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Don Thorson

A passionate conservative, one thing that Don Thorson really enjoys is writing letters to the editor of the Casper Star Tribune giving his opinion on the latest local, state, and national governmental foolishness! He gets all fired up and lets them have it-on a variety of topics: dictatorial lawmaking, environmental organizations, support of Republican candidates, tobacco lawsuit.

Mr. Thorson is politically active in Wyoming, serving as a state legislator from 1979 to 1982. During that time he served on the revenue committee and mining committee and sponsored legislation to control DUI. It is his patriotism, conservatism, and work ethic that led him to support Mountain States Legal Foundation. "I was asked to serve by Dave True and continued for 12 years!"

Born in 1933, in Osage, Wyoming, Don was out working with his father in the oil field by the time he was old enough to hold a shovel and so the American work ethic was instilled in him at an early age.

He graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a degree in geophysical engineering in 1955. And soon after, he joined the Army for a two year tour from 1955 to 1957 as an engineer. He spent one of those two military years as a surveyor in Iran running a level line party."

Returning stateside, Don again joined his father in the oil business, forming Toco Corporation, buying old oil fields and making these oil fields more productive. He is also active in the family partnership mining bentonite in the Black Hills; the Black Hills Bentonite company is still owned and run by his family. He retired from the oil business in 1990.

As an avid airplane pilot enthusiastic, he continues a life long hobby of building and flying radio controlled airplanes.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Mountain States Legal Foundation 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 Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF), (tax identification number 84-0736725) 2596 South Lewis Way, Lakewood, Colorado 80227, [written dollar amount or percentage of the estate or description of the property] to continue its mission to protect and preserve individual liberty, the right to own and use property, limited and ethical government and economic freedom.

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 MSLF 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 MSLF 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 MSLF 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 MSLF where you agree to make a gift to MSLF 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.

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