Planned Giving: Your Legacy to Esalen's Future


Your love and appreciation for Esalen can live on as your legacy through a bequest in your will. Bequests can be in the form of cash, stock, bonds, IRA's, real estate or other personal property.

The bequest portion reduces the taxable portion of an estate and thus the size of the federal tax liability, and any applicable state taxes.

"“Esalen has helped me to grow personally and professionally in ways that are very intertwined. Attending workshops and participating in community at Esalen has supported me during some transitional times in my life. It is, therefore, an easy choice for me to give back as a donor and support Esalen. In my work as an attorney, I encourage my clients to think about charities that are meaningful to them when they draw up their estate plans and I would suggest the same thing to fellow Friends. Such gifts are vital in sustaining non-profits like Esalen.” — Lori Lewis

Two Common Types of Bequests Are:

Specific Bequest

Esalen would receive a specific dollar amount or a specified fraction of the estate, or a designated item of property.

LANGUAGE SPECIFIC BEQUEST: I give, devise, and bequeath [describe asset or state specific dollar amount, or percentage of estate] to Esalen Institute, Tax ID# 94-6114235, a California non-profit organization and public benefit charity, located at 55000 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, in order to further the mission and objectives of Esalen.

Residuary Bequest

Esalen would receive a percentage or all of the re- mainder of the estate after other specified bequests have been fulfilled.

LANGUAGE RESIDUARY BEQUEST: I give, devise, and bequeath the residue [or percentage of residue] of my estate to Esalen Institute, Tax ID#94-6114235, a California non-profit organization and public benefit charity, located at 55000 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, in order to further the mission and objectives of Esalen.


By naming Esalen as a beneficiary of a retirement plan or fully paid-up life insurance policy, you can maximize your estate for your family and for Esalen.

Facts to Remember

  • If you have any form of qualified retirement account (IRA, 401(k), 403(b), etc.) you must name beneficiaries to receive the remainder of the account after your lifetime.
  • Many individuals name their children or other family members as their beneficiaries.
  • If you leave these accounts to family or other individuals (other than your spouse), the asset may be subject to two taxes:
    • Income tax at the beneficiary’s own tax rate, and
    • Estate tax
  • The combination of these two taxes can be extremely high – in some cases as high as 80%.
  • You can name Esalen (or any charity) as the beneficiary of your retirement account, leaving other less tax encumbered assets to your heirs.
  • If you name Esalen as beneficiary of your retirement account, 100% of the asset goes tax-free to the purpose you intend: your legacy to future generations of the Institute.
  • You can designate your gift for Esalen’s general purposes or a special purpose, such as scholarships.

How It Works

Contact your retirement plan administrator. In most cases, you can change your beneficiary by completing a simple form. Some retirement plans even allow you to change this designation online.

Please send us a letter outlining your estate plan intentions (i.e., type of estate gift and description percentage of estate, specific dollar amount, description of charitable gift property, asset or royalty).

Additional Planned Gifts to Consider

  • Gift of real estate or a remainder interest in a residence
  • Charitable Remainder Trust
  • Charitable Lead Trust

Please contact Elizabeth Stacey with any questions and to talk more about these opportunties: (831) 250-1022 x 253.


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