Legacy Giving

Making a planned gift is a great way to show your support for nature and special places in southwestern Illinois. A planned gift to HeartLands Conservancy will help secure our future while meeting your own personal, financial, and philanthropic goals.

  • Gifts Through Your Will (Bequests)
  • Annuities
  • IRA Rollover
  • Life Insurance Policy
  • Gift of Real Estate

We advise you to consult with attorneys and tax/financial advisors when considering any of the legacy giving options to see what is the right option for you.

Gifts Through Your Will (Bequests)

Through this type of gift, your generosity supports our mission for years to come. You may secure a charitable estate-tax deduction for the value of the gift.

Bequests may be written as a percentage, residual, or specific monetary amount. Bequests allow you to financially provide for your loved ones while also assuring that the important work you supported within your life continues uninterrupted.

Additional benefits include:

  • A charitable bequest may place your estate in a lower tax bracket.
  • Charitable gifts made through your will are 100 percent deductible for estate tax purposes.

We advise you to obtain the assistance of an attorney when making or revising your will. If you have questions about this material or require additional information about making a provision in your will to benefit HeartLands Conservancy, our staff are pleased to work with you and your advisors.

Sample Bequest Language:

I bequeath the sum of $              [or alternately,                percent (or the entire value) of the residuary of my estate] to HeartLands Conservancy, an Illinois nonprofit corporation having its principal place of business in Belleville, Illinois, to be used or disposed of as HeartLands Conservancy in its sole discretion deems appropriate.

Sample Bequest of Real Estate Language:

“I devise all of my right, title, and interest in and to real estate located at (give address and describe property) to HeartLands Conservancy, an Illinois nonprofit corporation having a principal place of business in Belleville, Illinois, to be used or disposed of as HeartLands Conservancy in its sole discretion deems appropriate.”

Restricted Use Bequests Language:

If the gift to HeartLands Conservancy is for a purpose other than HeartLands Conservancy’s unrestricted use, insert the restriction in place of the words “to be used or disposed of as HeartLands Conservancy in its sole discretion deems appropriate.” For example: “I bequeath the sum of $              to HeartLands Conservancy, an Illinois non-profit corporation having a principal place of business in Belleville, Illinois for the following use:                            .”

In the event of a gift subject to a restriction, we would appreciate your consulting with us to determine if the restriction is appropriate for HeartLands Conservancy. We also suggest including one of the following provisions:


  1. “However, I impose no legal or equitable obligation in this regard.”
  2. “If in the judgment of HeartLands Conservancy it becomes, or is likely to become, impossible or impractical to accomplish the purposes of this gift, the income or principal, or both, may be used for such related purposes and in such manner as determined by HeartLands Conservancy.”

Legal Name:
HeartLands Conservancy
Tax I.D. Number: 37-1273869

Annuities and Charitable Trusts

Life-income gifts, such as annuities and charitable remainder trusts can provide donors with income and significant tax savings while providing HeartLands Conservancy with vital long-term resources.

Charitable Gift Annuity – In this option, you make a gift of cash or property to HeartLands Conservancy and in exchange receive a fixed annual dollar amount for life. The principal remaining at your death will then benefit HeartLands Conservancy.

Charitable Remainder Unitrust- A unitrust provides variable income based on a percentage of the fair market value of the assets, which are revalued annually. A unitrust can be funded with cash, securities, marketable real estate, or personal property. You can add to the unitrust at any time. Income from the trust can increase as the trust principal grows over time. Income from the unitrust, if well managed, should increase each year. Distribution to the beneficiaries of a unitrust is generally a set percentage of the annual fair market value of the trust. You are subject to income tax on your receipt of that payment, depending on the type of income earned by the trust.

Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust- An annuity trust provides a fixed income based on a percentage of the initial fair market value of the property on the date of the gift, to a maximum of two beneficiaries age 55 or older. Additional contributions cannot be made to the trust. It can be funded with cash or securities.

Charitable Lead Trust: Charitable lead trusts are similar to charitable remainder trusts except the recipients are reversed. The trust provides fund for HeartLands Conservancy today and provides a gift to your loved ones or other beneficiaries in the future. This option allows you to transfer assets into a separately managed trust that will provide HeartLands Conservancy with payments for life or a specific term of years. Upon its dissolution, the corpus of the trust reverts back to your loved ones.


Gifts from Retirement Plans

Your retirement fund is likely one of your largest assets. If the fund is larger than you and your family will probably need, you may consider using a portion of it for charitable purposes.

Retirement Plan Withdrawals

If you are between 59 ½ and 70 ½ you can withdraw money from your retirement funds – IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, or other comparable plans – and contribute it to a charity. The money you withdraw will be added to your taxable income, but you will receive a charitable deduction for the same amount.

IRA Rollovers

If you are 70 ½ or older and have an IRA, you can donate up to $100,000 directly to HeartLands Conservancy from your individual retirement account (IRA) without it being counted as taxable income. The gift can be used as your required minimum distribution (if you are 72 or older). Your financial institution needs to issue the check directly to us, and the gift must be made by December 31 of the tax year to qualify for tax benefits that year.

If  you are interested in this option, you can contact your plan administrator or sometimes download a form from their website.

Direct Transfers (Non-IRA) Over Age 70 1/2

If you are 70 ½ or older but have a plan other than an IRA, you cannot use the direct “rollover” feature. However, if you have another type of plan, you could transfer from that plan to an IRA and then do the direct rollover to a charity from the IRA. 

However, you can still follow the withdrawal procedure outlined above for those younger than 701/2.

Named As Beneficiary

HeartLands Conservancy can be named as a beneficiary of retirement funds – and there may be tax benefits to your other beneficiaries for doing so.

When loved ones are named as beneficiaries on retirement funds (other than Roth IRAs), the distributions are taxed as ordinary income. However, when those beneficiaries receive bequests of appreciated property – such as securities or real estate – they are not taxed on the gain that accrued before your death.

When a person makes an end-of-life gift to both loved ones and a charity, it may be more tax-efficient to name the charity as the beneficiary of all or a portion of the remaining retirement plan funds. The charity, being tax-exempt, will pay no income tax, and your loved ones will pay no income tax on the securities or real estate.

To change your beneficiaries in your retirement plan, contact your plan administrator and request a change-of-beneficiary form. Sometimes this is available on your plan administrator’s website.

Life Insurance Policy

You can name HeartLands Conservancy as the primary beneficiary or co-beneficiary of a life insurance policy. You would retain ownership of the policy and have access to the policy’s cash value. Because you retain ownership, no charitable income-tax deduction is allowed at the time of the gift. Although the face value of the policy will be included in your gross estate at your death, your estate will be entitled to an offsetting charitable estate-tax deduction.

Sometimes people find themselves with life insurance policies they no longer need after the death of a spouse or after children are grown. By contributing the policy to HeartLands Conservancy, your gift may reduce taxes that would be otherwise due upon your death.

You may also receive a charitable income-tax deduction for the cash surrender value of the policy when you assign HeartLands Conservancy as an irrevocable assignee.

Gifts of Real Estate

Gifted real estate avoids capital gains tax and provides an income tax deduction. Real estate can be bequeathed in your will or donated during your lifetime.