What will be your legacy?

Perhaps you choose to live in Groton because the land inspires you. Maybe you feel connected to the land through family memories, the local farm where you buy food, hike, or the view of uninterrupted forest from your favorite trail.

As you think about the past and ponder your vision for the future, you may be considering how you can make a significant difference in conserving what makes Groton so special—its land and rural heritage.

While planned gifts take many forms, they are the result of careful planning and an intention to make a lasting gift. These could include bequests made in a will, naming the GCT as a life insurance beneficiary, or using tax-wise giving options such as charitable gift annuities or remainder trusts.

Conservation supporters who have made planned gifts have had an extraordinary impact on our work. Thanks to early legacy donors, we were able to become a secure, established land trust, better equipped to monitor perpetual easements. Proceeds from planned gifts fund our endowment, ensuring our long term success and stability.

Planned Giving Simple as Pie: A conversation with Steve Lieman on June Johnson’s planned giving legacy

The term “planned giving” refers to charitable gifts that require some planning before they are made. Planned gifts allow you to make a significant gift to the Groton Conservation Trust, and may offer you current income or allow you to retain the asset for personal use during your life.
Please consult with your financial, legal and tax advisors before making any planned gift.

Planned giving has long been a staple in the philanthropic tool kit, and it had us wondering how many people know of this important way of charitable giving. One of these gifts came from a retirement plan from former trustee, June Johnson, at the time of her death. Steve Lieman, June’s husband, agreed to talk more about June’s planned giving.

If you have questions about a planned giving gift, or want to investigate it further, please contact us.

GCT: June named the GCT as beneficiary to an IRA. Is this complicated?
Steve: It was almost effortless. All June needed to do was to make the GCT a named beneficiary of her IRA and assign a percentage of the total IRA that would be paid to the GCT. She was able to carry out the steps on-line with her financial institution in just a matter of minutes. Once in place, June did not have to give this another thought although she could have adjusted the beneficiary percentages at any time with the same simple steps.

GCT: What makes this an effective planned giving tool?
Steve: The beauty of naming your favorite charitable organization as a beneficiary of your IRA is that there is no need to make any changes to your will or any other estate documents that you have.

GCT: How does this differ from naming an organization in your will?
Steve: There is no need for the gifted funds to wait for the often lengthy estate probate process. And these funds are part of your own retirement plan; you use the funds until you move on. Also, for those of us inclined to make planned charitable gifts and who own both tax-deferred retirement and non-retirement accounts, we may wish to prioritize our tax-deferred retirement ac- counts as the source for our planned giving to qualified charities (such as the GCT) since these gifts would avoid the taxation that would otherwise apply.

Retiring trustee June Johnson was presented an award for her 34 years of service.