Planned Gifts

Join The Redwood Legacy Society

Thank you for considering making a legacy gift to Sempervirens Fund. When you make a planned gift to Sempervirens Fund, you become a member of our Redwood Legacy Society, a select group of donors who want to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the magnificent coast redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Society members receive special invitations to Sempervirens Fund events.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss any of the planned gift ideas with you. Please contact our Development office at or (650) 949-1453 x203. We also encourage you to contact your professional tax or legal advisor prior to making or structuring a planned gift.


Naming Sempervirens Fund as a beneficiary in your will or living trust is the most common way donors make a planned gift. It is a simple – and valuable – way to help preserve the coast redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains for future generations. Bequests allow donors to make extraordinary contributions at the end of their lives that provide a living legacy in the redwood forests.

Sempervirens Fund recommends the following language for your will, codicil to your will, or your living trust:

“I hereby give and bequeath (a specific amount/a percentage of your estate/or specific assets) to Sempervirens Fund, a not-for-profit, tax exempt land conservancy incorporated under the laws of the State of California, having as its principal address P.O. Box 1417, Los Altos, CA 94023-1417, for Sempervirens Fund’s general purposes.”

If you include any restrictions on the purpose of your bequest, it would be helpful if you also include the following additional language:

“If at some future time, in the judgment of the Board of Directors of Sempervirens Fund, it is no longer practicable to use the income or principal of this bequest for the purposes intended, the Board of Directors has the right to use the income or principal for whatever purpose they deem necessary and most closely in accord with the intent described herein.”

Sempervirens Fund’s tax ID # is 94-2155097. Gifts to Sempervirens Fund made in your will or living trust may entitle you to an estate tax deduction.

Retirement Plans

You can name Sempervirens Fund as a partial or total beneficiary of your Individual Retirement Account (IRA), pension plan, employer retirement plan, Keogh plan, 401(k), 403(b), or other qualified pension plan. This type of gift to Sempervirens Fund is distributed outside probate and is entirely free of both federal estate tax and income tax.

Additionally, taxpayers age 70½ or older can make tax-free distributions to charities directly from their standard IRAs and Roth IRAs up to $100,000 per taxpayer, per taxable year. We expect the U.S. Congress will soon make this a permanent provision in the tax code, eliminating any ambiguity about its renewal from year to year. Please contact Barbara Lamb Hall, Associate Director of Development, if interested.

Life Insurance

If your life insurance policy is no longer necessary for liquidity or to support your family, you can name Sempervirens Fund as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy. After your lifetime, the benefits from your life insurance plan would pass free of federal estate tax to Sempervirens Fund. You can also take out a policy and name Sempervirens Fund as the beneficiary to get this same result.

Retained Life Estate

The difference between a simple gift of real estate and a gift of real estate with a retained life estate is that with a retained life estate, the donor may live in the property for life. The real estate used can be your primary residence, vacation home, farm, or ranch. You will be entitled to an income tax deduction equal to a portion of the value of the real estate when you make the gift.*

Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT)

You can create a charitable remainder trust that will save you income taxes* and capital gains taxes in the current year, save estate taxes in later years, and provide for guaranteed income for life or a term of up to 20 years. You put a portion of your assets into the trust irrevocably, and the trust invests those assets and pays you a calculated amount for the rest of your life. At your death, the trust assets are used for the charitable purposes of buying and preserving critical redwood forest lands in the Santa Cruz Mountains. A charitable remainder trust works especially well for individuals and couples who are 70 years of age or older.

* Subject to certain IRS limitations