Douglas squirrel by Jennifer Holmes.

Leave a Legacy for Nature

When you include the Whidbey Camano Land Trust in your estate plans, you make a lasting contribution to the preservation of vital forests, prairies, farmlands and shorelines on Whidbey and Camano Islands.

In return, your planned gift offers you several important benefits:

  • You remain in control of the planning and management of your estate.
  • You ensure funds are provided for the causes you care about without burdening friends and family.
  • You have flexibility in that gifts are easy to arrange and can also be changed at any time, due to unforeseen circumstances.

Ways of Giving – Create your Legacy

Bequests allow you to choose whether the Land Trust will receive a specific dollar amount, an asset, a percentage of your estate, a contingent bequest in the event you outlive your heirs, or a portion of the remainder of your estate after provisions for family and friends have been made.

Under current tax law, all bequests to the Land Trust are exempt from federal estate tax. Consult with your attorney or estate planning professional to help you determine if a bequest is right for you. You can find an example of bequest language here.

You can designate the Land Trust as a beneficiary and insurance policy. When the time comes, the Land Trust receives proceeds from the policy. This allows you to provide a large gift to benefit land preservation — often more than you’d be able to donate outright. The donor’s heirs benefit as well, because policy proceeds distributed to a nonprofit organization are exempt from estate tax.

Most Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are income tax–deferred, meaning that income tax is not paid until the funds are distributed to you in life or upon your death. This taxation makes retirement assets among the most costly assets to distribute to your loved ones. The naming of a nonprofit, such as the Land Trust, as the beneficiary of retirement assets upon death generates no income taxes. The Whidbey Camano Land Trust is tax-exempt and eligible to receive the full amount of an IRA, allowing you to bypass any income taxes. Just a few simple steps can help you make a tax-wise planned gift from your IRA.

Reduce your taxes, ease the demands of owning property, and provide you and your lifetime income. The Land Trust accepts two types of real estate gifts, both of which support our work to protect land in Island County. Conservation lands and properties intended for sale. You may make an outright gift of the property, give the Land Trust a remainder interest or life estate (which allows you or your family to occupy the property during your lifetime) or establish a charitable remainder trust with the real estate.

If you are considering a planned gift to the Land Trust, or have already included us in your will, we welcome the opportunity to recognize your generosity.  To learn more, please contact Ryan Elting at

The Whidbey Camano Land Trust is a non-profit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. The federal tax identification number of the Land Trust is 91-1261928.


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Get out in nature! Make new friends! Find out what great land stewardship is all about. The Land Trust is always on the lookout for people who are as passionate about caring for land as we are.

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