the cedar society
How do you envision the future of the Upper Peninsula? If you’re like us, you see crystal-clear rivers, recreation opportunities, healthy forests, abundant wildlife, and a thriving economy that endure far into the future. It is never too soon to start planning for that future, and you can help us get there.
The Cedar Society is a group of dedicated supporters of the UP Land Conservancy who are protecting the future of our Peninsula with their legacy plans; some have given gifts of land or Conservation Easements now, some have let us know that they will use other legacy giving tools like bequests.
The Cedar Society is named for the Northern White Cedar, Thuja Occidenatlis, a much loved tree in the Upper Peninsula. It is honored by the Anishinaabe Ojibwe with the name “Nookomis Giizhik,” which means “Grandmother Cedar,” for its life-giving qualities. The gifts of Grandmother Cedar include crafts, culture, and medicine, and the longevity of these gifts is particularly noteworthy. Cedar can live upwards of 1,000 years, and when the tree comes to rest on the surface of the earth, Cedar continues to give to nutrients to the forest for another 1,000 years as a “nurse log,” providing shelter for the next generation, ensuring the continuity of the forest.
No matter your current station in life, you can begin preparing your conservation legacy today. Your planned gift can benefit you and your loved ones, while simultaneously helping to protect the wild places of the Upper Peninsula for years to come.
Cedar Society members use planned giving for significant charitable gifts made during or after their life as part of an overall financial or estate plan. Planned gifts differ from charitable donations, for example annual gifts, as they are planned in advance in order to take advantage of legal and tax strategies. This approach allows you to address the future financial needs of yourself and your loved ones while simultaneously providing non-profit organizations with more substantial gifts than you may be able to with a regular donation. Additionally, knowing that we are remembered in legacy plans can help UPLC plan for future land acquisitions and continued protection of land in the UP.
Three ways you can begin planning your lasting legacy in partnership with UPLC:
Bequest in Will or Trust
Beneficiary of life insurance or retirement plans
Donating land or stocks
Directing a percentage or particular assets in your
Will or Trust
This is the most common form of planned gift, and it can be quite straightforward. You can designate a percentage of your estate or a particular asset to UPLC by including a bequest provision in your will or trust. For example, you may choose to designate stocks, gifts of money, or the residue of your estate. You can either add this designation while creating your will or trust, or you can add a simple amendment to your existing documents. This type of gift will cost nothing during your lifetime, and gifts can be easily altered if your circumstances change. Bequests may also significantly reduce the estate tax burden to you and your heirs.
Naming UPLC as beneficiary of retirement plans or life insurance policy
Naming UPLC as beneficiary of your life insurance policies or retirement assets can be a highly effective method of planned giving, especially if you have more assets available than you and your heirs require.
If you gift a life insurance policy, there are many options available. You may list UPLC as the beneficiary of the policy, to be distributed after your lifetime, or you may choose to make immediate gift by naming UPLC as both owner and beneficiary of the policy.
Retirement assets are often subject to income taxes and sometimes estate taxes when gifted to individuals. However, as a non-profit organization, we will not need to pay income or estate taxes, meaning the full value of your gift can be used to protect the Upper Peninsula.
You love the land. We do, too.
Let's chat about how we can protect it forever, together.
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Donating land or stocks
Land assets are a powerful gift, and UPLC knows land – we currently protect over 6,000 acres. You can donate your land assets either during or after your lifetime. There are many options for donating land, depending on your vision and desires. For example, you can donate the land outright to UPLC, where we may designate it as a conservation preserve, conservation reserve, or trade land, which helps us raise funds and continue our operations. If you prefer to retain the rights to use and/or live on the property, either for yourself or your heirs, a customized conservation easement may be just right. Donating land during your lifetime can provide tax benefits, for example you may receive a charitable tax deduction for the full market value of the property and/or pay no capital gains tax on the transfer. If you are interested in donating land, it is imperative that you speak with us about your property and learn about the specific options available for your land!
For more information about donating stocks, see our dedicated informational page here.
The UPLC is not authorized to give legal advice, and the above material is provided for informative purposes only. Please consult with your personal financial planner and/or legal adviser to learn about current legal and tax strategies, and to implement any of these planned giving strategies in your estate planning documents