Leaving Your Legacy

Your passions can last forever.
Legacy gifts come in all different sizes and forms, and no amount is too small. The Yampa Valley Community Foundation is here to help you give back to our community—now and forever. Making a legacy gift reflects your ongoing commitment to the community and the causes you value most. Your choice to make a lasting gift will ensure your passions and interests will continue to be shared and addressed after you are gone.

We support a healthy and vital community today and tomorrow.
The Yampa Valley Community Foundation was created with the future in mind. Since our establishment in 1996, we have partnered with hundreds of local individuals, families and organizations to help fulfill philanthropic goals. We steward their charitable gifts and make grants from their funds to fulfill the donor’s unique, personal wishes. We adhere to the highest standards to honor legacies and to keep our promise to you and our community today, tomorrow and for generations to come.

Acknowledging your commitment to the future.
The Sleeping Giant Society honors individuals who are committed to supporting our community beyond their lifetimes. Often, these meaningful gifts go unrecognized because they come at the end of a donor’s life. The Sleeping Giant Society is our way of acknowledging your commitment to the future—today. Becoming a member is simple. Include the Yampa Valley Community Foundation as a beneficiary of a gift from your estate and notify us of your plan. We invite you to call or visit us anytime to discuss your charitable giving goals.

Learn more about the Sleeping Giant Society


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Why Leave a Legacy?

If you have realized you can change people’s lives through your charitable giving, you are a philanthropist and can leave your legacy in the Yampa Valley. Making a legacy gift reflects your ongoing commitment to the community and the causes you value most. The Yampa Valley Community Foundation is here to help philanthropists like you give back to our community—now and forever.

How large does a "legacy" have to be?

Legacy gifts come in all different sizes and forms and no amount is too small.

Where do I begin?

Together, with your financial professional, begin collecting information to determine the best approach for leaving your legacy. Making bequests or other testamentary gifts is actually quite simple. It can be as easy as including a bequest in your will or changing the name of the beneficiary on your life insurance policy or an IRA. It is important, however, that you always consult your financial professional when making decisions to leave a charitable gift through your will or from your estate.

If I make a bequest now, how can I be sure to have enough money to cover my expenses through the rest of my life?

Many donors worry that by leaving a legacy, they will not have enough assets to see them through the rest of their lives or through the “hard times,” such as a health and/or financial crises. They may also be concerned that family members or children will not benefit from receiving the full sum of their estate. Professional financial advisors can show you how a legacy gift can generate tax savings and/or an income stream for yourself, a spouse or children.

Are legacies always given in the form of money?

Gifts may come in the form of money, property, life insurance, an investment or percentage of an estate. Tax benefits often accompany a gift from a will or estate.

Must I have an estate in order to leave a gift?

An estate is simply a word used to describe any property, money or personal belongings that you may have at the time of your death. Most people leave an estate at the time your death, even though they may not have a great deal of wealth. Anyone can arrange to leave a charitable gift from their estate.

Where can I find out more about how to Leave a Legacy?

It is critical to seek the advice of your attorney and other advisers including accountants, insurance agents, investments planners, professional trust officers and financial planners.

Important tips about leaving a legacy.
  • Talk to a variety of specialists, including your attorney, financial advisors and the professionals at the Yampa Valley Community Foundation. Learn as much as you can about various charitable gift options and the kinds of gifts that make the most sense for both you and the Yampa Valley.
  • Engage an attorney and/or advisor who will best represent you and your interests. Always make sure that there is a backup attorney and/or advisor in case your attorney/advisor is unavailable at a critical time.
    Seek an attorney and/or profession financial advisor who shares your commitment to charitable giving.
  • For legal work, enlist an attorney who practices estate planning on a full-time or nearly full-time basis.
    Make sure the attorney and/or advisor has experience within your specific finance range.
  • As you narrow your choice, seek references and follow your instincts. Find someone you are comfortable with and trust.

NOTE – (None of this information should be construed as legal advice. In making a charitable gift, it is always important to seek the advice of your attorney and profession financial advisors)


Planning your legacy can be complex on many levels. Planned gifts allow you to make substantial contributions to secure the future of the Yampa Valley that generally offer tax benefits and allow you to change your mind at a later date without affecting your current financial situation. This partial list provides an overview of some ways you can help establish your personal legacy in the Yampa Valley. The information set forth below does not constitute tax or legal advice. You should be sure to consult your attorney, financial advisor or estate planner to determine the right approach for your situation.

Simple Arrangements

These options can be performed in a few minutes with easy-to-complete forms obtained from the company that administers your plan, policy or account. They are the easiest options for making a legacy gift to the YVCF.

Retirement Plan Beneficiary Designation.
Consider listing the YVCF as a percentage beneficiary of an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), workplace-sponsored retirement plan or other retirement accounts. Even a small designation for charity (1%-5%) can result in a substantial legacy gift. Due to taxes, the balance of your retirement account may be worth much more to the YVCF than to your heirs.

Life Insurance Policy Beneficiary Designation.
Consider making the YVCF a percentage beneficiary of a life insurance policy, or make the YVCF a contingent beneficiary that will only be paid out if all of your primary beneficiaries are no longer living. Some companies provide employees with a small life insurance policy. If your dependents are already covered by another, more generous life insurance policy, consider making the YVCF beneficiary of the workplace life insurance policy.

Payment/Transfer on Death Beneficiary Forms.
Non-retirement investments (eg. stocks, bonds, securities) and bank accounts can in some states be transferred directly to charities upon death using a “payable-on-death” (POD) or “transfer on death” (TOD) form.

More Effort

Wills and trust documents are among the most common tools utilized to leave money to charitable causes. Preparing these documents generally involves the use of attorneys, estate planners or other financial planners.

Wills, Trusts and Estate Plans.
Several bequest types can be used to donate assets to the YVCF through your will, or revocable trust. Options include giving the YVCF a set dollar amount, a specific percentage of your estate, the residual amount remaining after other bequests have been paid, or only if your primary dependents do not survive you. When filling out your legacy gift forms and documents, please reference: “The Yampa Valley Community Foundation, located in Routt County, Colorado.” Our federal tax identification number is 84-0794536

It is always a good idea to share your bequest plans with the YVCF to ensure that the language used will reflect your wishes.


Complex Strategies

An alphabet soup of acronyms exists to cover increasingly complicated estate planning tools, including Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRT), Charitable Gift Annuities (CGA), Charitable Lead Trusts (CLT) and many others. Have your attorney or estate planner contact the YVCF if you are interested in setting up one of these accounts.

Every day we meet with partners, new and longstanding, to pass on our passion to build a better Yampa Valley. If you have a passion, we can help you find the best way to pass it on.

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