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Donor Stories

Kristin and Jim HowardKristin and Jim Howard
Like many families, ours has been touched by mental illness. Today one in five individuals will struggle with mental illness during their lifetime, suicide rates are rising, yet most people don’t seek treatment because of the public stigma. Read More

Jackie and Tony MontagJackie and Tony Montag
We have been involved with Skyland Trail for many years. Every interaction, from attending fundraising and educational events, to participating in financial aid committee meetings, to volunteering with clients, reaffirms for us three things. Read More

Don and Maryland McCartyDon and Maryland McCarty
The McCarty’s son, David, graduated from Skyland Trail in 2009. Since then, they have continued to stay connected as integral members of the Skyland Trail community. Read More

Denise and Jay D. MitchellDenise and Jay D. Mitchell
“I included Skyland Trail in my estate plans because it is such a worthwhile organization, and I want to ensure that it can continue doing great work in perpetuity." Read More

Pennie and Dan WaldenPennie and Dan Walden
Pennie and Dan Walden recently designated Skyland Trail as a beneficiary of their estate plans. The Waldens have been supporters of Skyland Trail for many years and provided the funding to build the Twelve-Step deck at Skyland Trail North residential campus. Read More

Cindy and John FergusonCindy and John Ferguson
“John and I believe Skyland Trail is serving a very important need in our community, and The Cypress Society provides us the opportunity to continue our support to sustain ongoing programs with a future gift." Read More

Margaret and Randolph ThrowerMargaret and Randolph Thrower
Margaret and Randolph Thrower were early supporters of Skyland Trail. Margaret, who served on the board for many years, passed away in February 2009, and Randolph in March 2014.   Read More

John ZellarsJohn Zellars
When I talk to people about estate planning, I encourage them to view it as an opportunity to document what is important to them and to express their wishes. It’s what you want. Read More

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

Cypress Society

If you have not already done so, we invite you to consider joining The Cypress Society. For more information, please contact:

Elizabeth Alexander
Grateful Families Program & Planned Giving Director

Betsy & Mark West
“My family and I value this opportunity to build on the legacy of all those who have contributed to the growth of Skyland Trail. It’s paramount to me to ensure that Skyland Trail will always be able to aid individuals and families in their pursuit of recovery.”
— Mark West, Cypress Society Donor


A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Skyland Trail a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

Bequest Language

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Skyland Trail [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Skyland Trail or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Skyland Trail as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Skyland Trail as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Skyland Trail where you agree to make a gift to Skyland Trail and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.