Hansi Johnson

We believe in the enduring power of nature and the legacy we leave behind. Through a planned gift, you can join us in preserving the beauty of Minnesota for generations to come. Whether through a bequest in your will, the donation of real estate or land, a life estate, gifts of a qualified retirement plan, naming the Land Trust as a beneficiary on a life insurance policy, or smart giving through a donor-advised fund (DAF), your support helps us protect the wetlands, prairies, forests, and shoreline habitats that define this amazing place we call home.

These gifts are a testament to your commitment to conservation and our shared love of nature. They ensure that your values and passion for the environment live on, leaving a lasting impact that helps us continue our vital work. We invite you to explore the various options for planned giving and discover how your legacy can make a difference for future generations of Minnesotans as well as imperiled habitats, plant, and animal species.

Have You Already Included Us
in Your Estate Plans?

Please notify us so we can properly honor your intentions. Contact Beth Westerback, Associate Director of Development & Communications: bwesterback@mnland.org or 651-917-6297.

Ways to Leave Your Legacy


Designate a specific amount or percentage of your estate to go to the Minnesota Land Trust in your will. An estate is everything comprising the net worth of an individual, such as land and real estate, possessions, financial securities, cash, and other assets.

Land & Real Estate

Gifts of real estate may help further the mission of the Minnesota Land Trust to permanently preserve Minnesota’s most vital natural lands. If you would like to donate land or other real estate to the Minnesota Land Trust through your will, consider providing the flexibility to accept the property without restrictions. We invite you to discuss with us before you decide to gift land or real estate.

Life Estate

Life estate is shared ownership of property that is typically used to streamline the inheritance process and avoid probate. The land or property owner retains all the rights and responsibilities of ownership except the right to sell or mortgage the property without the co-owner’s (in this case, the Minnesota Land Trust’s) consent. The title of the property is eventually transferred to the Minnesota Land Trust as part of the legal process of administering the estate after the benefactor has departed.

Gifts of a Qualified Retirement Plan

Assets in qualified (tax-deferred) retirement plans may represent a large portion of your total assets and therefore may be an important factor in planning testamentary charitable gifts. Retirement assets generally considered suitable for charitable gifts include such plans as IRAs, Keoghs, SEPs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and ESOPs. Leaving a gift to the Minnesota Land Trust is as easy as listing us as a beneficiary on your policy.

If you intend to make both non-charitable and charitable gifts it generally makes sense to consider using your tax-deferred retirement plan assets for charity (the Minnesota Land Trust is a tax-exempt institution) and other assets for heirs.

Life Insurance Policies

Naming the Minnesota Land Trust as the beneficiary of an existing life insurance policy is a simple way to support conservation. As the policy owner, the value of the policy will be included in your estate. Other options include:

  • Assigning an existing whole life policy to the Minnesota Land Trust, irrevocably making the Minnesota Land Trust the owner and beneficiary.
  • Donating cash or the equivalent to the Minnesota Land Trust to pay the premiums each year if the policy is not paid up and additional premium payments are due.
  • Purchasing a new policy naming the Minnesota Land Trust as owner and beneficiary, and pay the annual premiums (through the Minnesota Land Trust).

These options all may present a charitable tax deduction depending upon the current tax laws. Please consult with a professional tax advisor.

Want to Discuss Your Giving Options &
Take the Next Step?

Contact Beth Westerback, Associate Director of Development & Communications: bwesterback@mnland.org or 651-917-6297.

Donor Advised Fund (DAF)

A donor-advised fund is a private fund administered by a third party, created for the sole purpose of managing charitable giving. Naming the Minnesota Land Trust as a beneficiary on your DAF or creating a succession plan that includes the Minnesota Land Trust allows you to pass on remaining funds in your account to a cause you care about.

Please note that this organization’s legal name is “Minnesota Land Trust.” The Minnesota Land Trust is a non-profit corporation, organized under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Our federal identification number is 41-1713652.

“I try to focus on where I can have an impact locally—whether that’s volunteering or donating. If we all do that, collectively, we can make a difference.” —Kate Hartley, legacy supporter

The contents of this page are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for legal, tax, or financial planning advice. The Minnesota Land Trust urges you to consult a professional trained in handling trusts and estates when considering any of these planned giving options.

Our Mission

The Minnesota Land Trust protects and restores Minnesota’s most vital natural lands. Learn more.

Support Us

A donation to the Minnesota Land Trust is an investment in conservation for Minnesota.

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The Minnesota Land Trust is a 501(c)3 public charity.

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