Leave A Lasting Legacy

Home » Ways To Give » Leave A Legacy


Leaving a legacy gift in your will or trust can make a lasting difference to Florida State Parks. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection does not directly accept donations or bequeaths to support Florida State Parks. That’s where the Florida State Parks Foundation comes in as the official citizen support organization of Florida State Parks. We serve the purpose, among others, of accepting private funds and utilizing them for the purpose designated.

Planning Your Legacy

Your legacy gift should be thoughtfully planned. Many gifts cost nothing now, there is no minimum contribution, and you are not locked into a decision you make today. Many good planning techniques are available, and you should choose the type of legacy gift that best suits your personal objectives. The Foundation encourages donors to consult with their financial and tax advisors before making a legacy gift.

Hillsborough River


  • Assets remain in your control during your lifetime

  • Modify your bequest to address changing circumstances

  • Direct your bequest to a particular purpose

  • No upper limit on the estate tax deduction

Some donors prefer to bequeath a certain percentage of the remainder of their estate — the amount that remains after paying all debts, costs, and other prior legacies. Some bequests can be a stated dollar amount, or you can bequeath specific property to the Foundation.

Whichever form you prefer, you can direct that your bequest be used for the general support of our work or for a specific purpose supporting Florida State Parks you designate. Please contact Julia Woodward, CEO, at julia@floridastateparksfoundation.org or 850-559-8914. All inquiries are confidential.



Estate Planning

Most legacy giving supporters make unrestricted gifts that allow us to use their funds for Florida State Parks most pressing needs. We are happy to discuss specific ideas you may have for your gift. To make an unrestricted bequest, consider using the following language in your estate plan:

“I bequeath $_________ or _____ percent of my residuary estate to the Florida State Parks Foundation, Inc. a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, organized and existing under the laws of the State of Florida (Federal tax identification number 59-3207818), for its ongoing conservation and educational purposes.” [If you’d like to restrict your bequest for a specific purpose, please let us know.]

Individuals making legacy gifts via their estate plans are vital to our efforts supporting Florida State Parks. If you plan to include the Florida State Parks Foundation in your estate plans or already have done so, please let us know!

IRA Gift

It’s easy to designate the Florida State Parks Foundation as a beneficiary of all or part of your 401k IRA or other qualified plan. You can obtain a Designation of Beneficiary Form from your retirement plan administrator and complete as directed.

Those, age 70-1/2 and older, with a traditional IRA, must take a mandatory minimum distribution. Donors can transfer funds from their IRA accounts directly to the charities of their choice without first having to recognize the distribution as income. Sometimes called an “IRA Rollover” or a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD), a gift made directly from your qualified IRA can lower your taxable income. Because distributions from retirement plans may be subject to income tax, it can be a good strategy to use these for charitable bequests and leave other assets to heirs.

Stocks Gift

Gifts of stocks, bonds or mutual funds can save on taxes. These types of securities gifted to the Florida State Parks Foundation are typically sold and the proceeds used for its programs. You receive gift credit and an immediate income tax deduction for the fair market value of the securities on the date of transfer, no matter what you originally paid for them.

Real Estate or Other Tangible Property Gift

Some donors give land or other real estate or other valuable personal property such as vehicles, boats, antiques or jewelry. Let us turn those assets into a legacy. Typically, the Foundation would sell the real estate or other tangible property and use the proceeds to fund our programs.

Life Insurance Policy

Life insurance assets can be a significant gift with little or no outright expense. The simplest method is to name the Florida State Parks Foundation as a full, partial or contingent beneficiary of your policy. You retain full control of your policy and any value it accrues. To make this gift, contact your insurance company or agency to complete a new beneficiary designation form.

You may also name our Foundation as the owner of a life insurance policy during your lifetime. You are eligible to receive an immediate income tax charitable deduction for a portion of the policy’s face value. Some donors who have transferred significant assets to a charity use life insurance as a “wealth-replacement” strategy to support loved ones. If a donor gives the Florida State Parks Foundation a $100,000 gift, for example, he or she may replace that value in their estate with a life insurance policy of equal value that names loved ones as beneficiaries.

Donor-Advised Funds

A Donor-Advised Fund gives you a convenient, versatile way to make charitable contributions when and how you want. You can make an initial donation and claim the maximum tax benefits allowed by law, then take your time to decide which nonprofit organizations or activities you want to support. It’s a great choice if you want to spread your giving over time and among a variety of causes.

Charitable Remainder Trust or Lead Trust

A CRT is a tax-exempt irrevocable trust designed to reduce the taxable income of individuals. Once set up, either through a charity or via one’s financial advisors, remainder trusts disperse income to the donor or other named beneficiaries of the trust for their lifetime or a specified period of time, after which the remainder of the trust is donated to the designated charity.

A Charitable Lead Trust operates in the converse way. Once the lead trust is created, the designated charity(ies) receives the income from the trust for a specified period of time, after which the remainder of the trust passes to the named beneficiaries.

Thank You!

There are other forms of legacy giving which allow the donors to derive some income from their investments during their lifetime i.e. life income gifts and charitable remainder unitrusts. Ask your financial adviser about these and other giving options.

Please contact us to discuss options for your legacy giving to protect Florida’s outstanding State Parks.  This requires a long-term commitment and your legacy gift helps us in our mission to support them. Please contact Julia Woodward, CEO, julia@floridastateparksfoundation.org or 850-559-8914. All inquiries are strictly confidential.