What is Leave a Legacy?
LEAVE A LEGACY® is an unprecedented, regional
collaborative effort to encourage people from all walks of life
to make a bequest or planned gift to their favorite charitable or
Why Leave a Legacy?
Many of our area's charitable or non-profit organizations will
struggle to survive in the coming years without an increase in
planned or bequest giving. That's why many people who give generously
to their favorite charitable organizations while they are alive
are concerned that their contributions will be missed when they're
gone. And rightly so. Information from our probate courts shows
that only a small percentage of local wills leave any money to
charity. People can continue to make a difference with a little
How large does a "legacy" have
While some gifts may be large, many are small. Regardless of size,
all gifts are important to help continue the vital work of our
charitable non-profit organizations.
Where do I begin?
Together with your financial professional advisor, begin collecting
information to determine the best approach for leaving your legacy.
Making a bequest or other testamentary gift is actually quite
simple. It can be as easy as including a bequest in your will,
or changing the name of the beneficiary of a life insurance policy
or an IRA. It is important, however, that you always consult your
personal legal or tax advisor when making decisions to leave a
charitable gift through a will or from your estate.
If I make a bequest now, how can I be
sure to have enough
money to cover my expenses through the rest
of my life?
Many donors worry that by leaving a legacy, they will not have
enough assets to see them through the rest of their lives or through
the "hard times," such as a health and/or financial
crisis. They may also be concerned that family members or children
will not benefit from receiving the full sum of their estate.
Professional financial advisors can show you how a legacy gift
can generate tax savings and/or an income stream for yourself,
a spouse or children.
Are legacies always given in the form of
Gifts may come in the form of money, property, an investment or
percentage of an estate. Tax benefits often accompany a gift from
a will or estate.
Must I have an estate in order to leave
An estate is simply a word used to describe any property, money
or personal belongings that you may have at the time of your death.
Most people leave an estate when they die, even though they may
not have a great deal of wealth. Anyone can arrange to leave a
charitable gift from their estate when they die.
Do I have to include my wish to
leave a gift to a specific organization in my will?
To be certain that the group receives the gift, you should state
your intentions in your will. Without a will, you lose control
over your belongings after death. Your property and finances are
settled according to state laws, whether or not they coincide
with your or your family's wishes.
How do I leave a gift for an organization
that I admire?
Many individuals choose to leave a gift through their will. There
are many different ways to leave gifts to charitable non-profit
organizations. It is important to talk to your attorney and advisors
about your charitable plans.
Do I tell the charity I've left
This is up to you. Charities like to know in advance so they can
both recognize your generosity and make sure they can accommodate
How do I leave a gift in memory of a person
or for a specified purpose?
A gift is a wonderful way to recognize someone who has made a
difference in your life. You may also want to give to a specific
cause like research or to a new building. This kind of memorial
gift can be arranged in your will, the same way that you would
leave a personal gift from your estate. You just need to make
it clear that the gift is given in memory of a particular person
or for a specific use.
Where can I find out more about how
to Leave a Legacy?
It is critical to seek the advise of your attorney and other advisors
including accountants, insurance agents, investments planners,
professional trust officers and financial planners. Development
professionals at charitable or non-profit organizations can also
provide helpful information.
Important tips about leaving a legacy.
- Talk to a variety of specialists, including your attorney,
a financial advisor and the development professionals at your
favorite charitable non-profit organizations. Learn as much
as you can about various charitable gift options and the kinds
of gifts that make the most sense for both you and your favorite
charity or non-profit.
- Understand the role and particular expertise of each type
of financial specialist.
- Engage an attorney and /or advisor who will best represent
you and your interests. Always make sure there is a backup attorney
and/or advisor in case your attorney/advisor is unavailable
at a critical time.
- Seek an attorney and/or professional financial advisor who
shares your commitment to charitable giving.
- For legal work, enlist an attorney who practices estate planning
on a full-time or nearly full-time basis.
- Determine your attorney and.or advisor's expertise in relationship
to your needs. Wills? Accounting? Tax law? Trusts?
- Make sure the attorney and /or advisor has experience within
your specific financial range.
NOTE! (None of this information should be construed as
legal advice. In making a charitable gift, it is always important
to seek the advise of your attorney and professional financial
- As you narrow your choices, seek references and follow your
instincts. Find someone you are comfortable with and trust.
Encourage the principal attorney and/or advisor to work with
other key advisors and professionals, as well as your favorite
charitable or non-profit organization(s).
LEAVE A LEGACY® Mankato Area
Mankato, MN 56001