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How to Create Your Will

Tips for Creating Your Estate Plan

Creating an Estate Plan is Easy

There are many reasons to have an estate plan, no matter your age. For instance, if you’ve gotten married, or had a child or grandchild, these important people in your life should be reflected in your plans.  Creating your plan need not be difficult.

There are many important life changes to consider when drafting your will, but you can get started right now by following a few simple steps:

  1. Get organized. Gather all of your important documents in one place. You may be surprised to find out how much you actually have. Write down a list of all of your valuable property, and be specific. Instead of writing "Car", list "2005 Saturn SL2, VIN #0123456789012."
  2. Set your priorities. Make a list of all the people and organizations that you want to remember in your will. If you plan to make a charitable bequest, be sure to get the organization's legal name, current address, and whenever possible, its tax-exempt ID number. See our legal language, or learn how to name the Conservancy in your will
  3. Review your beneficiary designations. Review all your checking accounts, savings accounts, brokerage accounts, retirement plans, pension plans and any other assets for which you may have made a beneficiary designation, and make any necessary updates or changes.
  4. Think about guardians. If you have minor children or an older parent or other adult whom you care for, be sure to appoint a guardian for them in your will.
  5. Choose an executor. Select a person you trust to serve as your executor. You may want to pick one or two alternates in case your first choice is unwilling or unable to serve.
  6. Hire an attorney. Ask friends and colleagues for referrals, and call for an initial consultation to find someone with whom you are comfortable. Ask about fees in advance, and tell your lawyer whom you wish to benefit and what you wish to accomplish in drafting your will.
  7. Review and update your will on a regular basis. Busy lives are often full of changes — take time each year, and especially after a life change, to review your finances and your documents so that both reflect all of the important factors in your life.
Have you named the Conservancy in your will? Let Us Know Your Plans!

Legal Language and Tax ID

If you wish to name The Nature Conservancy in your will or estate plan, we should be named as:

The Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit corporation, organized and existing under the laws of the District of Columbia, with principal business address of 4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, Virginia 22203-1606.

Our tax identification number is: 53-0242652

If you have chosen to include The Nature Conservancy in your estate plans, let us know! If you have questions about making a gift to the Conservancy through your estate plans, contact our gift planners today.


Remember: your will or estate plan should to be updated periodically to reflect such life changes as:

  • Marriage
  • The birth of a child or grandchild
  • The death of a beneficiary
  • Divorce or remarriage
  • An inheritance
  • The purchase of a new asset such as life insurance, or a new home.
  • A bequest to an organization to commemorate someone you love or to provide support and recognize the work of your favorite charity.

If you have included The Nature Conservancy as a beneficiary of your estate plans please let us know.

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