Make Planning Part of Your 2021 Goals

We are well into the new year, and a new year means new goals. If it’s not already, I encourage you to add creating or updating your estate plans to your 2021 to-do list. Estate planning is more than just a will; it’s growth, management and sharing of wealth through your lifetime and beyond. It’s a strategy to ensure you, your family and your community are cared for and your goals are fulfilled.

When I hear from friends of the Foundation who are working on their plans, I always encourage them to consider causes they care about. Whether that is education, the environment, mental health or any number of interest areas, your estate plans can include these fields to support organizations you’re passionate about and create potential tax savings in the long run. For example, the Foundation can help you create a plan to support a broad passion, like programs that alleviate homelessness, with a fund for our Community’s Endowment. Or you can designate your gifts to benefit a particular nonprofit organization with a donor directed fund. If you’re interested in higher education, scholarship funds are another donor directed option.

One of my favorite examples of a plan coming to fruition is the late John "Doc" Holladay. Doc had fond memories of baking with his mother when he was a child and even served as a cook in the Navy. He always wanted to make that passion his career, but never got the opportunity. Instead, Doc included the Foundation in his estate to create a scholarship fund for students pursuing the culinary arts. You can learn more about Doc’s story on our website here.

For you, the donor, a plan that includes philanthropy means flexibility in stewarding assets during your lifetime to meet long-term goals and the establishment of a legacy in our community. The Community Foundation staff can help you create a plan to distribute funds, as well as work with your team of advisors to determine the best vehicle to make a gift and limit tax implications for your heirs.

Including charitable causes or organizations in your estate planning means nonprofits will have your continued support for generations as well as funds to leverage for future needs. I encourage each of you to speak to your team of advisors to start planning or make updates. The Community Foundation staff is happy to be part of your team to lay out all your options to meet your philanthropic goals. Our team is ready when you are! Call the Foundation at (419) 425-1100 to get started.

This editorial was originally printed in The Courier Wednesday, January 27, 2021.