Planning Your Legacy

    February 20, 2018

     

    By Jordan Richardson, Director of Charitable Giving


    Last year, we published an estate planning guide called “Planning Your Legacy." It’s a resource that walks individuals through the various legal documents and contact information necessary to build a basic estate plan. We think it is a helpful tool to guide what could be a daunting and difficult process.

    You may wonder why the Community Foundation, of all organizations, would publish such a piece. It is certainly not because we hold ourselves out as offering estate planning advice. Quite the contrary. In fact, we defer that responsibility to our donors’ trusted advisors. We do, however, convene legacy conversations with many of our donors on a regular basis and we’re grateful to do so.

    Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Each time our donors give to causes they care about, the legacy of their life gets clearer. With a good estate plan, that legacy story continues after their lifetime, but we like the idea of telling some of their story now as well. Here are a few ways we do that:

    Family Philanthropy
    – Including the next generation in charitable giving is not only a great way to pass on charitable dollars to kids and grandkids, but to pass down family values as well. We serve charitably-minded families by creating family mission statements with our Giving Guide, hosting family meetings and administering family giving funds that pass from one generation to the next.

    Legacy FundsThis fund type is an effective estate planning tool that serves as an instruction manual for charitable giving after a donor’s lifetime. It can be referenced in a will or beneficiary designation, and it is often crafted and reviewed with guidance from the donor’s financial and legal advisors.

    If you would like to learn more about family philanthropy or Legacy Funds, or if you would like a paper copy of our estate planning guide, please contact me at 515-244-0020 or richardson@desmoinesfoundation.org.