Here are a few examples to consider using in your will, when making a bequest to the Bainbridge Island Land Trust:
- A specific bequest will name a specific asset to be left to the Bainbridge Island Land Trust, such as certain stocks, bonds, a cash amount, real estate or collectible items.
“I leave $XX,XXX to the Bainbridge Island Land Trust, a nonprofit charitable organization. These assets are to be used for general purposes.”
- A percentage bequest names a percentage of the entire estate.
“I leave (XX%) of my entire estate to the Bainbridge Island Land Trust, a nonprofit charitable organization. These assets are to be used for general purposes.”
- A residuary bequest is a bequest of assets from the estate not named in the other parts of the will.
“I leave my residuary estate to the Bainbridge Island Land Trust. These assets are to be used for general purposes.”
- Some donors will combine the percentage bequest and the residuary bequest by leaving a specified percentage of the residuary estate to the Land Trust.
“I leave (XX%) of my residuary estate to the Bainbridge Island Land Trust, a nonprofit charitable organization. These assets are to be used for general purposes.”
- Should you wish that your bequest be restricted to certain Land Trust programs or activities, you can create a set of guidelines or instructions for how bequest funds should be used, which will help the Land Trust honor your wishes. By creating an agreement directly with the Land Trust ahead of time, some complications may be avoided. If you choose to make changes to these instructions at a future date, you only need to change the guidance document instead of your will. Also, if you want to ensure your gift is used for a specific purpose, it is important to make sure that Land Trust can accept and direct your bequest accordingly.
“These assets are to be used according to the most recently executed guidelines, as developed by myself and the Bainbridge Island Land Trust.”
Other Legacy Gift Options
Remainder Interest in Land
Imagine being able to live in your home on the land that you love for the rest of your life while receiving a huge reduction in your income taxes right now. This can be done through a Remainder Interest in Land: Donating your home and land to the Land Trust, while retaining its use for the rest of your life (“reserving a life estate”) is called a “Remainder Interest in Land.” Since the gift is made now, (thereby “reserving a life estate”) allows you to use and enjoy your property during your lifetime. It provides immediate income tax benefits, while ensuring that the land is transferred automatically to the Land Trust at the end of your life. If there are conservation values associated with the property, such as woods, meadows or streams, the Land Trust may be able to place a conservation easement on it to preserve its current state and then, depending on its size and location, either make it available for public enjoyment or sell it, thereby providing the Land Trust with long-term support.
Charitable Gift Annuities
Another way to greatly reduce your income taxes right now while enjoying benefits (in the form of added income) for the rest of your life is through a Charitable Gift Annuity. Charitable Gift Annuities come under the category of “life income gifts”, and provide an immediate income tax deduction and regular income payments for life. These are most commonly funded with an appreciated asset such as stock, which would generate huge capital gains taxes owed, if sold. A Charitable Gift Annuity may also be funded with land that has appreciated in value, but which costs money every year in the form of real estate taxes and maintenance. The basic mechanism of a gift annuity involves the transfer of our assets to the Land Trust, which generates a large tax deduction, at which time the Land Trust enters into a contract to pay you a fixed annuity for the rest of your life. It is a win-win situation for you and the Land Trust.
Charitable Remainder Trust
Another form of “life income gift”, a Charitable Remainder Trust, can also provide you with an immediate income tax deduction and increased annual income. You may transfer cash or appreciated property into this independent trust and direct income interest to one or more beneficiaries. A Charitable Remainder Trust functions much like a Charitable Gift Annuity except our gift is held and managed by the trustee of your choice. The Land Trust and any other beneficiaries designated receive the interest income and at the end of your life, the remaining assets are donated to the charities of your choice.
Charitable Lead Trust
A Charitable Lead Trust may meet your needs if you have a large taxable estate and wish to pass on a greater inheritance to your children and grandchildren, while also providing the Land Trust with immediate and sustained support. Typically, a charitable lead trust pays a specified income to the Land Trust for either a fixed term of years or for your lifetime, while your heirs receive the balance of the trust at the end of your life. There are two basic types of charitable lead trusts: those where the assets revert to the donor when the trust ends (grantor lead trust) and those where the assets pass to persons other than the donor when the trust ends (non-grantor lead trust).
The Bainbridge Island Land Trust will be holding a series of get-togethers for those who are interested in the possibility of making a legacy gift of some type, but want to learn more. The first of these low-key get-togethers will be held in June, 2017 and will feature a nationally-known expert on legacy giving who is a volunteer advisor with the Land Trust. If you would like to be notified about these get-togethers, please call Debbie at 206-842-1216.