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Bequests

A gift by will or trust is a creative way to help the Garden in the long term, while still retaining full control of your assets during your lifetime. Each bequest to the Garden serves as a legacy for future generations, and helps secure the future of the Institution and of society. Every bequest—no matter what size—provides benefits to our visitors, researchers, and community.

Many donors and friends have already informed the Garden of plans for bequests to the Institute, and many others have undoubtedly also established gifts of this kind. Donors have specified plans to give a gift of cash, securities, real estate, or other appreciated assets through their will or trust.  Staff members in our gift planning office are able to help donors and their legal advisors craft bequest language so as to ensure the donor’s estate objectives are met.

Many donors find that a bequest is an effective instrument for making a major gift to the Garden, which may ultimately be used for specific programs or be unrestricted to meet the Garden’s most pressing needs. Generally, charitable bequests will lower your estate taxes.

If you already have a will and wish to add the Garden, you only have to complete a codicil (a simple legal instrument to modify your will). The following are suggested forms for making various types of bequests:

  • Specific Bequest: You leave a specific sum of money or specific assets to the Garden
  • Percentage of the Estate: You leave a percentage of your assets to pass through your will to the Garden
  • Residual Beneficiary: You name the Garden as the ultimate and final beneficiary of your will after payment of other bequests and estate expenses
  • Contingent Bequest: You name the Garden as the beneficiary of your estate only if others named in your will are not living at the time of your death
  • Testamentary Trust:You include a provision in your will to provide lifetime income to your spouse and/or other beneficiaries, after which the assets of the trust are given to the Garden

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden fosters the conservation of California's native plants through
our gardens, research and education, and serves as a role model of sustainable practices