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The parks have been a part of my life for my entire life. How can I give a most meaningful gift?

The National Park Service was founded in 1916. Our national parks are here to stay.

The Honorable Dan Evans, in a video for Washington’s National Park Fund, stated “…a bequest certainly fits the national parks better than almost anything you can do. You are saying ‘I want to invest in something beyond my lifetime.’ I can’t think of anything that is more permanent than preservation of our national parks. The legacy of a bequest gift will go on for generations to come. Our children’s children benefit from that kind of gift.”

Together, the Fund, the parks, and good people like Mr. Evans are in it for the long haul. Join us!

Thinking about the next 100 years.

Here’s how you can help. Quite simply: remember your favorite park in your will.

BEQUESTS

1. Specific Bequest: Make a gift of a specific asset – real estate, property, a specific dollar amount. For example, you may wish to leave $10,000 to one of the parks through Washington’s National Park Fund, or you may elect to leave a percentage as mentioned above.

2. Residual Bequest: This type of bequest takes place after other specific bequests – to your children, your religious institution, your spouse/partner, etc. – have been fulfilled. You can elect to leave a percentage of the “residue” to Washington’s National Park Fund for a specific park and/or area.

To establish a bequest, speak with an attorney who has expertise in estate planning. As you go into the conversation, this language may prove helpful:

SPECIFIC AMOUNT OR PERCENTAGE OF ESTATE

I hereby give, devise and bequeath DESCRIPTION OF AMOUNT OR PERCENTAGE to Washington’s National Park Fund, a nonprofit organization located at 1904 Third Avenue, Suite 400, Seattle, WA 98101. Federal Tax ID: #01-0869799, for the benefit of Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic National Parks (or one of the parks in particular).

SPECIFIC REAL ESTATE

I hereby give, devise and bequeath ALL OF THE RIGHTS, TITLE AND INTEREST IN THE REAL ESTATE LOCATED AT ADDRESS OR DESCRIPTION OF PROPERTY to Washington’s National Park Fund, a nonprofit organization located at 1904 Third Avenue, Suite 400, Seattle, WA 98101. Federal Tax ID: #01-0869799, for the benefit of Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic National Parks (or one of the parks in particular).

SPECIFIC PERCENTAGE OF YOUR ENTIRE ESTATE

I hereby give, devise and bequeath THIS PERCENTAGE OF MY ESTATE to Washington’s National Park Fund, a nonprofit organization located at 1904 Third Avenue, Suite 400, Seattle, WA 98101. Federal Tax ID: #01-0869799, for the benefit of Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic National Parks (or one of the parks in particular).

SPECIFIC ITEM OF VALUE

I hereby give, devise and bequeath DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC ITEM to Washington’s National Park Fund, a nonprofit organization located at 1904 Third Avenue, Suite 400, Seattle, WA 98101. Federal Tax ID: #01-0869799, for the benefit of Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic National Parks (or one of the parks in particular).

Notes worth mentioning include the fact that all bequests are exempt from federal estate taxes. In other words, if you have a taxable estate, the estate tax charitable deduction may offset or eliminate estate taxes resulting in a larger inheritance for your loved ones. Please consult your professional advisor for details.

RESTRICTED BEQUEST

If you are considering a bequest that will be used for a specific project within the parks, please let us know. We will work with you and your attorney to identify ways to give that will ensure your wishes are met. If you choose to go this route, we suggest that your attorney include the following provision which will give Washington’s National Park Fund flexibility should your identified project be complete. This gives Washington’s National Park Fund the flexibility to ensure very similar projects are honored.

If, in the judgment of the Board of Directors of Washington’s National Park Fund, it shall become impossible for Washington’s National Park Fund to use this bequest to accomplish the specific purposes as outlined within, Washington’s National Park Fund may use the income and principal of this gift for such purpose(s) as the Board determines is most closely related to the restricted purpose of my bequest.

It’s worth noting the importance of communicating your wishes to ensure they’re achievable and in keeping with the future of the parks. Maybe it’s:

  • Land preservation and revegatation, to ensure the meadows will blossom forever
  • Science and research, to maintain ongoing studies about the plants and animals that call our national parks home
  • Volunteerism and stewardship, to train and equip those who work so hard and so generously; thanks to the Wilson family’s gift, Mount Rainier National Park’s volunteer program has grown by leaps and bounds
  • Giving to one of the parks’ endowments; as they grow, the interest earnings will help the parks with their priority projects

Gifts that keep on Giving: Support the parks’ Endowments

Endowments provide ongoing benefits year after year. They provide a reliable source of income in perpetuity! They earn interest while keeping the core endowment principal intact. Interest earnings fund projects and programs over the long haul. The ratio of principal to income changes year-to-year based on prevailing market rates.

Washington’s National Park Fund has established endowments for Mount Rainier, North Cascades, and Olympic National Parks. Mount Rainier’s endowment was established by a bequest in 2010 and has grown ever since. North Cascades and Olympic’s endowments were established a few years ago and are experiencing interest earnings as well. To date, the interest is being reinvested back into each park’s endowment.

Thank you for considering this very meaningful remembrance of your love and support of our national parks.

Please contact Laurie Ward, the Fund’s Executive Director, at (206) 623-2063 to learn more.