Plan Your Legacy

Create a lasting legacy. A planned gift to Northern Plains is an act of love, kindness, and care to yourself, your loved ones, and your community. A gift of any size sustains your values so that Montana’s future generations will thrive and prosper.

Estate Planning Guide

Planned Giving can look different for everyone. You can simply update your beneficiaries on accounts, retirement savings, or insurance policies. Or you may want the help of an attorney to write a will or make a more complex gift. Here’s a guide for what to prepare before hiring a lawyer.

Estate Planning Preparation Tips

Leave a gift in your will

Your thoughtful plans mean a great deal to Northern Plains. Leaving a gift in your will provides a strong financial base to help us fulfill our mission in many ways. When you make a bequest to Northern Plains, we hope you will notify us so we can express our appreciation for your generosity and recognize it appropriately.

Please see our bequest brochure for more information: Northern Plains Bequest Brochure

Retirement Accounts or Life Insurance Policies

You can name the Northern Plains Resource Council as a beneficiary for your retirement account, life insurance policy, certificate of deposit, bank account, brokerage account, or other assets. Simply request a beneficiary form from your financial institution and complete it.

Montana Endowment Tax Credit

The state of Montana offers extra tax credits for gifts made to the Northern Plains Endowment.  Direct gifts are eligible for a 20% credit.  Planned gifts are eligible for a credit of 40% up to a maximum of $10,000.  Credits cannot be carried forward or backward so it’s important to plan the structure and timing of gifts to maximize your tax benefits.

Gifts That Pay Income

There are many ways to make a legacy gift to support work you care deeply about while also ensuring fixed income for you for life.  Income payments are at least partially free of income tax and can qualify for the Montana Endowment Tax Credit, capital gains taxes from selling the underlying assets are avoided, and there can be additional estate tax savings. 

There are different ways to structure these gifts and we can work with you to make sure your gift is personalized to your needs. Please contact us or your financial advisor for more details. 

Gift Annuities

With a charitable gift annuity, you can earn annual income for life based on the value of your gift placed in the annuity. A gift annuity can be a great way to leave a lasting legacy with added benefits for you like income for life, income tax savings, and avoiding capital gains taxes on the asset used to underwrite the annuity. 

Charitable Trusts

If you are interested in using your home, property, business, or similar assets to make a legacy gift, we can help you structure that gift with a charitable trust to maximize the tax savings for you and your estate.  There are ways to make a legacy gift to Northern Plains and return the underlying asset to the heir(s) of your choice. These gifts can also qualify for the Montana Endowment Tax Credit.

Charitable Lead Trust

With a Charitable Lead Trust, the assets you designate are held in trust and income is paid to Northern Plains for a set term. Upon fulfillment of the gift, the asset is returned to you or your designated heir.  This gift structure can be a great way to reduce taxes on inherited assets as well as generate income tax savings on the gift paid to Northern Plains.


Charitable Remainder Trust

With a Charitable Remainder Trust, you can receive income for life and the assets you designate are held in trust and transferred to Northern Plains upon fulfillment. This gift structure can be particularly beneficial if funded with highly appreciated assets.  You can reduce your income taxes immediately upon funding the trust, reduce estate taxes, and avoid capital gains taxes on the sale of assets. 

Legacy and Financial Planning Webinars

Members of Northern Plains are changemakers and trailblazers. You fight for Montana’s air, land, and water not only for you, but for the prosperity of future generations. Individuals such as yourself leave a legacy of integrity, stewardship, and courage.

Our FREE educational webinar series is the perfect opportunity to get a jump-start on crafting the legacy you want to leave behind and help you meet the long-term needs of Montana’s air, water, and working landscapes. Legacy planning is not an ending – it is just the beginning.

Contact us if you have any legacy planning questions

Fill out the form below or call us at (406) 248-1154.


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Donor Advised Funds are a powerful tool for any donor.  Learn more today.  

Northern Plains believes in responsible stewardship in all areas, including with financial management.

There are many ways to make a difference at Northern Plains. Donations of stock, donor advised funds, and even cars or property, can help ensure the future of the work you care about.

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