Legacy Gifts and Bequests: Patowmack Society


Leave a legacy for tomorrow by making a bequest to the C&O Canal Trust


Making a bequest that benefits the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) could be the most important charitable gift you ever make. By naming the C&O Canal Trust in your will, you will be creating a legacy for the future that helps ensure that generations to come will have the opportunity to love and nurture this extraordinary natural and historical resource.

Your Options

If you choose to include the C&O Canal Trust in your will or living trust, there are several ways you can do it:

  • Specific Bequest: A description of what you want to leave to the Trust, whether it is a specific dollar amount or a particular asset.
  • Residuary Bequest: Leaving all or a percentage of what’s left in your estate after specific bequests, debts, expenses, and taxes have been paid.
  • Contingent Bequest: A contingent bequest is fulfilled only if certain conditions are met. For example, if your primary beneficiary does not survive you, you may indicate your next choice through a contingent designation.
  • Codicil or Amendment: A codicil is prepared by your attorney to modify, explain, change, or otherwise qualify terms in your will. If you have a revocable living trust, your attorney can prepare an amendment for you to sign that will serve the same function.

Those who make an unrestricted bequest to the C&O Canal Trust will give the Trust flexibility to support the Park priorities of the future. You may also designate your bequest for a specific Trust program or purpose. Either way, your support will help the Trust preserve the Park for future generations and ensure that its programs remain relevant and enriching beyond your lifetime.

The Patowmack Society

Even though we understand that your bequest is nonbinding and revocable, it is useful for us to know that you have included the C&O Canal Trust in your will. That way, we can advise you of pertinent information about both the C&O Canal NHP and the Trust. We also like to give special recognition to our legacy donors by welcoming them into The Patowmack Society, made up of those who are looking to the future of the C&O Canal NHP in the same way that George Washington looked to the future when he founded the Patowmack Company to open up the west via a canal system through the Potomac River valley. Twenty-nine years after President Washington died, the Patowmack Company charter was adopted by the C&O Canal Company.

Members of The Patowmack Society are included in special donor events and receive recognition, with their permission, in our fall Canal Quarterly newsletter. In addition, members are sent periodic communications about important issues or other happenings in the Park.

To notify us of your estate plans, please download the Confidential Estate Gift Notification Form here.

You can also download Sample Bequest Language.

Please contact our development team at [email protected] for more information about joining The Patowmack Society.


Top image by MJ Clingan