Planned gifts have an enormous positive impact on the Orleans Conservation Trust. They create a legacy that endures for generations and help us commit to long-range projects that are essential to conservation work.

Sometimes we don’t know how much the Trust’s work meant to a supporter until after their passing. We’re happy to receive such windfalls, of course, but it’s more helpful to know that you’ve chosen to include OCT in your estate plan. Besides, we want to be able to thank you!

Whites Lane Conservation Area

“Bequests are deeply meaningful to a land trust in many ways. A financial gift, of any size, means that we can preserve more land in its natural state, properly maintain our landholdings and trails, and fund our educational programs. Beyond these tangible benefits, a bequest usually signifies a long-term relationship between an individual (or family) and an organization.”

—Vince Ollivier, founding staff member

Estate planning benefits your family’s financial security and can be an effective vehicle for charitable giving. You can incorporate charitable giving into your estate plan in various ways.

Give through a will or trust
Through your will or a living trust, you can specify that a percentage of your estate be given to the Orleans Conservation Trust, or you can make a gift of a specific amount. Charitable gifts included in wills and living trusts are popular because they are flexible and may be changed throughout your lifetime. Such a gift requires a simple provision prepared by your attorney at the time you make your will or trust, or a simple amendment in the event you update one or the other.

There is no limit on the deduction from federal gift and estate taxes for charitable gifts made through a will or trust, so no tax will be due on any gifted assets. To plan a charitable bequest to OCT, inform your attorney of your wishes and ask for his or her advice on which method best suits your needs.

Designate OCT as beneficiary of a life insurance or retirement plan

Assets held in 401(k), 403(b), and IRA plans can be subject to both federal estate and income taxes when they pass to a beneficiary other than a spouse. But naming a charitable organization such as the Orleans Conservation Trust as beneficiary allows these assets to pass to OCT without gift, estate, or income taxes. The full value is transferred. Speak to your financial advisor or insurance agent about how to change your beneficiary, and how this way of giving could benefit you and your family.

“This bequest is given to help preserve the Cape she knew and loved. . . . It is a means by which she can continue her lifelong commitment to conserving the open space we all need for our preservation.”
—Letter from the family of Anne Link Donaldson about her posthumous gift to OCT