Conserving Land • Protecting Resources
Since 1987

Legacy Page Kate SteeleCatherine (“Kate”) Steele passed away on December 12, 2014. Kate loved nature and learning, and she showed it by supporting organizations that aligned with the things she treasured. Rensselaer Land Trust is honored to be the recipient of a $5,000 bequest from Kate. We are putting the funds she left us towards the programs she appreciated: land and water protection, stewardship and monitoring, natural history outings and workshops, and outdoor recreational programs. We are proud to be part of Kate’s legacy. Her gift of $5,000 makes a big difference to our work and we thank her for her forethought and generosity in remembering us in her Last Will and Testament.

Since 1987, the Rensselaer Land Trust has been dedicated to the preservation of the natural spaces of Rensselaer County, especially land that protects sources of drinking water, provides natural habitat for wildlife and maintains the scenic rural character of the community. Our vision is to ensure that Rensselaer County will have sufficient conserved land to maintain clean water, clean air, wildlife and plant habitats, local farms, working forests, and scenic beauty. We envision the people of Rensselaer County being connected to nature; having access to outdoor places; understanding the benefits of land conservation; and enjoying the quality of life created by a balanced mix of urban, suburban and rural communities. We envision the Rensselaer Land Trust having sufficient staff, board of directors, members, volunteers, partnerships, and financial resources to accomplish our mission. If you share this vision, you can make the conservation of Rensselaer County’s exceptionally scenic landscapes and rich ecological resources a vital part of your own legacy by making a planned gift to the Rensselaer Land Trust. A planned gift is a good way to ensure that future generations will continue to enjoy the unique character of Rensselaer County. It is also an important way for you to maximize the financial rewards of your philanthropy. These gifts are structured to help you realize the full range of the tax and income incentives provided by law to encourage your charitable giving.

Bequest Society and Estate Planning

Rensselaer Land Trust would like to recognize dedicated supporters who have chosen to leave a legacy for the future of Rensselaer County by welcoming them to the Bequest Society. Bequest Society members enjoy a unique relationship with the organization, and are invited to attend special events and programs that provide an opportunity to become more intimately involved in our work.

If you have already made a provision for Rensselaer Land Trust in your estate plan, please let us know so that we may acknowledge your gift and include you as a member of the Bequest Society. Thank you! However you choose to give to Rensselaer Land Trust, we are grateful for your investment in Rensselaer County’s future. Your planning today helps ensure that Rensselaer County’s special qualities will be protected for future generations.

Your gift will truly be a lasting legacy.

Planned Giving

The staff at the Rensselaer Land Trust can help you plan for tomorrow and receive maximum benefits today. If you have questions about planned giving options, or if you would like to make a gift to the Rensselaer Land Trust, please call 518‐659‐5263 or email. The Rensselaer Land Trust strongly recommends that you consult with your attorney, accountant and/or financial advisor in evaluating which options might be appropriate for you and in implementing a planned gift.

Gift TypeDescription Conservation Benefit Possible Benefits to You 

Charitable IRA Rollover

Individuals who are at least 70 1⁄2 years old may transfer up to $100,000 from a traditional or Roth IRA to a 501(c)3 public charity.

Funds assist Rensselaer Land Trust with meeting immediate conservation and programmatic priorities.

In December 2012, Congress extended tax‐free distributions from Individual Retirement Accounts for charitable contributions through 2013. Annual tax‐free distributions to charity from an IRA, up to $100,000 per taxpayer are allowed.

Cash Gifts Outright gift

Gift is immediately available for ongoing programs and activities.

Income tax deduction and potential offset in capital gains tax.


Leave certain assets to Rensselaer Land Trust in your will

Bequests enable Rensselaer Land Trust to plan for future conservation projects and activities. Bequests of land allow the Rensselaer Land Trust to create a public conservation area on your property or to protect your property with an easement and sell it to generate valuable income. Anyone considering such a gift should consult with the Rensselaer Land Trust staff before finalizing arrangements.

Retain ownership and management of assets during your lifetime. In certain instances, Section 2031(c) of the Internal Revenue Code allows beneficiaries to exclude up to 40 percent of the otherwise taxable value of land (not structures) that is permanently protected with a qualifying conservation easement from the estate.

There are a number of criteria that must be satisfied to qualify for this exclusion, and therefore individuals interested in Section 2031(c) should work with their tax advisors or estate planners to explore this option in more detail.

Tangible Personal Property

Gifts of personal property such as automobiles or jewelry

Proceeds from sale of personal property benefit conservation programs.

Full value of items can be deducted from donor’s taxable income.

Marketable Securities

Gifts of securities such as stocks, bonds, and mutual fund shares

Proceeds from sale of securities benefit conservation programs.

Tax deduction based on the mean between the lowest and the highest share price on the day of the transfer.

Charitable Remainder Trust

You place assets in a trust, managed by an outside trustee. The trust pays you income during your lifetime, after which the remaining assets are donated to Rensselaer Land Trust.

Trust proceeds support Rensselaer Land Trust and enable Rensselaer Land Trust to incorporate donation into land protection planning.

Receive income; part of gift is tax‐deductible; avoid capital gains on appreciated assets donated to trust; flexible term (lifetime or set number of years); opportunity to diversify assets; and potentially increased income.

Charitable Lead Trust

Annual income from a trust is paid to Rensselaer Land Trust during your lifetime, after which the remaining principle is given to a non‐charitable beneficiary (or beneficiaries) such as children.

Annual payments from the trust support conservation programs.

Reduced income, gift, or estate tax; family and/or beneficiaries retain ownership of the assets.

Retained Life Estate

You make a gift of real estate and retain the right to live on the property for life or a set number of years.

Allows Rensselaer Land Trust and donor to plan for the appropriate use of the land donation and support conservation in Rensselaer County.

Property removed from taxable estate; income tax deduction; avoidance of capital gains on transfer of property; retained use of property.


Note: This information is intended as general information, not specific legal or financial advice. You should consult your financial and/or legal adviser as to which options may be most beneficial for you.

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