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Create a lasting legacy with the Wood River Land Trust by making a planned gift for the future of our valley. You may find your connection to the Valley through fond family memories, a hiking trail, a fishing spot or iconic views of the mountains. By giving to the Wood River Land Trust, you make a difference in protecting the Valley - its land and river and special character.

Making a planned gift through your will, insurance beneficiary designation, IRA beneficiary designation, or other vehicles like remainder trusts can have a big impact on our work here in the valley. If your estate plans include a gift to the Wood River Land Trust, please let us know so that we can thank you for your generosity, honor your wishes and recognize your impact as part of our Founders Circle


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When you decide to leave assets in your will to support the work of Wood River Land Trust, you are making a bequest. This is the most common type of planned gift. For you it may be the most realistic way of making a significant gift to WRLT and will provide you with the satisfaction of making an enduring investment for future generations.

Your bequest may be in any amount you designate. You may leave bequests in specific dollar amounts, in percentages of your estate, or in named assets. Or you may leave a residuary bequest that directs that we receive either everything remaining in your estate or a designated percentage of your estate after all expenses and bequests are satisfied.

The benefits of making a bequest or a similar designation in your revocable living trust include:

  • Your assets remain in your control during your lifetime.

  • You can modify your bequest to address changing circumstances.

  • Under current tax law, all bequests to Wood River Land Trust are completely exempt from federal estate tax, and therefore, will reduce your estate’s federal tax liability. Since there is no upper limit on the estate tax deduction for your charitable gifts, the savings can be more than half the value of the bequest in a large estate. Accordingly, your heirs may benefit from the tax savings, while the land trust benefits from the full amount of the bequest

The following is sample language that can be used to make a bequest: I give, devise and bequeath to Wood River Land Trust, with its principal offices, at 119 East Bullion Street, Hailey, Idaho 83333, the sum of $__________or_________% of my residuary estate* (or an accurate description of securities, real estate or other property given) for its general purposes without restriction or (to be used for_______. However, if it cannot be used for this purpose, WRLT may use my gift for its general purposes). * You may also make this designation in your revocable living trust.

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Life Insurance Policies

You may make Wood River Land Trust the owner or the beneficiary of your life insurance policies*. The gift of an insurance policy can result in a tax deduction at the time of your gift, and your continued payments of the premiums on the policy may be deductible as charitable gifts. This option also reduces the size of your estate and thus the tax obligation to your heirs.


Retirement Assets

You can name WRLT as the beneficiary of your individual retirement account (IRA), 401(k) or other retirement fund. These gifts are easy to arrange or modify. Simply complete a beneficiary designation form obtained from your plan administrator to name WRLT a beneficiary of all or part of your retirement account. Gifts of these assets can result in significant income and estate tax benefits. If the retirement assets are tax deferred, the portion left to WRLT will not be subject to estate tax, helping nature and land benefit from the full value of your gift.

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Since gifts of land to WRLT are tax deductible, a gift of real estate that has appreciated in value can be an attractive option when considering a major charitable contribution. As a bequest on your death, the value of the interest in the land is a charitable deduction from your taxable estate. If donated while you are living, the gift is deductible for income tax purposes. Whether your gift is land that we hold as one of our conservation areas, or developed or undeveloped property that we can sell and use the proceeds, it all helps to ensure that WRLT has a future.

Ways to Make a Gift of Real Estate:

  • You may eventually wish to make a bequest in your will or a provision in your revocable trust to donate your home, vacation home, farm or other real estate to Wood River Land Trust. In this case your estate would receive a charitable deduction for the appreciated value of the donated real estate.

  • Another option is to gift a partial interest in your home or vacation home now, retaining a “Life Estate.” You would continue to live in your home paying taxes, insurance and upkeep, and, if you wish, make a provision for your beneficiaries to live there also. WRLT becomes the owner upon your death (or that of any specified beneficiaries), the home would be sold, and the proceeds would go to WRLT. This provides you with a current charitable deduction for the value of the remainder interest on your income taxes. The real estate will pass automatically to WRLT at your death.

  • For conservation land willed to WRLT, we may hold the land and manage it as a conservation area or sell it subject to a conservation easement that we place on the land. Conservation easements can also be made through specific bequests to take place upon death. However, if your wish is to forever protect the conservation value of your land, it is important you consult with us prior to signing your will or revocable trust to ensure that your conservation goals can be met by WRLT. We also recommend that gifts of land specifically for conservation include a gift of funds that can assist with stewardship to ensure your conservation wishes can be met for perpetuity.

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A life income gift, such as a Charitable Remainder Trust, allows you to set aside assets and have annual payments made to you (or someone else you designate) for life or a period of years, after which time the assets are given to WRLT. Such life income gifts are a good way to provide a stream of income to a family member for a period of years while benefiting WRLT with a significant gift. Since these life income gifts are complex, we advise you to work with your financial and legal advisors to discover the best way for your gift to benefit both WRLT and your financial goals.

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Cash gifts are the simplest and most common way to support WRLT. Most “cash” gifts are in the form of a check. You may also make outright gifts by credit card. If you itemize deductions, under current tax law, these donations are generally deductible up to 50% of your adjusted gross income.


Gifts of securities that you have owned more than a year, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other publicly traded securities, are easily donated. Tax laws make these gifts, which appreciate in value, highly advantageous for you and your heirs. You receive a charitable deduction based on the fair market value of the asset at the date of transfer and avoid paying capital gains tax on the appreciation. This allows you to make a significant gift at a lower cost compared to donating cash. Naming WRLT as the primary or contingent beneficiary of proceeds from any mutual fund, stock fund, or bond account also reduces estate taxes.

As an accredited land trust, we understand that permanent land protection requires a strong and solvent organization, a robust stewardship program to manage and defend protected lands, and a board of directors that excels at leading the organization. The accreditation seal guarantees you that we have the systems in place to ensure the long-term success of our organization and the permanent protection of the lands we together have protected.

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Ready to make a planned gift to the Wood River Land Trust? Let us know your intentions by filling out the Letter of Intent below. 

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