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Edna Kelly smilingEdna Lee Kelly spent much of her childhood outdoors-she grew up in Pinole, California near San Francisco on her family's horse ranch, where she helped train Arabian horses. But it was a special camping trip when she was 12 that ignited her passion for nature.

"My grandmother and youngest uncle took me to Yosemite and we camped, hiked and explored for two weeks," Kelly said. "That's when I fell in love with the mountains and the wildlife. The wilderness just invaded my soul from that point."

Subsequent business trips with her father when she was a teenager also bolstered Kelly's appreciation for the beauty of wild places. "I remember we were driving through the Nevada desert and dad said 'Just look at the beauty of this sunset with the mauve, purple and gold splashed from the setting sun.' He taught me to be observant, to really see the magnificence all around us."

Kelly, now retired from a career in real estate, passed on her love of nature to her own four children and now shares it with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. "I took my kids camping when they were young so they would learn to love and appreciate wilderness," she said. "I have also taken my grandkids to nearby state parks where we hike and look for fossils in a creek near a beautiful Redwood forest. I think it is so important to expose kids to nature!"

Because of her lifelong commitment to nature and wild places, Kelly supports a variety of charitable organizations devoted to wildlife preservation, including The Wilderness Society. She has also decided to establish a legacy to the Society through a gift in her trust of a portion of her estate.

"It just breaks my heart to see animals pushed to the point of extinction or mountaintops destroyed by mining or wilderness areas destroyed or eroded by ATVs," Kelly explained. "I have always believed in this adage: 'We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.'

"I know my gift to the Society will not be an enormous amount of money, but I want to do what I can to save wilderness and wildlife so my great-grandkids and their kids can enjoy what I've enjoyed. If we all just give a little, we can make a big difference."

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to The Wilderness Society a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to The Wilderness Society, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 1615 M Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036, or its successor thereto, ______________ [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to The Wilderness Society or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to The Wilderness Society as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to The Wilderness Society as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and The Wilderness Society where you agree to make a gift to The Wilderness Society and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.