Planned Giving

Legacy gifts ensure that you can make a lasting impact and ensure that our community can continue to benefit from Athens Land Trust’s future work. You can leave a permanent mark on our community while maximizing your financial planning by including Athens Land Trust in your planned giving. It is never too late – or too early – to incorporate Athens Land Trust into your estate plan.  

The information provided is made available to those interested in learning more about incorporating Athens Land Trust into estate planning, but should not be used as proper legal or tax advice. We recommend that you consult your attorney and your tax or financial advisor to establish an estate plan that will fit your interests and needs. See our Sample Language page for assistance with language for your planning process.

Please let us know if you have or are planning to include us in your estate planning so that we can thank you for your support!

If you’d like to learn how to name Athens Land Trust in your estate planning, or would like to notify us on your existing plans, please contact our Development Coordinator, Erin O’Brien, at

“I learned of the work of the Athens Land Trust prior to assuming local elected office in 2003. However, as a member of the Athens-Clarke County Commission for twelve years, I had the opportunity to garner a greater awareness of the scope of the Land Trust’s mission as a result of partnership opportunities presented to our government by their staff and Board members, and my participation in various events sponsored and supported by this agency. I also took the opportunity to spend some time touring Land Trust projects with Nancy Stangle (who was then Executive Director) and Heather to learn more about them, which took a half-day to accomplish due to the large number and diversity of programs offered. During my term of office, I connected with the Athens Land Trust on numerous occasions to seek assistance for constituents with a variety of needs and never once was turned away. 

I cannot recall any occasion in which staff was not helpful in improving the circumstances of a citizen with whom they engaged. As I began to prepare my will, I thought of the programs in our community that truly make a difference in the lives of their clients and positively affect the quality of life in our community as a whole. The Athens Land Trust was at the top of my list.

Kathy Hoard (right) with friend Kent Smith.
"What an easy manner this is to impact the future of our wonderful community."
Kathy Hoard
Former Athens-Clarke County Commissioner

I have included the Athens Land Trust in my will, as I want to continue to be a part of the meaningful work of this agency, even after my passing. Legacy gifts afford each of us the opportunity to painlessly contribute to the sustainability of the causes we consider important and I would encourage others who share the vision of the Athens Land Trust to remember them in your financial planning goals. What an easy manner this is to impact the future of our wonderful community!” — Kathy Hoard

The Athens Land Trust Endowment was established in 2017 to forever support our mission. Specified funds are invested and restricted to keep the principle funds intact, but allows Athens Land Trust to use the investment income for programs, operations, and other forms of support as specified by the donor. Donations as well as planned gifts may be designated to the endowment fund.

Bequests by Will

Including a charitable bequest in your will is the simplest way to make a lasting impact on Athens Land Trust. You can use your last will & testament to designate a specific asset, dollar amount, or percentage of your estate to be donated to Athens Land Trust. Testamentary gifts can also be specific, residuary, or contingent and can be made through a new will, or through a ‘codicil’ – an amendment to your existing will. Your bequest to Athens Land Trust may qualify your estate for a charitable deduction equal to the entire amount of the bequest.

Charitable Remainder Trust

A charitable remainder trust provides one or more beneficiaries with income for life or for a specified term of years, after which time some or all of the remaining assets are passed to Athens Land Trust. Through this arrangement, you can provide income to you, family members, or friends, qualify for significant tax deductions, and guarantee vital benefits to Athens Land Trust after the trust’s termination.

Charitable Lead Trust

Under this arrangement, income from the trust is paid to Athens Land Trust for a period of years, after which time the assets are transferred to your heirs, at a reduced estate tax cost. By substantially reducing estate and gift taxes, this arrangement allows you to preserve a larger portion of your estate for your beneficiaries and helps to provide crucial support for Athens Land Trust.

Charitable Gift Annuities

By transferring cash or appreciated securities in exchange for a Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA), you can support yourself, your loved ones, and Athens Land Trust all in one. A CGA provides income through fixed payments for your life and your spouse’s life and the remaining capital to Athens Land Trust upon the death of the annuitant. You may also receive an immediate income tax deduction.

Retirement Plans

Assets from IRAs, 401ks, and other qualified retirement plans can be subject to income, estate, and other taxes when left to heirs. By naming Athens Land Trust as a beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of all or a percentage of retirement plan assets, you can reduce or eliminate income and estate taxes and help Athens Land Trust continue to provide community support.

Life Insurance

Athens Land Trust can serve as the primary or contingent beneficiary of an individual or group term life insurance policy, where the benefits from your policy pass to us free of federal estate tax after your lifetime. You could purchase a new policy or donate a policy that you currently own but no longer need. Please check with your insurance agent or financial advisor to designate Athens Land Trust in your life insurance policy.

Other ways to give


Gifts of publicly-traded stocks are a great way to help support Athens Land Trust while avoiding taxation on the gains. We can receive stocks directly through your stock brokerage account which we will sell immediately upon reception  to support the operations of Athens Land Trust.

Bargain Sales

Bargain sales are a combination gift and sale, where Athens Land Trust purchases assets from you at below-market price, and in return, Athens Land Trust sells the asset at market value. All proceeds for the final sale are then put towards supporting Athens Land Trust operations.

Land Donations

A donation of land or property can allow you to save on taxes, provide you with income, and allow you to continue living on your property. Athens Land Trust accepts gifts of real estate for conservation lands, affordable housing in Athens, and for real estate intended to be sold (see Bargain Sales) in order to support our mission.

If you would like to donate land as a conservation easement, not as part of a estate or will, please visit our Conservation Easements page or contact Justin Merrifield at

The information provided on this page is not offered as legal or tax advice. Please consult your tax or financial advisor for further information.