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Make us a beneficiary of your IRA or other “non-probate” assets

Plan your beneficiaries

Why beneficiary designations are so powerful

Assets not included in your will are called non-probate assets. Examples are 401(k)s, IRAs, life insurance policies, and other accounts. Designating the Woodwell Climate Research Center as a beneficiary can have a big impact and may avoid unwanted taxes for your heirs.

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Charitable benefits

Receive an estate tax charitable deduction
Reduce the burden of taxes on your family
Continue to use assets or property during your lifetime
Leave a lasting legacy to Woodwell Climate Research Center
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Common gifted assets for beneficiaries

  • IRA
  • 401(k)
  • Life insurance
  • Joint real estate
  • Joint bank accounts
  • Joint property ownership

Designate Woodwell Climate Research Center as a beneficiary to one or more of your accounts.

We have partnered with FreeWill to offer this free online platform that will walk you through the process of setting up your beneficiaries. These gifts have a big impact and can often prevent unwanted taxation.

Legacy giving helps drive our mission

At Woodwell Climate Research Center, we rely on the generosity of our donors to continue our mission of providing science-based solutions to the climate crisis. Legacy gifts, such as bequests and beneficiary designations, are critical to our ability to provide cutting-edge climate science on a global scale. These gifts provide long-term support, ensuring that we can continue to work toward a safe and stable climate for years to come.

Like most folks, we want our bequest to do as much good as possible. But how to choose, when there is so much need? After much thought, we decided to support climate change research because it seems to underlie everything else: if we don’t have a livable planet, all other issues are a lost cause. When we learned about Woodwell Climate Research Center, we felt we had found a perfect organization to support. We feel acknowledged and appreciated in a way you might not with a larger organization.

Dave Hoover and Carol Swenson

Dave Hoover and Carol Swenson

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! Gifts of any size are deeply appreciated. Many people choose to leave a percentage of their estate, which scales up or down with your estate size.

We encourage you to designate bequests or beneficiary designations to Woodwell Climate’s Endowment Fund to ensure that your gift is used to support climate science in perpetuity.

A non-probate asset is an account or other asset that won’t be governed by the decisions you make in a will. Instead, these accounts commonly have an assigned beneficiary that you choose. Types of non-probate assets include many retirement accounts, life insurance, some bank accounts and some assets (like a house or vehicle) that you jointly own with another person.

The most commonly gifted non-probate asset is an IRA or 401(k). This is because these accounts are always taxed (even for people below the estate tax threshold). Giving these accounts to charity keeps your heirs from having to pay unexpected taxes.

Yes! Even if you have a will in place you still need to designate beneficiaries for your non-probate assets.

No. You can usually make these easily and at no cost to you. 

Yes. You are always free to revise or update your estate plans.

We’re here to help you meet your goals!

Our team would be happy to speak with you in confidence about your giving goals, with no obligation.

Name: Beth Bagley

Title :Director of Legacy Giving

Phone: 508-444-1517


Already included us in your estate plan? Let us know

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More ways to make an impact

Gifts in a will or trust

Donations in your will or trust are (by far) the most popular type of legacy gift. Learn more, or get help starting your will (for free!).

Learn more

Gifts that pay you back

Give assets while providing yourself or others with income for a period of time or distributions at a later date.

Learn more

Popular tax-smart gifts

Many people are increasingly choosing to give non-cash assets, so they can have a bigger impact at less cost to them.

Learn more