Gifts that Cost You Nothing Now

Most legacy gifts cost you nothing now. There is no immediate contribution required, and you can change your beneficiaries at any time. Once your family and friends are provided for, we hope you’ll consider leaving a gift to the Civil War Trust in your will or trust or by beneficiary designation so future generations can walk the ground and understand the events that occurred there.


A bequest is one of the most popular ways to ensure that the Civil War Trust can continue our mission for years to come. With a bequest, you retain control of your assets during your lifetime and can change your beneficiaries at any time. You can complete your gift with just a few sentences in your will or trust.

Here are some of the ways that most people leave a gift to the Civil War Trust:

  • General bequest leaves the Civil War Trust a gift of a specific dollar amount or specific asset.
  • Residuary bequest leaves a gift to the Civil War Trust of a percentage of the “rest, residue and remainder” of your estate after other bequests, debts and taxes have been paid.
  • Specific bequest leaves the Civil War Trust a specific dollar amount or stated fraction of your estate or a specified gift of property.
  • Contingent bequest leaves the Civil War Trust with a stated share of your estate, only if a spouse, partner, family member or other beneficiary does not survive you.

You can designate the Civil War Trust as a beneficiary of retirement accounts, life insurance plans, CDs, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and other assets. It’s as simple as contacting the firm that holds your assets and asking them for a beneficiary form to fill out. This type of gift is among the easiest to make and has a lasting impact on our nation’s hallowed battlegrounds for years to come.

Retirement Plan Gift: Retirement assets are among the most heavily taxed, making them an ideal resource for charitable giving once you no longer need the assets yourself. As a tax-exempt nonprofit organization, the Civil War Trust is exempt from paying the taxes that might otherwise be owed. Consider making the Civil War Trust a beneficiary of your retirement assets and leaving other less-heavily taxed assets to loved ones.

Life Insurance Gift: Life insurance is an affordable way to leave a gift to the Civil War Trust while also enjoying tax savings during your lifetime. Benefits include:

  • A significant gift from disposable income at a fraction of the value.
  • Tax saving can be immediately realized.
  • Your donation could reduce final taxes of your estate.
  • Insurance gifts transfer outside the estate.

CDs, Bank and Brokerage Accounts: One of the easiest ways you can help preserve our national battlefields is by making the Civil War Trust the beneficiary of a certificate of deposit, a checking or savings bank account, or brokerage account. Simply request a Pay on Death (POD) or Transfer on Death (TOD) designation form from your financial institution.

Donor Advised Fund Residuals: Final distribution of contributions remaining in a Donor Advised Fund is governed by the contract you completed when you created your fund. We hope you will consider naming the Civil War Trust as a beneficiary of your account. Or, you can name us the beneficiary a portion of the account value, leaving the remaining portion for your heirs to continue your legacy of philanthropy.