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Serving Future Generations: Your Planned Gift to Esalen

“What I have learned and experienced at the ancient healing grounds has been a profound force in my life. I love knowing that my legacy gift will help ensure Esalen’s future.”  
– Sandy Miranda, Esalen Supporter

Your love and aspirations for Esalen can live on as your legacy through a bequest in your will or trust. Bequests can be in the form of cash, stock, bonds, IRAs, real estate, or other personal property. A bequest reduces the taxable portion of an estate and thus the size of the federal tax liability and any applicable state taxes. By naming Esalen as a beneficiary of a retirement plan or fully paid-up life insurance policy, you can also maximize your estate for your family and for Esalen.

Please consult with your accountant or financial advisor to determine what option is best for you.

Common Bequests

  • Specific Bequest: Esalen would receive a specific dollar amount or a specified fraction of your 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 remainder of your 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.

Retirement Plans

By contacting your retirement plan administrator, you can change your beneficiary by completing a simple form. Some retirement plans even allow you to change this designation online. 

  • 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.
  • If you leave these accounts to family members or individuals other than your spouse, the asset may be subject to two taxes:
    • Income tax at the beneficiary’s own tax rate
    • Estate tax
  • 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: whether for general support or a special purpose, such as scholarships.

Giving from Your IRA

The IRA charitable rollover was made permanent by Congress in December 2015. It allows individual taxpayers, older than 70 and a half years, to donate up to $100,000 from their individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and Roth IRAs to nonprofit organizations such as Esalen without having to treat the withdrawals as taxable income. The IRA rollover is also of value to individuals who do not claim itemized deductions on their tax return because the funds are sent directly to nonprofits from IRA accounts and are not counted as income.

Additional Planned Gifts

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

Next Steps

If you are interested in making a planned gift to Esalen, please send a letter outlining your estate plan intentions including type of estate gift and description of percentage of estate, specific dollar amount, description of charitable gift property, asset, or royalty. Contact Elizabeth Stacey at 831.250.1022 x 253 or elizabeth.stacey@esalen.org for more information.

Photography by Jens Wazel

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