Join the Valley Visionaries

The VPC has created the Valley Visionaries to recognize extraordinary individuals, families and organizations who have included the Valleys Planning Council in their estate and financial plans. By doing so, these friends are helping to ensure that the beautiful land they love will continue to be protected and championed for future generations.

Simple Bequests
Bequests from Retirement Accounts
Charitable Remainder Unitrusts
The Valley Visionaries

Simple Bequests

You can include the VPC in your will or revocable living trust with a straightforward charitable bequest that enables you to benefit the VPC in ways that may not be possible during your lifetime and achieve your financial goals through an estate tax deduction.  Bequests are easy to implement and change should you need the assets during your lifetime.

Two common types of bequests are:

  • A specific bequest for a designated sum of money (or other asset with Board approval).
  • A residuary bequest, which designates remainder or a portion of your estate after others have received their share.

Sample bequest language:

  • “I bequeath the sum of $____ to the Valleys Planning Council, a Maryland non-profit corporation, qualified under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, with a mailing address of P.O. Box 5402, Towson, Maryland 21285, or its successor in interest, to be used for its general charitable purposes.”
  • “I bequeath to the Valleys Planning Council, a Maryland non-profit corporation, qualified under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, with a mailing address of P.O. Box 5402, Towson, Maryland 21285, or its successor in interest, all (or a portion) of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate to be used for its general charitable purposes.”

The above sample bequest language is offered as an aid and not intended as legal advice. Please confer with your attorney or estate/tax advisor when updating your will or trust.

The Valleys Planning Council
The Valleys Planning Council

Bequests from Retirement Accounts

Another way to show your support for the Valleys Planning Council is to designate your remaining retirement plan assets to the VPC.  By naming the VPC as a recipient of some or all of your IRA, 401(k), 403(b) or other qualified plan, you can make a significant gift to the VPC after your passing (when you no longer require retirement income).

This approach enables you to continue to take regular withdrawals from your retirement account to support your needs, while maintaining the flexibility to change beneficiaries should your family’s needs change during your lifetime.

Naming the VPC as a qualified beneficiary for your retirement plan assets may also provide tax benefits for your estate and heirs.

When you designate the Valleys Planning Council as the beneficiary for all or a portion of your qualified retirement plan assets, those assets pass to the VPC free of any tax. However, when these assets are passed to heirs (excluding your surviving spouse), they are subject to federal income tax and may also be subject to federal estate tax (depending upon the value of your estate) as well as various state, income, and estate and inheritance taxes.  Retirement plan assets can be an ideal choice for charitable gifts because they are taxed at ordinary income tax rates (not tax efficient) when they pass to heirs. Designating these funds to a charitable beneficiary like VPC ensures maximum tax efficiency in gifting.

To make the VPC a qualified beneficiary of your retirement plan, simply contact your IRA or retirement plan administrator and request a copy of the Change of Beneficiary Form. You can fill this in as you wish and include the Valleys Planning Council for all or a portion of your plan’s assets.

As with all changes to your estate and financial plans, please confer with your attorney or estate/tax advisor to review your personal circumstances.

Charitable Remainder Unitrusts

A charitable remainder unitrust (known as a “CRUT”) is an irrevocable trust, which has two primary characteristics:

  1. Once established, the CRUT distributes a fixed percentage of the fair market value of its assets (at least 5%) to you and/or a beneficiary whom you name.
  2. At the termination of the trust, the remaining balance of the CRUTs assets (which must be at least 10% of the fair market value of the assets contributed to the trust) are distributed to a selected charity.

A CRUT is designed to reduce your taxable capital gains while increasing your and/or your beneficiary’s annual income for life or for a set period of time. The remaining assets eventually transfer to a designated charity such as the Valleys Planning Council.

A charitable remainder unitrust can help you maintain or increase your income while making a significant gift to Valleys Planning Council. Plus, provided your CRUT asset base grows, your payments will grow too, providing a hedge against inflation.

How It Works:

  • You transfer cash, securities, or other appreciated property into the charitable remainder unitrust via an irrevocable designation
  • You may use real estate to fund the trust, which can be structured to provide lifetime income for you and/or others, or income for a term of years.
  • Practically, you should consider the minimum for this type of gift $100,000, but this is not required. You receive an income tax deduction for a portion of your contribution and pay no upfront capital gains tax on appreciated assets that you give.
  • You can make additional gifts to the trust as your circumstances allow for additional income and tax benefits.
  • The trust pays income (a percentage of the value of its principal, which is valued annually) for life or a term of years to you or beneficiaries you name.
  • When the trust terminates, the remainder passes to the Valleys Planning Council.

Consult your attorney or estate/tax advisor to determine if a charitable remainder unitrust is right for you. Please notify VPC if you select the Valleys Planning Council to be the beneficiary of your CRUT.  The VPC can assist your attorney or advisor in the creation of the trust.

The Valleys Planning Council

The Valley Visionaries

We encourage donors who have made gifts to the Valleys Planning Council through wills, retirement accounts, or other planned gifts to notify the VPC so that we may enroll them in the Valley Visionaries. Members of the Valley Visionaries will be honored annually with a special event, as well as in our annual report and newsletters.

To enroll in the Valley Visionaries, download the Valley Visionaries Membership Form and return it to The Valleys Planning Council, P.O. 5402, Towson, MD 21285 to be enrolled. Or call the VPC at 410-337-6877.

Please do call the Valleys Planning Council at 410-337-6877 if you would like assistance with your planned giving.

Download The Valley Visionaries Membership Form

If you would like more information about the Valley Visionaries or how to include the VPC in your estate plans, please call 410-337-6877 or email Or fill out the Valley Visionaries Membership Form and return it to The Valleys Planning Council, P.O. 5402, Towson, MD 21285 to be enrolled.

Thoughts on Planned Giving

Richard “Rick” Rockwell passed away on March 24, 2016. He was a long-time member of the VPC Board of Directors and thoughtfully left a very generous bequest to the Valleys Planning Council. Recently, his wife Frances Rockwell shared the importance of estate planning and the impact planning ahead can make.

“Every time I think of the Valleys Planning Council, I think of Rick. He passed away so unexpectedly, but thankfully he was very strategic and creative regarding estate planning, which included remembering the VPC.”

“Rick believed in making a difference and supporting organizations that were near and dear to him, especially those that impacted the community in which he lived. He was mindful of where his gift could do the most good and have the greatest impact.  The Valleys Planning Council was a perfect fit.”

“While not focusing on one’s end of life, but recognizing the need for estate planning, Rick believed the VPC to be an excellent beneficiary of his IRA. Rick loved serving on the Board, as it gave him insight to the issues and concerns facing the valleys, the mission, and where help was needed most. He valued being with the people who helped build the vision and shape the changes most impacting this community. Rick wanted to support their important work and the need of the VPC with a bequest from his IRA. Where would we be, what would our region look like, if the VPC hadn’t been created in the 1960s? Supporting their work was important to him.”

“The wonderful impact from his IRA bequests was an early and unexpected eye opener to the benefits of thoughtful planning, and inspired me to put more thought into mine.”