What will your legacy be?
Perhaps you choose to live in western Massachusetts or spend time here because the land inspires you. Maybe you feel connected to the land through family memories, the local farm where you buy food, a hiking trail, or the view of uninterrupted forest from your favorite mountain peak.
As you think about the past and ponder your vision for the future, you may be considering how you can make a significant difference in conserving what makes Massachusetts so special—its land and rural heritage.
While planned gifts take many forms, they are the result of careful planning and an intention to make a lasting gift. These could include bequests made in a will, naming FLT as a life insurance beneficiary, or using tax-wise giving options such as charitable gift annuities or remainder trusts.
Conservation supporters who have made planned gifts have had an extraordinary impact on our work. Thanks to early legacy gifts, we were able to become a secure, established land trust, better equipped to monitor perpetual easements. Proceeds from planned gifts fund our endowment, ensuring our long term success and stability.
What Can I Give?
Most donors who pledge support to us will make gifts of cash (checks and credit card charges) or marketable securities, but other options include gifts of real estate, life insurance proceeds or ownership, or retirement plan proceeds. The Franklin Land Trust, Inc. is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. EIN#22-2744488 Gifts are tax deductible as allowed by law, but only your own financial, legal and tax advisors can determine the tax implications of your gift.
The term “planned giving” refers to charitable gifts that require some planning before they are made. Planned gifts allow you to make a significant gift to the Franklin Land Trust, and may offer you current income or allow you to retain the asset for personal use during your life.
Gifts of appreciated securities such as stocks (including closely-held S corp. and C corp. stocks) and mutual fund shares can be contributed for charitable purposes. You receive a charitable deduction based on the fair market value of the asset at the date of transfer, and avoid paying capital gains tax on the asset’s appreciation. This can allow you to make a significant gift at a far lower cost to you than donating cash.
Numerous corporations have matching gift programs through which the employer will match an employee's charitable gift. Use your employer's matching gift form to leverage your gift. If you are unsure if your company has a matching gift program, please call your human resources or benefits office.
A gift of real estate that has appreciated in value can be an attractive option when considering a major charitable contribution. You incur no capital gains tax on appreciated real estate given for charitable purposes, and you benefit from a charitable deduction on your income taxes. You can also donate a remainder interest in your home to the Franklin Land Trust, retaining the right to live in it for the rest of your life. This provides you with a current charitable deduction on your income taxes, and causes the property to pass automatically at your death to the Franklin Land Trust.
There are many ways to protect the conservation value of your property through land donations, selling your land at a bargain rate, or working with the Franklin Land Trust to establish a conservation restriction. Many of the options result in tax benefits for you and will put dedicated land stewards in charge of managing the property that you have come to love and value for generations to come.
Donations of artwork, books, equipment, collections, antiques, and other personal property are sometimes appropriate gifts to Franklin Land Trust.
Before making a gift of tangible personal property, please consult with the Land Trust to confirm that your gift can be used according to your wishes while also supporting the mission of the organization.
Gifts of tangible personal property entitle you to a significant tax deduction. If your gift is likely to be valued at more than $5,000, you must have it appraised by an independent, licensed appraiser within 60 days prior to the gift's transfer to determine the value of your deduction.
Life Insurance Policies
You may make the Franklin Land Trust the owner or the beneficiary of your life insurance policies. A number of options are available that can result in immediate income tax deductions or future estate tax deductions.
The Franklin Land Trust may also be named as the contingent beneficiary of your retirement plan. Gifts of these assets can result in significant income and estate tax benefits.