Support the Zoo

Will or Trust Gifts


Make a gift through your will or trust

Need to preserve your assets during your lifetime? You can plan a gift to the Zoo that will only take effect after your other obligations have been taken care of.  You can make this gift without affecting your cash flow during your lifetime.

A gift through your will or trust is for you if:

  • You want to create a legacy to support The Maryland Zoo, and long-term planning is more important to you than an immediate income-tax deduction.
  • You want the flexibility of a gift commitment that doesn’t affect your current cash flow.
  • You want to reduce the amount of estate taxes your heirs will have to pay.

How it works

  • Include an arrangement called a bequest (giving property or cash to the Zoo through your will) to The Maryland Zoo in your will or trust. (Here’s sample language for your will.)
  • You can make your bequest unrestricted or direct it to a specific purpose.
  • You can indicate either a specific dollar amount or a specific percentage of the remainder of your estate – the amount that remains after paying all debts, costs, and other prior legacies.

Financial and tax benefits

  • Your assets will remain in your control during your lifetime.
  • You can modify your bequest if your circumstances change.
  • You can direct your bequest to be used for the Zoo’s general benefit or to a particular purpose (be sure to check with us to make sure your gift can be used as intended).
  • You will receive a charitable estate tax deduction for the amount of your gift.  Under current tax law there is no upper limit on the estate tax deduction for your charitable bequests.
  • Capital gains taxes are avoided on the amount of your gift to The Maryland Zoo.


  • Please have your will or codicil drafted by an attorney who is familiar with the estate laws of the state where you live.  The Zoo is not engaged in legal or tax advisory service.
  • The purpose of this website is to provide general gift, estate, and financial planning information.  Watch for tax revisions.  State laws govern wills, trusts, and charitable gifts made in a contractual agreement.  Advice from legal counsel should be sought when considering these types of gifts.


Contact us privately at or call 443.552.5290 to learn more.  We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.

Please recognize that The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is not in the business of giving tax advice.  Please consult your legal counsel when considering these types of gifts, and please see our full disclaimer by clicking here.