Write a Will Today - Leave a Legacy Tomorrow

This fall, Five Valleys was thrilled to receive a significant grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust to launch a Planned Giving Program.

“Great news,” you may think to yourself, “but what exactly is ‘planned giving’?”

Planned giving is making any type of donation that requires some planning, unlike writing a check. Different types of planned gifts can help reduce or avoid taxes, pay you income for life, and protect what matters most to you. Leaving a gift in your will or trust is the most common type of planned gift.

Is having a will important? Yes!

If you pass on without a will, a probate court decides who receives the resources you have worked a lifetime to build. Yet, more than 60% of Americans do not have a valid will. By having a will in place, you can choose where your resources go, ensure your loved ones know your intentions, support your favorite charities, and minimize the risk that the courts will get involved.

Make a New Year’s Resolution to write or update your will. Creating a will can be an inexpensive process and updating one can be as simple as adding two sentences. As you consider the legacy you will leave, please consider making a gift to Five Valleys. You and your heirs can realize significant tax benefits while enabling Five Valleys to protect and steward the 86,000 acres currently under our care in perpetuity.

Hikers on the Barmeyer Trail. Photo by Vo Von Sehlen.

Five Valleys’ grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust enabled us to hire our new Planned Giving Officer, Minette Johnson. Minette’s focus is working with donors to identify the best tools for ensuring that their legacy endures, like including Five Valleys in their will.

“We are excited to partner with Five Valleys to launch this important program” said Dana Miller, Senior Grants Manager for the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. “At Murdock, we help nonprofits sharpen their approach and sustain their mission because we believe that when a powerful idea fulfills its promise, lives are changed, communities thrive, and our entire region prospers."

Getting Started

Visit the Five Valleys legacy giving website page for a list of will planning tools and simple draft language you can use. And if you do remember us in your will, please let us know so we can thank you for your incredible generosity!

Want to learn more about smart ways to give?

Contact Minette Johnson at 406-519-5191 or

Header photo of a young conservationist on the Bluebird Preserve by Athena Photography


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