An excellent way for you to support the Open Land Trust’s mission is to leave us a bequest in your will, living trust or with a codicil. There are many ways to include us in your estate plan, and it’s less expensive than you might think. For example, you can amend an existing insurance policy to add the Land Trust as an additional beneficiary. A significant benefit to a bequest gift is that you are able to leave a lasting legacy. If you are interested in learning more about the Land Trust and how you can support the Trust through planned giving, please contact Ashley Rhodes,


  • Your gift costs you nothing now. You retain control of your assets during your lifetime.
  • You can change your mind or modify your gift if circumstances change.
  • Your gift can remain anonymous if you choose.
  • Your gift may provide tax savings or help reduce the tax burden for your heirs.
  • You can leave a gift in honor or memory of someone who inspired your love of nature.
  • You will be remembered as someone whose legacy included protecting nature, transforming how we use natural resources and inspiring action for our planet.


  1. You designate a particular asset or a percentage of your estate to the OLT by including a bequest provision in your will or revocable trust. You can do this while creating your will or trust, or you can amend an existing one with a simple document. The Trust can be either a primary or a contingent beneficiary.
  2. If you plan to restrict the use of your bequest (designating it to a specific area or program), you would need to contact the OLT while drafting your will or trust to ensure your wishes can be met. The more narrowly you restrict the use of your bequest, the greater the risk that the program you want to benefit today won’t be as vital or as relevant when we receive your gift in the future.
  3. You inform the OLT of your commitment, which helps for planning and ensures your wishes can be fulfilled. This is especially important for gifts of real estate, business interest or other specialized property.
  4. The Trust receives the gift after your lifetime and applies it to the purpose(s) you specified. At the Open Land Trust, unrestricted charitable gifts are used to support top conservation priorities.
  5. Your distribution is fully deductible for federal estate tax purposes, and there is no limit on the deduction your estate can claim. In addition, the gift is usually exempt from state inheritance taxes.
  6. Other options:
    – The remaining balance in your retirement plan makes a tax-wise gift, but don’t direct it to us through your will or trust—that will include the plan in your taxable estate. Instead, use your plan’s successor beneficiary form.
    – Similarly, you can also name the Open Land Trust as primary or contingent beneficiary of your life insurance policy and possibly minimize taxes.

If you wish to name THE OPEN LAND TRUST in your estate plan, we should be named as:

BEAUFORT COUNTY OPEN LAND TRUST, a nonprofit organization, organized and existing under the laws of the state of South Carolina, with principal business address of 905 Charles Street, Beaufort, SC 29907.

Our tax identification number is: 23-7114992  |  Date of incorporation: April 27, 1971

Looking to honor someone special? Gifts in honor or memoriam are the perfect way to express your sentiment. There is no finer way to honor friends and family than by protecting the land for generations to come. Make a contribution in honor or in memory of someone special or give a gift of membership at a special occasion such as a birthday, wedding, or anniversary. We will take care of notifying your gift recipient with a special note.

Increase your annual giving to the Open Land Trust by creating a recurring monthly gift. Your automatic recurring gift supports the ability to continue protecting lands across the southern Lowcountry – working farms, rural landscapes and help to keep family lands intact for generations to come.

Donating appreciated securities, including stocks or bonds, is an easy and tax-effective way for you to make a gift to the Open Land Trust.


  • Avoid paying capital gains tax on the sale of appreciated stock
  • Receive a charitable income tax deduction
  • Further our mission today


By electronic transfer – Please contact us for instructions on how you can transfer stock or bonds from your brokerage or investment account to the Open Land Trust.

By certified mail – If you hold securities in certificate form, you will need to mail two envelopes separately to complete your gift. In the first envelope, place the unsigned stock certificate(s). In the other envelope, include a signed stock power for each certificate. You may obtain this power from your broker or bank. Please remember to use certified mail.

Donating part or all of your unused retirement assets, such as your IRA, 401(k), 403(b), pension or other tax-deferred plan, is an excellent way to make a gift to Beaufort County Open Land Trust. If you are like most people, you probably will not use all of your retirement assets during your lifetime. You can make a gift of your unused retirement assets to help further our mission.


  • Avoid potential estate tax on retirement assets
  • Your heirs would avoid income tax on any retirement assets funded on a pre-tax basis
  • Receive potential estate tax savings from an estate tax deduction


To leave your retirement assets to the Open Land Trust, you will need to complete a beneficiary designation form provided by your retirement plan custodian. If you designate the Open Land Trust as beneficiary, we will benefit from the full value of your gift because your IRA assets will not be taxed at your death. Your estate will benefit from an estate tax charitable deduction for the gift.


Did you know that 60%-70% of your retirement assets may be taxed if you leave them to your heirs at your death? Another option is to leave your heirs assets that receive a step up in basis, such as real estate and stock, and give the retirement assets to the Open Land Trust. As a charity, we are not taxed upon receiving an IRA or other retirement plan assets.

Support Our Work

Annual supporters receive biannual mailings and monthly e-newsletters about the work at the Open Land Trust; supporters also receive early invitations to community events, including field trips.