Professional Advisor Spotlight: Cathy Wettlaufer, Esq., Partner, Barclay Damon
For Cathy Wettlaufer, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo has always been a reliable fixture in Western New York. “It has been a constant, and I have watched its role in our region evolve,” said Cathy, an attorney and partner at Barclay Damon.
Over the years, Cathy has partnered with the Community Foundation to help achieve her clients’ charitable wishes. Whether that means working with non-cash assets, streamlining the transfer of appreciated stock to establish a fund, or establishing their future charitable plans in their Will, each client’s story is as unique as their fingerprint.
“I think one of the great advantages of working with the Community Foundation is centralizing an individual’s ability to fund their charitable giving,” Cathy says. “The Community Foundation helps both in the mechanics and in the ability to provide information that will help these individuals clarify their donative intent, in addition to taking on the administrative work.”
Most recently, Cathy was working with a couple who had specific organizations that they wanted to support during their lifetime, and a residential home they no longer used. “As we sat and talked about it, it became clear that the Community Foundation could be an instrument for them to achieve some of their testamentary charitable giving during their lifetime,” explained Cathy. Cathy worked with them to donate the home as a non-cash asset to the Community Foundation to create a fund in their name that supports their two favorite charitable organizations.
For another client, Cathy enlisted the Community Foundation to establish a fund to honor both the memory of his wife and to create a charitable remainder trust, with his named fund as remainder beneficiary, to help another family member. “It was important to my client that he not only have the ability to direct the fund during his lifetime, but as part of his legacy, set the guidelines for future generations to direct it,” Cathy said. “After learning how the Community Foundation operates, he was able to see that his intentions were going to be carried out in a manner that had accountability as well as fulfilling his charitable goals.”
Cathy knows that her clients are in good hands with the Community Foundation. “One of the things that is most impressive about the Community Foundation is the attention that it gives to its investments and the successful management of those investments. Also important is the team’s understanding of the needs in our community and knowledge of the organizations that are doing good work to address those needs,” she said. “As an advisor, I also value the accessibility and responsiveness of the Community Foundation. In this day and age, that makes a huge difference.”