How will you be remembered at your alma mater? FIU sent out a coronavirus email to alumni recommending them to make a will. And in the process, users can leave a little something for the school. No pressure.
"With the danger of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can feel scary thinking about getting sick or not being able to make decisions for yourself, but an estate plan might ease your concerns," an email from the FIU Foundation says. "So now, more than ever, we want to highlight FreeWill as a valuable resource available to you."
The email then tells alumni and students that upon creating that free will, you might get asked to "leave a gift to FIU in your plans" but it's totally optionable. So don't feel obligated.
"In full transparency, as you are creating your will you will be prompted with the option to leave a gift to FIU in your plans. But know that under no circumstances we are sharing this tool with the goal to solicit for a gift. Truly, we at FIU want to serve as a resource center to you. You will have the option to skip that step if you'd like," the email continues.
FreeWill is an online legal tool that lets users make a legally binding will for free. The company is a partner with FIU and other schools and organizations throughout the country, like the American Heart Association.
According to the Chief Development Officer for the FIU Foundation, George Corton, the email was sent as a resource to the FIU community during the pandemic, not a fundraising attempt.
"We came from a very good place. We wanted to make it clear that FIU didn't want anything," Corton told the Miami New Times. "Many people don't have a will or power of attorney. We thought, 'why not give this to every alum of this institution?'"
FIU isn't the only university that reached out to alumni suggesting they leave a "gift" to secure their legacy at their alma mater.
Back in March, The University of Mississippi sent out an email about estate planning that advised donors to revisit their wills in times of change and hinted that they should invest in the school's future when making their will.
The school would apologize on Twitter later saying that the email, which was sent during the midst of the pandemic, was a mistake and was “previously scheduled.”
The University of Texas at San Antonio also sent out a similar email a week later.
Ole Miss basically says hey you might die of CoronaVirus, so please put us in your will Brazen https://t.co/7IR6oi7bFk— Matt Jones (@Matt Jones)1585068401.0
Since Miami was excluded from reopening with the rest of the state next week, it might be the perfect time to start thinking about your legacy.