CPF works in partnership with landowners to protect natural areas, agricultural lands, wildlife habitat, scenic open space and historic sites and structures. There are significant potential tax benefits to donation of a qualified conservation contribution to CPF that meets the requirements of one or more of the following broad categories of conservation purposes:
- the preservation of land areas for outdoor recreation by, or the education of, the general public;
- the protection of a relatively natural habitat of fish, wildlife, or plants, or similar ecosystem;
- the preservation of certain open space (including farmland and forest land); and
- the preservation of a historically important land area or a certified historic structure.
Over the years, many Cazenovia residents have made legacy gifts of land to CPF, ensuring that our trails, history and farmland are forever protected. Including CPF in your estate plans will also help ensure the future of Cazenovia … and it is not so difficult to do.
Bequests of real estate have been the most commonly made gift to CPF in the past. Depending on their conservation value and the landowner’s intent, these properties have either been added to the organization’s portfolio to be forever protected, or held as “trade land” to be sold or exchanged for real estate with higher conservation value.
The most common way people leave either real estate or cash to CPF in a will or living trust is through a charitable bequest. There is no need to rewrite your current estate documents as you may simply add an amendment, called a codicil, to your will or living trust. Here is some suggested language for review by your attorney:
“I give, devise and bequeath to the Cazenovia Preservation Foundation (tax I.D. #16-6101151), located in Cazenovia, New York, the sum of ______________ dollars ($______) (Or state a percentage of your estate, or describe real or personal property, including exact location) for the benefit of its general purposes [or specify the Cazenovia Preservation Foundation program you wish to support].”
You may also name the Cazenovia Preservation Foundation as the beneficiary of a retirement plan, life insurance policy, stocks or bonds, savings/checking accounts, and donor-advised funds. If you select this method, please know it is necessary to update your will or living trust to reflect the same designation.
There are more sophisticated estate-planning tools such as charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts that would provide a gift to CPF and income for you, as well as favorable tax treatment. These two financial instruments are the more commonly known of myriad options that require professional assistance in order to be enacted.
Regardless of the route you select, consulting with a certified financial planner and trusted attorney is essential, and will ensure your estate plan is best suited to your charitable goals and financial requirements.
If you have made a gift to CPF in your estate plans, please let us know so that we may thank you during your lifetime.
Please contact Lisa Sasser, executive director, at 315.663.6574 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Be assured we always honor requests for anonymity.