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Planned Giving

 Otis Society Member E. Clothier Tepper

The Otis Society is named for Harrison Gray Otis, the prominent lawyer and politician whose 1796 home now serves as Historic New England’s headquarters. It honors individuals who include Historic New England in their estate plans.

Otis Society benefits include invitations to a variety of events throughout the year and recognition in the Annual Report. If you have already made a provision for Historic New England in your will or estate plan, please let us know so that you will receive Otis Society benefits.

Planned gifts are gifts in which the donor transfers assets to Historic New England or another legal entity (such as a trust) immediately, but the use of the gift by the organization is deferred to a later date.  

“My parents instilled in me a love of museums and historic houses. I want to help make sure those resources are there for the future.”
- Annabella Gualdoni, Otis Society member

Gift options include:


Historic New England encourages its supporters and friends to provide for the future of the organization by including Historic New England in their philanthropic estate plans. A donor may name Historic New England as a beneficiary of his or her will or revocable trust, IRA, retirement plan assets, or life insurance policy. Bequests may be made in the form of cash, securities, specific property, or by naming Historic New England to receive a specific percentage of the estate or the residue of the estate after the payment of all taxes, other bequests, and expenses. Learn why Connecticut historian Ralph C. Bloom chose to include Historic New England in his estate planning.

Charitable Gift Annuities

A charitable gift annuity is an agreement between Historic New England and the donor in which the donor transfers cash, securities, or other assets to the organization and, in return, the organization agrees to pay the donor a fixed amount per year for the life of the beneficiary/ies. Upon the death of the income beneficiary/ies, the remaining balance is distributed to Historic New England.

The minimum dollar amount which may be donated to create a charitable gift annuity is $10,000.

Deferred Gift Annuities

A deferred gift annuity is similar to a charitable gift annuity except that the donor defers commencement of the fixed income payment to a pre-determined point in the future.

The minimum dollar amount which may be donated to create a deferred gift annuity is $10,000.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

Charitable remainder trusts are planned giving vehicles that provide income to beneficiaries for life or for a term of years. They are personalized in that the donor and the organization agree upon the payout rate and term. Upon the death of the income beneficiary/ies or completion of the term of years, the remainder is distributed to Historic New England. Historic New England may agree to act as trustee for charitable remainder trusts.

Charitable Lead Trusts

A charitable lead trust is a planned giving instrument wherein the donor pays the “lead” interest to Historic New England and, after a number of years based on a term or a lifetime, the remainder is returned either to the grantor or to someone other than the grantor, such as the grantor’s heirs or other beneficiaries. Historic New England may agree to act as a trustee for a charitable lead trust where the organization is the irrevocable charitable beneficiary.

Real Estate

Historic New England accepts gifts of real estate, both improved and unimproved, including gifts subject to a retained life estate, only after a thorough review of the criteria for acceptance. The donor must submit a letter of intent regarding the gift of real estate before Historic New England will conduct its own due diligence and market analysis. The existence of any and all mortgages, pre-arranged sales agreements, deeds of trust, restrictions, reservations, easements, mechanic liens, and other encumbrances and limitations of record must be disclosed. No gift of real estate will be accepted unless and until all encumbrances have been discharged, except in very unusual cases.

Should a retained life estate gift be accepted, the donor will continue to be responsible for taxes, insurance, and maintenance on the property. If the donor wishes to sell the property prior to death, the donor and Historic New England will jointly negotiate the terms of the sale. The split of sale proceeds will be divided between the donor and Historic New England.

Life Insurance

Historic New England accepts gifts of life insurance policies if the organization is made owner and irrevocable beneficiary of 100% of the policy.

Individuals considering a planned gift are unique in their giving goals, financial means, and outstanding obligations. Please consult your estate planning attorney or financial advisor to determine which of these options is right for you.

For more information

Please email the Development Team or call 617-994-5951.


Planned Giving