Controlling Your Legacy

Brian Treece photo
Brian Treece - President & CEO of The Community Foundation

In 2016, the singer-songwriter Prince died. It was announced soon after that he did not have a will or estate plan. Just two months ago, the estate was finally settled after six years of legal obstacles.

While Prince’s estate is notable in size, his situation does not differ from that of many Americans. It is estimated that 56% do not have a current estate plan. This week, October 17-23, The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation is observing National Estate Planning Awareness Week to encourage members of the community to plan. Because uncertainty with your estate creates inaction.

As you plan how to distribute what you earn during your lifetime, there are many ways to be philanthropic. The Community Foundation is a prime example of generous Hancock County residents who made, and will continue to make, a difference through an estate gift.

An example of a plan coming to fruition is Cheryl Miller, who was born and raised in Findlay and returned in retirement after a career in education. She was passionate about gardening and earned the Master Gardner designation. After her passing, Cheryl left a portion of her estate to The Community Foundation to create the Cheryl D. Miller Fund, which will provide grants for beautification of green spaces in Hancock County. This fund will ensure Cheryl’s love for gardening lives on as well as her enduring support of the community.

Tamara Luchini and her husband John spent more than 30 years in Findlay raising their family. After John passed, Tamara wanted to give back. “We recognized the contributions and sacrifices of those who came before us helped build the solid foundation of city and county, creating a good place for us to live, work and raise our family. In gratitude for the blessings from the past that benefitted us, we hoped, in our turn, to bless future residents of Findlay and Hancock County as community needs evolve.” Tamara has the Foundation in her estate plan to give a portion to a common good fund. Tamara has included the Foundation in her estate plan to give an additional contribution to the existing John and Tamara Luchini Fund for the Common Good, which will continue to award grants to meet the ever-changing needs of Hancock County.

Planning for what happens beyond your lifetime can be daunting. Start the conversation with an advisor – accountants, wealth managers, life insurance agents or another trusted professional. And if you choose to follow in Cheryl’s or Tamara’s footsteps, we can work together with you and your advisor to create a plan for giving beyond your lifetime.

I hope you are encouraged to start your planning or update your current plan. Let us know how we can help amplify your impact for future generations. Visit the Impact section of our website to read stories of other donors in Hancock County for more inspiration.

This editorial was originally printed in The Courier Friday, October 21, 2022.