Updating Estate Plans: Helping Your Clients Plan Their Legacy

The last several months have been concerning and unsettling for many. The challenges emerging from the COVID-19 crisis are broad and are impacting health, employment, education, religious practices and even how we spend time with family. The pandemic has prompted many to take a moment to ensure their estate plans, legacy plans and other documents are up to date and in order. Anecdotally, professional advisors we have spoken with confirm that this has been top of mind for many of their clients.

If you are working with clients who are updating their plans, and are interested in including a charitable component, we encourage you to explore the option of working with a Community Foundation.  Our focus is supporting you and your clients’ desire to maximize the impact of their giving.  It is easy to do and there is great flexibility to how they can structure their legacy gift to support the issues and organizations that mean the most to them. Most importantly during these trying times, clients retain control of their assets should they need them during their lifetime, while providing generously for future generations.

The most common types of legacy gifts are:

  • Gift in a Will or living trust. Clients can leave a stated dollar amount, a percentage, or the residual of their estate.
  • Beneficiary designation. Clients can name a fund at the Community Foundation as a sole or partial beneficiary of certain types of assets. It is easy to arrange; very often they can change account beneficiaries online, on their own time schedule. They can also consider making this gift with IRAs and other retirement funds (often among the most heavily taxed assets in their estate), bank accounts, and brokerage accounts.
  • Life Insurance. If they have a policy they no longer need, they can consider putting it to immediate use by establishing a fund at the Community Foundation. Alternatively they can name the Foundation as a beneficiary, to receive part or all of the proceeds at their passing to establish a fund in their name.

Making or having final plans can help give your clients greater peace of mind in the midst of these tumultuous times. If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact Mary Bradach at (716) 852-2857 or maryb@cfgb.org. You can also click here for more information.