Leave a Legacy Gift & Become a Grassland Guardian

Become a Grassland Guardian ~
Leave a Legacy to Protect Prairie Wildlife


Once your loved ones are provided for, consider a gift in your will or trust, or by beneficiary designation. These gifts cost you nothing now. You can change your beneficiaries at any time. And you make a powerful statement about preserving our environment that will last for years to come.

Please let us know if you’ve included a gift for Southern Plains Land Trust in your will or trust or by beneficiary designation. Providing us with documentation is the best way to ensure that your wishes are honored.

Gifts by Beneficiary Designation

You can name the Southern Plains Land Trust as the transfer-on-death beneficiary of a number of different types of assets, including retirement accounts, life insurance policies, certificates of deposit (CD’s), bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and real property.

This is one of the easiest ways to give the Southern Plains Land Trust a meaningful part of your estate. It often can be done without a formal estate plan or lawyer, and you can change your beneficiary later if you wish to do so.

For making the Southern Plains Land Trust the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or investment account, ask your insurer or investment firm for a beneficiary designation form, then complete and submit the form. Beneficiary forms often are available online.

You can give your house or other real property in your estate to the Southern Plains Land Trust through a relatively simple beneficiary deed (see Real Property below).

Please let us know if you have named Southern Plains Land Trust as a beneficiary by contacting Susan Crick at susan@southernplains.org or by calling 720-692-8936. This will allow us to thank you for your gift and tell you how much of an impact it will make for prairie wildlife for decades to come.

Retirement Plan: Retirement assets, including 401(k)s and IRAs, are among the most heavily taxed, making them an ideal opportunity for charitable giving once you no longer need the assets. As a 501(c)3 non-profit, SPLT is exempt from paying the taxes that otherwise might be owed. Consider making SPLT a beneficiary of your retirement assets while leaving other less-heavily taxed assets to loved ones.

With a retirement plan gift:

  • You continue to take regular lifetime withdrawals.
  • You maintain flexibility to change beneficiaries at any time and for any reason.
  • You avoid the potential double taxation on assets left in your retirement account.

Income taxes to your loved ones can be as high as 35 percent, but naming SPLT as a beneficiary of your retirement assets generates no income taxes. SPLT is tax exempt and eligible to receive the full amount, bypassing any income taxes.

Life Insurance Gift: Life insurance is an affordable way to leave a gift for SPLT while you receive tax savings benefits during your lifetime.

With a life insurance gift:

  • A significant gift from disposable income at a fraction of the value.
  • Tax saving can be immediately realized.
  • Your donation could reduce final taxes of your estate.
  • Insurance gifts transfer outside the estate.

CDs, Bank and Brokerage Accounts: One of the easiest ways you can help preserve wild places is by making SPLT the beneficiary of a certificate of deposit, a checking or savings bank account, or brokerage account. Simply request a Pay on Death (POD) or Transfer on Death (TOD) designation form from your financial institution.

Donor Advised Fund Residuals: Final distribution of contributions remaining in a Donor Advised Fund is governed by the contract you completed when you created your fund. We hope you consider naming SPLT as a beneficiary of your account. Or, you can name us the beneficiary a portion of the account value, leaving the remaining portion for your heirs to continue your environmental legacy.

Real Property: Many states, including Colorado, provide for non-probate transfer of real property to a designated beneficiary. In Colorado, the process involves a beneficiary deed, which typically is a one-page document. While a notary public and recording of the deed are required, the process otherwise couldn’t be simpler. If you feel comfortable doing it without a lawyer, the only costs involved are any notary fee and a relatively inexpensive deed recording fee. For more information, talk to your lawyer or search online for Colorado Revised Statutes § 15-15-401 et seq. or for Colorado beneficiary deed.

Gifts in a Will

A gift in your will or trust is one of the easiest and most popular ways to be a champion for the environment. It takes just a few sentences in your will to set up a gift. If you don’t have a will, you can create one for free at freewill.com.

With a gift in your will or trust:

  • You retain control of the assets making up your gift.
  • You can change your gift at any time and for any reason.
  • You can direct your gift to be used for a specific purpose (be sure to check with us to make sure your gift can be used as intended).
  • You have no upper limit, under current law, on the estate tax deduction for your charitable gift in your will for SPLT.

Here are the most popular ways to leave a gift in your will:

general bequest leaves SPLT a gift of a stated sum of money in your will or trust, typically personal property or assets.

residuary bequest leaves a gift to SPLT of a percentage of the “rest, residue and remainder” of your estate after other bequests, debts and taxes have been paid.

specific bequest leaves SPLT a specific dollar amount or stated fraction of your estate or a specified gift of property.

contingent bequest leaves SPLT with a stated share of your estate, only if a spouse, partner, family member or other beneficiary does not survive you.


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Southern Plains Land Trust
P.O. Box 1016
Lamar, CO 81052



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