Why a Gift in Your Will Matters
Did you know that gifts in wills and other legacy gifts provide critical, sustainable support to fund a thriving forest future?
Redwoods take care of each other. A redwood's shallow but widespread roots help them survive by intertwining with roots from the trees around them and supporting—and talking to—each other by sharing nutrients, shade, and other resources to thrive. It takes a forest to raise a mighty redwood.
And they care for us: they protect our air and water; they stand tall against climate change; and they offer us wonder and inspiration; play and recreation; and connect us to thousands of years of history that came before us – and will continue after us.
By protecting and connecting redwood forests in the Santa Cruz mountains, we can help redwoods thrive together so they can grow tall, clean the most air, and provide habitat and awe for thousands of years.
Your legacy ensures that every acre will be protected and that we will be able to fulfill our commitment to steward the forests through whatever the future holds.
The Redwood Legacy Society
With a gift in your will, you become a member of our Redwood Legacy Society, a passionate group of givers who intend for future generations to enjoy the magnificent coast redwoods of the Santa Cruz mountains. Society members receive special invitations to Sempervirens Fund events.
Sharing your future wishes doesn’t imply any obligation – we will never ask for details you don’t want to share, and we believe strongly that you should always be free to change your mind.
Ways to Give
A Gift in Your Will or Living Trust
There are several ways to include a gift to Sempervirens Fund in your will or living trust. Your attorney can help you determine the best way to make your gift. Some options:
- You can leave a small percentage of your estate – even 1% can make a real difference!
- You can leave a defined sum to Sempervirens Fund.
- You can leave a percentage of funds left over after other gifts and debts are paid and your loved ones are provided for.
- You can make a secondary or contingent gift that comes to Sempervirens Fund only if your other beneficiaries do not survive you or other specific gifts cannot be fulfilled.
Sempervirens Fund suggests this simple language for your will, codicil to your will, or your living trust:
“I hereby give and bequeath <description of gift> to Sempervirens Fund, a not-for-profit, tax-exempt land conservancy incorporated under the laws of the State of California, with tax ID # 94-2155097, for Sempervirens Fund’s general purposes.”
A Gift by Beneficiary Designation
You can name Sempervirens Fund as a partial or total beneficiary of your retirement accounts, life insurance plan, Donor-Advised Fund (DAF), and other financial accounts, including your bank and brokerage accounts.
As with gifts in your will, you can designate all or a percentage of the funds in your account, and you can name Sempervirens Fund as a primary beneficiary or a second-in-line beneficiary. And, of course, you can change your mind at any time.
Simple Steps to Make Your Gift
- Contact your retirement plan administrator, insurance company, bank, or financial institution for a change-of-beneficiary form. You may be able to request or download your form from your online account portal.
- Be sure to include our Tax ID number #94-2155097
- Please let us know. Some financial institutions will not notify us after your lifetime that we are a beneficiary; sharing your wishes now helps ensure your gift will be distributed as you wish. We will always keep your information confidential, and you can update your plans at any time.
A Charitable Remainder Trust
A charitable remainder trust (CRT) unitrust can provide you and/or other beneficiaries with income for life or for a fixed number of years. Many people prefer to use real estate to fund a CRT, but you can also donate cash or appreciated securities.
For your donation, you receive an immediate income tax deduction for a portion of your contribution to the unitrust and savings on capital gains taxes, too. You will also have the satisfaction of making a significant gift that benefits you now and Sempervirens Fund later. With this type of gift, you can:
- Avoid paying capital gains on sales of appreciated stock and real estate
- Give up the stress of being a landlord, while retaining a lifetime income stream
- Receive a significant charitable income tax deduction
- Remove assets from your taxable estate
At your death, the trust assets are used for the charitable purposes that you have specified, of buying and preserving critical redwood forest lands in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Other Ways to Support Sempervirens Fund
If you are age 70.5 or older, making a gift directly from your IRA to Sempervirens Fund is a tax-smart way to protect the redwoods.
When you make a gift of appreciated securities, you may receive an immediate income tax charitable deduction as well as avoid capital gains taxes. You can find the information you need to make a gift of appreciated securities here.
You can make a gift in honor or in memory of someone special. Make a gift to Grow the Forest or Dedicate a Tree or Grove in honor or memory of someone you love, or to mark important occasions such as weddings or anniversaries.
Whether you are interested in donating land to be protected or would like to use your real estate to fund a current or future gift, there are gift options that may help achieve your personal and environmental goals.