Suggested Legal Language
If you wish to name Skagit Land Trust in your will or estate plan, we should be named as:
Skagit Land Trust, a Washington nonprofit corporation, with offices in Mount Vernon Washington 98273. Our mailing address is PO Box 1017, Mount Vernon Washington 98273. Our current business address is 1020 S. Third Street, Mount Vernon, WA 98273. Our tax identification number 91-1533402. Skagit Land Trust is an accredited land trust and tax exempt under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Making Gifts of Real Estate
Making a bequest of land can have a lasting impact on the beauty and character of Skagit County, while protecting its natural lands, farms, forests, open spaces, and wildlife habitat. Although many charities hesitate to accept donated real estate, Skagit Land Trust invites you to consider gifting us land (with or without structures). Real estate and land management are what we do. Whether your gifted land is held and managed as one of our conservation areas, or is better suited as land that we sell after placing a conservation easement on it, or is non-conservation land whose proceeds once sold can be used for more land protection - it all helps save land for tomorrow.
Donating Real Estate through your Will or Trust
If you own property, a home, or business property that you would like to donate to Skagit Land Trust through your will or trust, the following language, which you should share with your attorney, can be used:
I hereby give, devise, and bequeath to Skagit Land Trust, a Washington nonprofit corporation, with offices in Mount Vernon, Washington 98273, all of my interest in that certain real property owned by me, located at ______ in Skagit County, Washington, and more particularly described as follows: [full legal description of property] If the above-described real property does not qualify for protection under Skagit Land Trust’s conservation area program, then Skagit Land Trust shall have authority, in its sole discretion, to sell the property and use the proceeds in such manner as its Board of Directors deems appropriate [to further the purposes of land conservation OR specify a specific program, fund or use].
Donating Conservation Land through your Will or Trust
If you wish us to protect your land forever as a conservation area or sanctuary, we encourage you to first consult with us to determine whether or not your land will be suitable as a permanent sanctuary. Talking with us now about your potential gift and desires for your land increases the probability that we or a future board of the Trust can meet your wishes. In cases where we determine that we are the best stewards of the property, Skagit Land Trust will hold the land and manage it as a conservation area. In other cases, Skagit Land Trust may place a conservation easement on the land before it is sold to protect its conservation value forever, and then allocate the sale proceeds to benefit our conservation work. In the event that Skagit Land Trust is likely to hold the land as a conservation area, or you bequeath a conservation easement to us in your will, we suggest that you also consider designating stewardship funds to help care for the conservation property over time.
The following language, which you should share with your attorney, can be used to devise conservation property to Skagit Land Trust:
I hereby give, devise, and bequeath to Skagit Land Trust, a Washington nonprofit corporation, with offices in Mount Vernon, Washington 98273, all of my interest in that certain [piece, parcel or lot] of real property owned by me, located at ______ in Skagit County, Washington, and more particularly described as follows: [full legal description of property] It is my wish that Skagit Land Trust conserve and protect this property in its natural state. I understand that, at the time of my death, Skagit Land Trust shall inspect the property to determine whether it has any natural features or characteristics that should be protected or whether it provides habitat for any unusual, threatened, or rare species. I understand that Skagit Land Trust will endeavor to provide for appropriate protection for the property or any portions of the property that then contain any such natural characteristics and features or species. This may include selling the property with conservation restrictions. I further bequeath to Skagit Land Trust the sum of $(________) as a gift to the Stewardship Fund, for the purpose of monitoring and enforcing the property’s conservation needs. If at the time of my death, Skagit Land Trust determines that it cannot protect the property, then Skagit Land Trust may sell the property with the proceeds being directed to support their conservation activities [or describe how you wish the funds to be used].
Specific Bequest of a Conservation Easement
Some landowners have used their wills or revocable trusts to place a conservation easement on land upon their deaths. When considering this, it is important that you consult with us prior to executing the document to ensure that your conservation goals can, in fact, be met. We will also inform you of our stewardship endowment policy for the management and enforcement of the easement. The suggested wording for conservation restriction bequests, which you should share with your attorney, is:
In the event I do not make a conveyance of [describe the intended conservation easement here] during my lifetime, I hereby give, devise, and bequeath to Skagit Land Trust, a Washington nonprofit corporation, with offices in Mount Vernon, Washington 98273, the development rights and conservation restrictions in that certain real property owned by me, located at ______ in Skagit County, Washington, and more particularly described as follows: [full legal description of property] The development rights and conservation restrictions to be conveyed shall be substantially in the form set forth in [the Grant of Development Rights and Conservation Restrictions should be pre-arranged with the Skagit Land Trust, and a copy attached to the will or trust as an exhibit]. I further bequeath to Skagit Land Trust, the sum of $(________) as a stewardship fund for the purpose of monitoring and enforcing the conservation restrictions on the property conveyed as set forth above.
Gifting Land or a Residence While Continuing to Live On/Use It
If you are a landowner, you may be able to donate your land or residence and continue to use it, by way of a life estate. To receive immediate tax benefit, you must irrevocably deed your land or residence. However, you can retain the right to use the property for the rest of your life (or over a specific term of years). By doing so, you are able to continue enjoying your property, while also obtaining a tax benefit and having the satisfaction of knowing that your land will pass into the good hands of Skagit Land Trust in the future.
The information provided on this website is for general educational and public benefit purposes. Concepts described are effective only when used as part of an overall, carefully considered estate and financial plan. We strongly encourage potential donors to seek counsel from a qualified legal, accounting, and/or financial advisor prior to applying any of the information and ideas presented within these web pages.