Tools for charitable clients who are planning ahead

The team at the Community Foundation can help you with your clients’ long-term charitable giving plans by putting in place the structures to receive bequests decades from now.

Consider a case where you are finalizing an estate plan for a client. This client would like to leave bequests to multiple charitable organizations, but the identity of those specific organizations may shift over time or they may want to make small changes to the estate plan’s provisions for charitable giving. For example, a client’s trust could be drafted to provide that 10% of the remaining estate be divided equally among five nonprofit organizations which could be listed in the trust document. But what if, a few years from now, the client wants to add another nonprofit to that list? Even a small change like this would require a modification, which can be time-consuming for both attorney and client.

Instead, the client’s trust document could name a fund at the Community Foundation as the beneficiary of 10% of the remaining estate. Then, the client can work with the Community Foundation to draft a legacy fund agreement that lists the nonprofits that will share the 10%. When the client wants to add or remove nonprofits from the list, the client can reach out to the Community Foundation to update their legacy plan. This process is simple and it allows clients to ensure that their bequests are in line with their charitable goals. The legacy fund agreement can be modified any time before the client’s death.

Please reach out to Megan Sommerfeldt, Director, Gift Planning, Community Foundation, at to learn how legacy funds and other planning tools can help your clients achieve their charitable goals and leave a lasting legacy.