paid:

I give and devise to The English Speaking Union of the United States, located at 144 East 49th Street, New York, NY 10016, all (or state a percentage) of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, to be used for its general support (or for the support of a specific named fund, program or Branch [Insert name and location of Branch]).*

Specific Gift Language:

Naming the English Speaking Union as a beneficiary of a specific amount from your estate is easy:

I give and devise to The English Speaking Union of the United States, located at 144 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016 , the sum of $___________ (or asset) to be used for its general support (or for the support of a specific fund, program or Branch [Insert name and location of Branch]).*

Contingent Gift Language:

The English Speaking Union of the United States, or its affiliates can be named as a contingent beneficiary in your will or personal trust if one or more of your specific bequests cannot be fulfilled:

If (insert name) is not living at the time of my demise, I give and devise to The English Speaking Union of the United States, located at 144 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016, the sum of $ _______ (or all or a percentage of the residue of my estate) to be used for its general support (or for the support of a specific fund, program or Branch [Insert name and location of Branch]).*

Retirement Plan Beneficiary Language:

You may name the ESU as a beneficiary of your IRA or other qualified retirement benefits.  Donors should consult with their tax advisor regarding the tax benefits of such gifts.

Naming the ESU as the beneficiary of a qualified retirement plan asset such as a 401(k), 403(b), IRA, Keogh or profit-sharing pension plan will accomplish a charitable goal while realizing significant savings of both estate and income taxes.  It can be costly to pass such assets on to heirs because of heavy tax consequences.  By naming the ESU as a beneficiary of a retirement plan, the donor maintains complete control over the asset while living, but at the donor's death the plan asset passes to support the ESU at the same time generating savings of both estate and income taxes.

Making a charitable gift from your retirement plan is easy and should not cost you any attorney fees.  Simply request a change-of-beneficiary form from your plan administrator. When you have finished, please return the form to your plan administrator and notify The English Speaking Union of the United States.

Please Note: *Over a long period of time, ESU programs or departments may change to such an extent that we cannot use your bequest under your original restriction. In addition, local Branches may cease operations.  Adding the following provision allows us to honor your original intent as closely as possible:

If The English-Speaking Union of the United States, in its sole judgment, determines that the original intent is no longer feasible, The English-Speaking Union of the United States may use my gift and the income there from for such related purposes as, in its sole judgment, will most nearly fulfill the original intent.

For more information, please contact Edward Mohylowski,
Deputy Executive Director at (212) 818-1200 ext. 218
emohylowski@esuus.org.

This information is not intended as specific legal or financial advice.  Consult your attorney or financial advisor when considering a planned gift.  State laws which govern wills and contracts vary and are subject to change.