Gifts Through Your Will


A gift through your will, retirement plan or insurance policy is one of the simplest ways to support The Nature Conservancy. These thoughtful gifts ensure that the Conservancy can continue our critical work to protect the lands and waters you care about for future generations.

Contact us through our online form to learn more about making a legacy gift, or contact us at (877) 812-3698 or

How It Works
  1. You provide a future gift to The Nature Conservancy by including a bequest provision in your will or revocable trust.
  2. The Nature Conservancy receives the gift after your lifetime and applies it to the purpose(s) you specified.
  • Retain control of your assets during your lifetime.
  • Modify your gift if circumstances change.
  • Direct your gift to a particular purpose (be sure to check with The Nature Conservancy to make sure your gift can be used as intended).
  • Deduct the gift for federal estate tax purposes. There is no limit on estate tax deductions and these gifts are usually exempt from state inheritance taxes.
  • Qualify for Legacy Club membership.
  • Know that your gift will benefit The Nature Conservancy tomorrow just as you intend it to today.
More Information
  • You may choose to name the Conservancy as the primary or contingent/second beneficiary of a variety of assets, including insurance policies, retirement funds (IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, commercial annuities, pension or profit-sharing plans) and financial accounts (bank accounts, CDs, savings bonds, brokerage accounts, stock portfolios).
  • Please talk with us as you are drafting your will if you want to restrict the use of your bequest. The more narrowly you restrict its use, the greater the risk that the program you want to support won't be as vital when we receive your gift in the future.
  • Similarly, please let us know in advance if you intend to bequeath real estate, a business interest, or other specialized property.
  • The remaining balance in your retirement plan makes a tax-wise gift, but don't direct it to us through your will or trust – that will include it in your taxable estate. Use your plan's successor beneficiary form instead.

There are several ways to control how your estate is distributed through a will or revocable living trust.

  • Specific Bequest: Describe what you want to leave to an individual or organization, whether a specific dollar amount or a particular asset.
  • Residuary Bequest: Leave all or a percentage of what’s left in your estate after specific bequests, debts, expenses and taxes have been paid.
  • Contingent Bequest: Provide a contingency if certain conditions are met. For instance, if a primary beneficiary does not survive you, you may indicate your next choice through a contingent designation.
  • Codicil or Amendment: Add a codicil that modifies or explains terms in your will or trust.

What's the difference between a will and a trust?

A will serves as an instruction manual for distribution of assets and property. It is a revocable, private document that only takes effect after a person’s death. A revocable trust is an entity that holds assets during someone’s lifetime, then transfers ownership of them—or benefit from them—upon the person’s death. 

There is no difference between wills and trusts in how they make charitable transfers. In some states the probate and distribution process is simpler with a revocable trust. A financial advisor can provide guidance in choosing which vehicle will work better for you. 

Choosing The Nature Conservancy as primary or contingent beneficiary of all, a percentage or a portion of assets—insurance policies, retirement funds and financial accounts—can be a low-cost, simple and tax-efficient way to support our mission without being subject to income and estate taxes incurred when a gift is left to heirs.

Have you already made a gift through your will, retirement plan or insurance policy for the future of nature?

If so, please let us know your plans so we can thank you and welcome you to The Legacy Club.

Learn More

For more information, contact one our gift planning experts at (877) 812-3698 or at, or request a personal proposal.

You can protect grasslands, prairies and other natural places by making a planned gift with The Nature Conservancy. Contact us today.


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