Estate Planning

So many of us have not yet reached the time in life when we concentrate on our own estate plans.

Hopefully you do at least have a simple will. Even if you don't yet think you need one, you should in fact get one--if for no other reason than to gain an appreciation of the process, and to increase your understanding of some of the issues that we all must consider as we deal with mortality. Putting a will together will help you understand and appreciate both the physical and the psychological experience of being prepared for the one certain thing in all of our futures.

It wouldn't be unusual for the largest gifts ever received by your organization to be gifts made via estate.

As such, it only seems logical that we understand the process. As gift officers, having a handle on the non-charitable aspects of estate planning will serve us well, for the more fully we apprehend the long-term goals of donors, the more accurately we can connect them to the philanthropic possibilities that are right for them. 

In this section, we'll concentrate first on the tools of estate planning. As Philanthropy Works continues to develop, we'll discuss the psychological issues, and will offer tools to help you have the estate-planning conversation with your benefactor prospects.

We will take a point of view with an eye for specific issues:

  1. When in a relationship is it appropriate to raise the subject of death?
  2. Can some of the vaue you add to a relationship be helping donors actively accept the fact that we're all mortal?
  3. How do you enter into such a conversation?
  4. What are the questions to pose when that conversation is taking place?

Our growing selection of estate planning content includes:

  1. Donor Advised Funds Versus Family Foundations. DAFs have surged ahead of private FFs in terms of popularity. In fact, they are one of the fastest-growing options in philanthropy.
  2. The Estate Probate Process. Probate is the process by which an estate is administered and settled. Said process is complicated and has several steps.
  3. Trusts. A key aspect of non-charitable estate planning, trusts come in several different types, all specifically designed to meet certain goals.

All content provided by Philanthropy Works is provided in the spirit of education.  It is not legal or tax advice. This material merely provides an overview of, and does not purport to describe completely, the requirements established by Internal Revenue Code, the Treasury Regulations and related IRS pronouncements. You and your prospective benefactors must consult an attorney for legal advice.  You will note there are occasions in the material where PW contributors offer prejudices and opinions.  Please accept them as such.