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Your Esalen Legacy

Leaving a Bequest to Esalen Institute in Your Will or Living Trust

Naming Esalen Institute in your will or living trust is a thoughtful way to leave a legacy to Esalen for future generations. Property bequeathed to a non-profit organization is not subject to estate tax, and may avoid other taxes, too. The bequest portion reduces the taxable portion of your estate and thus the size of the federal tax liability, and any applicable state taxes. Bequests can be in the form of cash, stock, bonds, IRAs, real estate, or other personal property.

Gifts of Life Insurance

If your children are grown up and you no longer need life insurance for other purposes, then please consider making a charitable gift of life insurance to Esalen Institute.

The simplest way is to name Esalen as sole or partial beneficiary of the policy. Your estate receives an estate tax deduction and Esalen receives your legacy gift.

Gifts of Retirement Plan Assets

There are no tax implications when the funds left in a deceased spouse’s qualified retirement plan are transferred to the surviving spouse as beneficiary. But if the surviving spouse leaves the couples’ joint retirement assets to their children, nieces or nephews, or any other heir, then federal and state income taxes must be paid and the assets may also be subject to estate taxes.

However, retirement assets that are left to a charity such as Esalen Institute are tax-free! Leaving other kinds of assets to your heirs is a tax-wise strategy and will ensure they receive more of your estate.

Obtain a beneficiary form from your IRA, 401(k) or 403(b) plan administrator and designate Esalen Institute as either the sole, partial, or contingent beneficiary.

This information is provided as an educational service and is not meant as advice. 
Donors are encouraged to consult with their attorney or financial advisor.

For further information on planned gifts, please contact Elizabeth Stacey,
Director of Advancement at (831) 250-1022 x253 or


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