Connect. Challenge. Inspire.

Leave a legacy to complete the Ridge Trail.

Bill Long Board Chair Emeritus

Recently, Bill Long joined the Ridge Trail Legacy Circle by making a gift in his will to the Trail Council.  As Chair Emeritus of the Trail Council’s Board of Directors, Bill has seen the Ridge Trail grow from a visionary idea to 375 miles of trek-ready tail.  His legacy gift will help ensure that future trail enthusiasts will be able to circumnavigate the Bay via a completed Ridge Trail.

Making a gift in your will of trust to the Trail Council is easy to arrange and costs you nothing now.  Here are some ways you can support the completion of the Ridge Trail with a legacy gift:

Gifts that cost nothing now
Gifts that pay you income
Gifts that reduce taxes
Gifts honoring a special someone
Have you already included the Trail Council in your will or trust? 

Gifts that cost nothing now.

A gift in your will or living trust

Making a gift in your will or living trust to support the Ridge Trail is easy to arrange and costs you nothing to make now.  Ask your attorney to add wording like this to your will or trust document:

“I give to the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council (Tax I.D. # 94-3148503), located in San Francisco, California, [ __ % of my estate, or description of specific asset, or $__ dollars] for its general use [or the following specific purpose: ____].”

A gift by designation

Another popular and easy way to support the Ridge Trail with a legacy gift is by naming the Trail Council as a beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k), life insurance, donor advised fund, brokerage or bank account.  Ask your plan administrator to send you a beneficiary designation form for the asset you wish to gift and name the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council (Tax ID 94-3148503) as a full, partial or contingent beneficiary.

Gifts that pay you income.

Charitable gift annuities

Gift annuities provide fixed payments at an attractive rate to one or two people for life- while allowing them to support the Ridge Tail with a significant future gift.  Gift annuities also provide an immediate income tax deduction that donors who itemize can use to save on taxes.

Gift annuities contracts can be created quickly with a minimum gift of cash or stock of $20,000.  You must be 55 or older.  Rates are based on the age and number annuitants.

Sample one-life annuity rates (as of July 1, 2018):

Age Current Rates
60 4.7%
65 5.1%
70 5.5%
75 6.2%
80 7.3%
85 8.3%
90+ 9.5%

Here’s an example:  Telia Richards, age 75,  funds a $25,000 charitable gift annuity contract to benefit the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council. Her annuity rate is 6.2%, giving her an annual guaranteed payment for life of $1,550. $1,094 of her payment is tax-free for twelve years. She also receives an immediate income tax deduction of $11,439 that may help her reduce her overall tax liability.

Charitable trusts

Charitable trusts can provide you and/or other beneficiaries with income for life or a term of years.  You’ll receive an immediate tax deduction for a portion of your contribution to your trust – and you won’t pay capital gains tax when appreciated assets, like stock or real estate, used to fund your trust are sold.  Charitable trusts can allow you to receive financial benefits now while making significant future gifts to good causes you care about – like the Ridge Trail.

With a charitable trust, you can:

  • Bypass capital gains tax on the sale of appreciated stock or real estate
  • Convert assets into lifetime income
  • Receive an immediate income tax deduction
  • Provide significant future support to charity

Here’s an example: Mei and Jim, both age 75, want to sell the rental property they purchased many years ago for $250,000.  They’re pleased to learn they can sell the property today for $1,000,000 but concerned about the capital gains tax they will owe on this $750,000 gain if they sell the property outright.  They decide instead to contribute the property to a charitable remainder unitrust paying them 5% of trust value, annually, for their lifetimes.  Mei and Jim won’t owe capital gains tax when the trust sells their rental property, they receive a $460,000 income tax deduction and $50,000 in income for the first year (5% of $1,000,000 of value now in the trust).  When the trust ends, the remainder will be distributed to one or more of Mei and Jim’s favorite charities.

Gifts that reduce taxes.

Gifts of retirement plan assets

Naming the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council as a beneficiary of your IRA or 401(k) can be an easy way to make a legacy gift to the Ridge Trail and reduce taxes to your loved ones.

If you leave your retirement plan to heirs, they will have to pay income tax on distributions.  The Trail Council does not pay this tax, so 100% of your gift can be used to help complete the Ridge Trail.

Here’s an example:  Mary wants to make a legacy gift to the Ridge Trail.  She is considering leaving her IRA to her nephew and her home to the Trail Council.  However, Mary learns her nephew will have to pay income tax on distributions from her IRA, a significant cost to her nephew.  Mary is relieved to learn she can instead leave her home to her nephew – and her IRA to the Trail Council – and both gifts will be tax-free.

To make a gift of retirement plan assets, simply ask your plan administrator for a beneficiary designation form and name the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council (Tax ID 94-3148503) as a full, partial or contingent beneficiary.

Gifts of real estate

Making an immediate gift of real estate eliminates the costs, responsibilities and liabilities of ownership.  If you have owned the property for more than a year, you’ll receive a tax deduction for the full fair market value of the property – that may provide significant tax savings.  You won’t owe capital gains tax on the property and your future taxable estate will be reduced.

If you fund a charitable trust with real estate, you won’t owe capital gains tax when the property is sold by the trust – and you’ll receive an immediate tax deduction that may provide significant, additional tax savings.

A life estate agreement allows you to donate your personal residence or farm to the Ridge Trail Council now, while continuing to live on the property for a term of years or your lifetime.  You’ll receive an immediate tax deduction for a portion of the property’s value and the satisfaction of making a significant future gift supporting the Ridge Trail.

Gifts that honor a loved one.

Do you have a family member or friend you would like to honor through your legacy gift to the Ridge Trail?  If so, you can use the Legacy Gift Notification Form below to recognize that special someone.  They, or their loved ones, will be notified of your making a gift to the Ridge Trail in their honor.

Why should I consider a legacy gift the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council?

Making a legacy gift to the Ridge Trail Council helps ensure the trail’s completion and the Council’s future.  In joining the Ridge Trail Legacy Circle, you set an example that can influence others to make this important commitment.  Day in and day out, the Ridge Trail Council works to complete the Ridge Trail – a unique and visionary natural resource of benefit to the entire Bay Area.

Have you already included the Ridge Trail Council in your will or trust?

Let us thank you! We would be honored to acknowledge your gift and recognize you as a member of the Ridge Trail Legacy Circle.  Please download and complete the Legacy Gift Notification Form – and let us know of your legacy with the Ridge Trail!
LEGACY GIFT NOTIFICATION FORM

Request more information or a personal legacy gift consultation.

If you’d like to know more about ways to create your legacy with the Ridge Trail, please contact Eileen Morris at (415) 561-2595 ext. 203 or eileenmorris@ridgetrail.org.  We’ll be glad to provide additional information to you by mail or email – or to talk with you personally about gift options and specific legacy gifts.

To learn more about basic estate planning, see our ESTATE PLANNING VIDEO SERIES

To help you create or revise your plan, download our ESTATE PLANNING ORGANIZER