Your Life. Your Legacy.

Join the dedicated individuals and families who have taken steps to preserve Lake George with a planned gift to the Lake George Land Conservancy! Once we know of your intentions, you will be part of our legacy society, the Land & Water Society, which includes special invites to exclusive events designed for Society members and special acknowledgement and recognition at LGLC events and in publications. Complete our online pledge form or download a printable form.

Manning and Ginny Rowan Smith are generously presenting their Challenge for the Future of Lake George in 2024.

Now until November 30, 2024, the Smiths will give $5,000* to the LGLC for every new legacy pledge received, regardless of method or amount (*or a one-to-one match, if amount is specified), up to a total of $324,000.

Upon receipt, legacy gifts will be used according to the donor’s wishes, as specified at the time of their pledge. The Smith’s match will be added to the Virginia Rowan Smith Endowment, which helps the LGLC with current and future capital projects.

A mother with a baby in a back carrier stands next to her daughter on the summit of The Pinnacle Preserve. She and her daughter are making heart shapes with their hands, held over their heads, with Lake George in the background.

To be a part of this Challenge, please download and return this pledge form or complete our online pledge form.

This is the third time the Smiths have offered this generous Challenge. Virginia “Ginny” Rowan Smith is a member of the LGLC’s Advisory Board, a Director Emeritus and a champion of LGLC’s legacy program.

“Our family has been active in the Lake George Land Conservancy for many years because we want to make sure that what we experienced as children will also be here for our children and all future generations,” said Mrs. Smith. “Estate planning is one of the most powerful ways to do this. The gift can be large or small. And its benefits will continue long after one’s lifetime.

“After the great success of our last Challenge, Manning and I decided to repeat the offer and encourage even more folks to join the LGLC’s planned giving society. When I talk with others who have joined this Society, I always sense a feeling of accomplishment, and a feeling of pride that no matter what decisions they make going forward in terms of life’s priorities, they have created a legacy for Lake George.”

By directing your legacy gift to the Lake George Land Conservancy, you will help protect the crystal clean drinking water and forested mountains of Lake George.

Your gift may also allow you to take advantage of tax benefits that will protect your family’s inheritance. Most traditional donations are in the form of cash, stock or securities, but other options are also available, as described below.

If you’d like to discuss planned giving options and how you can be part of the Land & Water Society, please call Helen Barton Benedict at 518-644-9673, or email to set up a time to meet or talk on the phone.

Ways to Give


A simple way to make a gift to the Lake George Land Conservancy is through your will, naming the Lake George Land Conservancy as a direct beneficiary of specific assets, of a portion of your estate, or of your residual estate after other payments. Bequests can serve as an enduring investment in the future of Lake George.

Specifically designed bequests may include:

Contingent Bequests
You direct that a specific amount or a percentage of your estate be paid to LGLC only if your other beneficiaries do not survive you.

Residuary Bequests
You name LGLC to receive all or a specified percentage of the assets remaining in your estate after other expenses and bequests have been paid.

Remainder Bequests
You direct that a sum be placed aside and invested to pay income to a surviving spouse or child. This can be for a period of years or for the lifetime of your beneficiary. Afterwards, the remaining principal goes to LGLC.

Memorial Bequests
You establish a fund in the memory of a family member or friend. This can be accomplished simply by designating that the particular fund to be established be named in memory of the person or persons to be honored.

Please consult your attorney for specific wording for any of these or other designations.


A gift of real estate can be very tax-friendly. Your residence, vacation home, farm or vacant lot may have appreciated in value through the years, resulting in a sizable capital gains tax when sold. By leaving your property to the Lake George Land Conservancy through planned giving, your estate could instead receive a charitable deduction for the full fair market value of the property.

A conservation easement or retained life estate gift may be similarly used to reduce your estate’s value. An independent appraisal of your property is required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if you wish to claim a deduction. If you are considering a piece of land to be preserved in its natural state or bequeathed in a will, we ask that you notify us in advance so that we may determine whether we will be able to manage the bequest in a manner consistent with your wishes.


You can name the Lake George Land Conservancy as a primary or secondary beneficiary of your Individual Retirement Plan (IRA), Keogh plan, 401(k), 403(b), other qualified pension or insurance plans. The proceeds of these plans are distributed outside of probate and are entirely free from federal estate tax. If you are 70 ½ or older, you can make tax-free gifts from your IRA each year. Please check with your financial advisor to understand the benefits of supporting LGLC this way.


This can be another creative method to feel positive about your investment in the protection of Lake George. Antiques, artwork and other valuables may be retained by the Lake George Land Conservancy or sold with the proceeds put towards land conservation projects or operations. Please note that for all properties over $5,000, you are required to provide the IRS with an appraisal of the property if you want to use the deduction on your federal income tax returns.


If your will is already completed, one option that may not require a change to your documents but will reaffirm the other terms of your will, is to write a codicil to your will. (A codicil is a document that modifies, deletes, or adds to the content of an existing will.) A sample codicil has been provided in our Quick Links at right. Your legal advisor will need to approve the document for you.

As always, your lawyer or financial advisor should be consulted for any matters regarding such an important document as your will or estate plan.

If the Lake George Land Conservancy is included in your plans, we should be named as: The Lake George Land Conservancy, a nonprofit corporation, organized and existing under the laws of the state of New York, with principal business address of 4905 Lake Shore Drive, P.O. Box 1250, Bolton Landing, New York 12814.

Our tax identification number is: 22-2902944.


Contact Us

We’d be pleased to arrange a phone call, online meeting, or in-person meeting to discuss how this information relates to your individual and family circumstances.
Please call Helen Barton Benedict at 518-644-9673, or email to receive more information about any of the policies or options listed above, to set up a time to meet or discuss your plans over the phone.

About Us

Protecting the land that protects the lake since 1988. The Lake George Land Conservancy is an accredited not-for-profit land trust dedicated to working with willing landowners and other partners to protect the world-renowned water quality of Lake George and to permanently preserve the natural, scenic, historical and recreational resources of the Lake George Region.

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