The Rhodes University Bequest Association

When you make a confirmed bequest to Rhodes University, you have the option of becoming a member of the Bequest Association. As a member you receive invitations to special functions that are planned from time to time, providing you with the opportunity to interact with your peers. If you would like more information please contact us at


The power of bequests. Through the years, bequests have made a powerful impact on the world around us, particularly in the fields of welfare and education. For example, philanthropist Andrew Carnegie left bequests totalling $US350m. In his lifetime he set up 2500 libraries in Britain and North America and his bequests supported four Scottish universities and the Carnegie Mellon University.

Over the past 50 years a number of quite modest sums bequeathed to Rhodes University have been carefully invested and, in many cases, have grown to millions of rand, which now provide annual bursaries and scholarships for promising students. Bequests of shares, insurance policies and buildings have also been put to good use.

By leaving a bequest to Rhodes University, you are giving tomorrow’s leaders an opportunity to benefit from your vision, planning and generosity, and the ability to compete in the increasingly competitive global market.

What is a bequest? A bequest (or legacy) is a disposition in a will of money and/or property left to a named beneficiary, such as Rhodes University. The bequest may take various forms: for example:

  • A percentage of your estate – a good option, since it is difficult to predict the nett value of your estate at the time of your death. In this way, you ensure that all your beneficiaries receive the shares you intended for them
  • The residue – this is the balance of your estate after all costs, debts, and bequests have been paid.
  • The proceeds of a life insurance cover – these may be made payable to Rhodes University by means of a cession in favour of the University.
  • Your entire estate

A bequest may be made subject to whatever conditions you like. Thus, the bequest may be utilized to fund a Scholarship or a Bursary in memory of yourself or a loved one.

Scholarships are usually awarded on the basis of academic excellence in specified field of study or research. On the other hand, Bursaries may be awarded on the basis of whatever criteria you choose; for example, to students who have the great potential, but who lack financial resources. Both Scholarships and Bursaries may be made subject to conditions you may wish to specify.

Options are endless and we would welcome the opportunity to discuss your ideas with you. On the other hand, you may prefer to leave the bequest to the Rhodes University Foundation to be used at its discretion.

How to draw up a bequest.  Whether or not you are considering making a bequest to Rhodes University, if you do not have a will you should waste no time in having one drawn up. Your attorney is the best person to advise you on drawing up your will and how to leave a bequest to Rhodes University. However, please feel free to contact us should you need further advice.
Examples of how bequests can be worded.

Why you should have a will. If you die intestate (without a valid will) the Master of the High Court will appoint an executor to wind up your estate according to the laws of intestate succession, which might not be in accordance with your wishes or the needs of your family. A valid will gives you the comfort of knowing that your wishes will be carried out. A valid will must be in writing and signed in the presence of two witnesses. Verbally expressed wishes or promises are of no legal effect.  Changes in your personal situation (eg divorce, remarriage, the death of an heir or executor) or in your estate (eg. You have bequeathed items you no longer own) could also render your will out of date. For these reasons, it is important to revise your will from time to time.

With careful planning, it is possible to find legal ways of reducing both Capital Gains Tax and estate duties. A bequest to an educational institution can be subtracted from the value of an estate before calculation of CGT and estate duty liability.

If you have now decided to make a Bequest to Rhodes University please also consider letting us know your intentions so that we may recognize and thank you for your valuable support. When you make a confirmed bequest to Rhodes University, you have the option of becoming a member of the Bequest Association. There is no stipulation regarding the amount of the bequest and, as we are mindful of the fact that bequests are personal in nature, there is no need to make the amount known.

Estate Planning: Putting your affairs in order by Arthur Clarke

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Last Modified: Fri, 10 Dec 2021 14:10:10 SAST