Leaving a legacy: what to know

Planning your will? Your legacy can be a healthy, thriving Olympic Peninsula where future generations salute your commitment to saving land.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Benjamin N Phillips Memorial Fund, Olympic View Community Foundation and North Olympic Land Trust will host a 2018 seminar with common-sense tax experts. Sign up below to receive advance notices about the upcoming seminar(s). 


Anyone can make a gift that permanently protects the wildlands, farmlands and wetlands that define this place we love. And these legacy gifts aren’t just for the well-to-do. Planned gifts of any size have significant impact on the Land Trust’s ability to start work now on future conservation projects your planned gift can help pay for.

Three methods to leave a legacy and three directions you can give the Land Trust:

Including the Land Trust in your will is like planting a tree: a simple, yet powerful way to ensure that future generations will enjoy the precious lands and waters Land Trust members like you have worked hard to conserve. We know one local family whose watchword is “200-year-old trees” when making decisions about their lands. Planned giving makes that a future that includes old-growth forests possible here.

Alerting us to your plan, we help assure that you make your vision a reality. It feels awkward to say it, but we can’t ask questions when you’re gone. A little conversation now should give you peace of mind that what you intended is what gets done. Of course we’d also like to say thank you, but we hope the day of your gift is many sunny days from now.

Method 1: A bequest
With a single paragraph tucked into the file where you keep your will, you can continue your support of the community of people protecting and caring for this uniquely wild and scenic place.

Talking to other Land Trusts and non-profit organizations, we learned that conservation supporters like you most often make their mark with a simple cash bequest.

All that’s required is a paragraph added to your will that directs a specific dollar amount or percentage of your estate to the Land Trust. If you don’t have a will yet, we can supply you with standard wording. If you already have a will, a simple one-paragraph “codicil” takes care of your bequest without major revisions to your will. Even though this is a routine process, we urge you to check with a lawyer.

If you and an accountant or attorney or financial planner calculate your gift with federal estate taxes in mind, your estate can end up paying significantly less estate tax. That leaves more for your loved ones, since bequests are fully deductible

Method 2: Naming the Land Trust a beneficiary of a financial account
A simple method is to make the Land Trust one of the beneficiaries of a bank account, IRA, insurance policy, brokerage account or other financial account. Those transfers bypass the probate court, directing the bank, insurer or broker to send funds directly to the Land Trust upon notification of your death.

You can often make this arrangement over the phone with your bank or brokerage, or by filling out a short online form.

Method 3: Giving real estate
The third common form of planned gift to Land Trusts is real estate.

Some donors leave to the Land Trust their home and/or land with the understanding it will be sold to generate funds. Our expertise in land transactions assures the sale is conducted professionally and fetches a good price.

These three methods of planned giving don’t affect your current standard of living and in some cases can reduce the federal and state estate tax load on your heirs. Plus, if your family circumstances or plans change, you always have the option of changing your plan.

Three directions you can give for use of your gift
By alerting us you have made a planned gift official, you open the door to a conversation in which you direct us how you prefer your gift to be used:

  1. To acquire conservation lands or conservation easements;
  2. To fund stewardship of farmlands, fish habitat, forests and recreation areas we monitor and manage;
  3. To build an endowment that supports Land Trust operations in the future.

Planned gifts can, of course, be made anonymously. But with your permission, you’ll be included in a North Olympic Land Trust legacy society and you can give a gift in honor or memory of a loved-one.

Every year, we’ll gather members of our legacy society to honor their vision, seek their advice and give them a custom tour of Land Trust property permanently conserved, thanks to the future stability provided by planned gifts!

To alert us if you have already included North Olympic Land Trust in your plans, please contact us. All inquiries are confidential and there is no obligation.

Phone: Tom Sanford, Executive Director (360) 417-1815 ext. 6

E-mail: tom@northolympiclandtrust.org


Healthy rivers full of wild salmon and steelhead; Public access to naturalrecreation areas; Farmland permanently protected from development…This can be your legacy. Click here to learn more about legacy giving.

This effort by North Olympic Land Trust to help community members make their charitable desires a reality will be documented and shared with Clallam County nonprofits as part of a community-building effort to encourage giving that supports a healthy civil society here. This project is financed by a grant from the Benjamin N. Phillips Memorial Fund. Clallam County nonprofits who would like to receive copies of the Land Trust’s Planned Giving Program Plan later this year can sign up by sending an email with “Phillips Fund Document” in the subject line to dean@northolympiclandtrust.org.