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Planned Giving

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Planned Giving

One of the greatest ways you can help protect the Hudson Valley is to support Scenic Hudson’s work beyond your lifetime. Planned gifts make that possible.

There are many ways to include a generous future gift to Scenic Hudson in your plans, each with unique benefits to you, the donor. All forms of planned giving help Scenic Hudson carry on its mission of protecting and preserving the Hudson River Valley’s inspiring natural beauty forever.

Planned gifts are so named because such gifts must be carefully planned as part of the donor’s overall financial and estate planning. You may want to consult with a financial advisor or legal counsel when making a planned gift, as Scenic Hudson is not engaged in rendering legal or tax advisory services.

Hudson River Stewards

Members of our planned giving society, the Hudson River Stewards, are those who make a life-income gift or remember Scenic Hudson in their will or estate plan. Members enjoy an array of benefits, including invitations to special Scenic Hudson events, and listings in important publications, such as our Annual Report. Hudson River Stewards are supporters of Scenic Hudson who are committed to leaving the legacy of a protected and preserved Hudson River Valley.

Wills and Bequests

The most frequently used planned giving instrument is the will, a device that has been around hundreds of years. Each year thousands of individuals exercise their right to determine how the estate they have spent a lifetime accumulating is to be finally distributed. Through your will, you may specify the assets you would like to leave Scenic Hudson by creating a bequest. Then, after your lifetime, your estate can take a charitable deduction for the full amount of your bequest. Depending on the size of your estate, this can result in substantial tax savings. You will also receive membership in our planned giving society, the Hudson River Stewards, for this most significant gift.

Scenic Hudson accepts almost any kind of asset through a bequest, including cash, securities, real estate, or retirement plans. A bequest is deductible for federal estate tax purposes, and there is no limit on the amount of the estate tax charitable deduction.


  • Are created in a will or revocable trust.
  • Offer unlimited charitable estate tax deduction.
  • Provide continued use of assets during your lifetime.
  • Are flexible—you may increase or decrease the amount at any time.
  • No minimum amount.
  • Allow the satisfaction of knowing your commitment to the Hudson River Valley continues after your lifetime.
  • Can be conveniently added with a simple codicil to your will rather than a revision or rewriting of it.

Suggested Language for Bequests: “I give [specify amount or property, percentage or residue] to Scenic Hudson, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation, chartered in the State of New York, located at One Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, for its general purposes.”

If you’re planning to make Scenic Hudson one of your beneficiaries, we encourage you to tell us now. We can work with you or your advisors to make sure the bequest is planned and administered properly. It also gives us the opportunity to thank you and welcome you as a member of the Hudson River Stewards. Requests for anonymity are always respected.

Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs)

A CRT is an irrevocable trust that allows you to make a deferred charitable gift and receive an income tax deduction in the year in which the trust is established. A CRT actually provides for and maintains two sets of beneficiaries. The first set are the income beneficiaries (you and, if married, a spouse). Income beneficiaries receive a set percentage of income for your lifetime from the trust. The second set of beneficiaries is the non-profit you name. They receive the principal of the trust after the income beneficiaries pass away.

Capital Gains

Because their assets are destined for a non-profit, CRTs do not pay any capital gains taxes. These taxes can range from 10% to 20% of an asset’s growth in value. For this reason, CRTs are ideal for assets like stocks or property with a low cost basis but high appreciated value.

Income and Estates Taxes

A CRT is considered “outside of your estate” by the IRS. Because of this, you may end up saving as much as 48 cents of every dollar you move to the CRT. Because CRTs benefit a charity, you also qualify for an income tax deduction. The amount of your deduction is the present value of the remainder interest to the charity.

Retirement Funds

Whether you participate in a company pension plan or a fund you have established yourself, such as an IRA or a 401(k), you may find you’ve accumulated funds beyond your needs for comfortable support of yourself and loved ones.

Retirement funds may be subject to two forms of taxation. Generally, the undistributed balance of qualified retirement plans is fully includable in your gross estate for estate tax purposes. Since the funds in retirement accounts usually represent deferred compensation that has not been subject to income tax, giving the accounts to individual heirs exposes the funds to income taxes. Your retirement dollars can be seriously depleted by this double taxation. When Scenic Hudson is named as the beneficiary, you can avoid both forms of these taxes.

Benefits of a Retirement Fund

  • You have the use of your retirement savings during your lifetime.
  • This form of a gift is revocable and can be changed if your financial circumstances change.
  • The ability to leave loved ones other assets that carry less tax liability.
  • The funds you carefully saved over a lifetime may ultimately be used to defend and protect the Hudson River Valley.

Life Insurance Policies

Consider gifting a life insurance policy to Scenic Hudson. If you no longer need all the life insurance coverage you purchased years ago, you might think about it as an asset you could give to Scenic Hudson. This is an easy way to make a large gift with little cost to yourself.

Benefits of a Life Insurance Policy

  • Save taxes this year if you transfer ownership of a policy that has a cash surrender value.
  • If you continue to pay the premiums, those payments are deductible as charitable gifts.
  • Remove the value of the life insurance from your taxable estate.

For More Information

See if one of our tax-deductible planned gifts is right for you. To learn more about how you can make a lasting investment in our valley, please contact Erin Riley at (845) 473-4440, ext. 105 or