Leave a Legacy for Wetlands

Many of us who love nature wonder whether our protected natural lands will be preserved into the future. Will there still be places where people can experience the beauty, peace and joy of nature? Will wild creatures still find safe havens to live free?

LRWP has pledged to protect Eagle Marsh and its other wetland preserves forever. You can help by considering LRWP as you plan your estate.

If you believe in our mission of wetlands restoration and nature education, please help ensure the future of our wild places and the creatures living there. Please help future generations enjoy the beauty, wildlife, and other benefits of wetlands forever.

 

Leaving a legacy can benefit you and your heirs:

 

LRWP as a beneficiary on death for selected assets

As one of the easiest ways to give, you can list LRWP as beneficiary upon your death on any investment, insurance policy, retirement plan, or bank account. This simple option removes the value of the bequest from your estate before taxes are calculated, possibly reducing your estate tax liability. Other benefits are that you can change the beneficiary later if you wish, and you do not need to change your existing will.

 

LRWP as a beneficiary to your will

One simple choice is to leave LRWP a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of your estate in your will. Other options are to designate the remainder of your estate to LRWP after other distributions have been fulfilled, or to list LRWP as a contingent beneficiary if other beneficiaries are unavailable (for example, if your spouse predeceases you).

 

Use of charitable trusts, pooled income funds, or annuities to benefit LRWP

These financial instruments and others may allow you to invest a particular sum, allocate part of the income (or assets remaining upon your death) to LRWP, and perhaps continue to draw income from the investment in your lifetime. Often there are considerable tax benefits to the use of these instruments.

 

Donation of equities

Commonly traded stocks or bonds can easily be donated to LRWP. You may enjoy a tax advantage by doing so, since you can receive tax credit for a charity contribution based on the equities’ accrued value on the date of the transfer to LRWP but not have to pay taxes on the capital gains. Please call our Executive Director at 260-478-2515 to arrange to donate.

Note: transfers normally take a few days, so please allow time for this process if you wish your donation to be credited before the end of a calendar year.

 

Donation after age 70 ½ from part of a Required Minimum Distribution

If you’re 70 ½ years or older and need to take required minimum distributions from your assets, you may be able to gain significant tax benefits by making larger donations to LRWP from a traditional IRA by December 31. Under rules enacted as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, you do not have to pay income taxes on amounts given (up to $100,000) when these are transferred directly to LRWP from an IRA trustee or plan administrator.

If you’re interested in making such a gift, speak to your financial or tax advisor. Donors can designate their funds to be used as needed, for care of an LRWP preserve, for our free nature programs, or for another specific project (if approved by our Executive Director).

 

Donate natural land to LRWP

If you wish to leave land that is to be maintained in a natural state to LRWP, please verify with us whether your land constitutes a site we will be able to protect and manage. We ask that you also allocate funds to help us maintain your land in perpetuity.

 

How to Get Started

If you have questions about how LRWP would use legacy assets or about bequeathing land, please contact us at 260-478-2515 and we will be glad to answer your questions.

Talk with your attorney or financial advisor before making any changes to your estate or if you are considering use of a financial instrument to benefit LRWP.

John C. Clark, Vice President for Financial Planning at Raymond James & Associates, Fort Wayne, has offered a free first estate planning appointment to anyone who is considering LRWP as a beneficiary of their estate or asset management plan. Call John at 260-487-4134 and mention LRWP to schedule a meeting.

Please let us know if you have taken the generous step of including LRWP in your estate plans.