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Planning to Give Wisely – Part 3 of 3

Susan Behlke Foley
Susan Behlke Foley

Today, we’ll finish our series on planned giving.

Timing and implementation are addressed by the “when?” and “where?” questions to be answered as you make your plans.

When will your organization(s) of choice receive? A lump sum gift made in the future or after you die is simplest. The check gets written or the funds are transferred, and the work you envisioned can happen. At the other extreme, you can make your gift to an endowment. Endowed gifts permit the use of income, but not principal. The principal is invested to produce more income and do more good. A true endowment is never used up, so the income stream continues forever. Other options fall between these extremes.

It’s a good idea to get advice about how to time your gift from your financial professional, your attorney and the rest of your team. They can help you figure out how to meet your goals. They can also help you create a practical way to fund your dream of a better future.

Where will you put the instructions so your plan doesn’t fizzle? This is the final question to consider. None of the good you want to do will happen unless you put your plans in writing. This should be a part of your estate planning. It may be tempting to put your wishes in a simple note. Don’t do that! The instructions in your will, living trust, and beneficiary designations take priority over notes you’ve made and things you’ve asked people to do.

Planned giving is a way to know you’ll leave the world a better place. More than that, it’s a way to work toward your vision for the future. It doesn’t have to be scary or solemn.

Discovering how to pay it forward through planned giving can be rewarding and fun!

“The greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.” –William James

Susan Behlke Foley
Foley, Foley & Pearson, P.C.

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