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Author: Craig Simms

Author: Craig Simms

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beneficiary designation

Three Key Questions to Ask Before Completing a Will

Both wills and beneficiary designations are integral parts of an estate plan. It doesn’t matter if you have $50,000 of property and assets or $5 million, understanding the difference between these “pass-along” vehicles is important.

Planned Giving in Difficult Economic Times

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Warren Buffet once said that “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone else planted a tree long ago.”

In difficult economic times, nonprofits should reevaluate their strategy to focus on receiving gift commitments that will not have a significant impact on the donor’s current financial profile. Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors suggest that donors reevaluate giving strategies when the economy is in disarray. But these three principles can also be utilized by philanthropic organizations themselves:

Core Principles

“There are three core principles to keep in mind when adapting philanthropy to current challenges: review, recalibrate and recommit. Review asks you to consider whether the values that inform your giving are still appropriate and inspiring. Recalibrate calls for you to assess whether, after a fresh look at your motivations, your goals and giving vehicles need to change. Recommit requires that you look at whether and how you will adjust your giving strategy so that you’ll be better positioned to support the causes you care about over the long term. Considered carefully, this framework can help you take stock of where you are, make potential adjustments that reflect how the world is shifting, and align your resources to fully address the issues that mean the most to you.”

So, as senior philanthropic planners contemplate the value of reviewing, recalibrating and recommitting time, programs and resources, they may want to adapt their outreach strategy to reflect the current challenging fiscal environment. The way forward could focus on promoting long term gifts that have little or no effect on the givers current financial situation.

Planned Giving Tools

Last Will & Testament and associated end of life documents – Only 42% of Americans have a last will & testament in place. Nonprofits can provide this service via a link right on your website. But first, similar to life insurance, you should ask first if donors can commit a portion of an existing will (if one exists) to your organization. But you should also provide access to a basic, legally-vetted version of a digital will, advance health directive and financial power of attorney right from the planned giving section of your website. LifeLegacy’s version of these products automatically asks the donor if they would like to leave a portion of their assets to your organization. You just pay an annual fee to host the will on your site. The LifeLegacy digital will subscription cost is thousands of dollars less than other online wills platforms.

Life Insurance – Promoting the value of life insurance as a gift has two components. 

  • Ask donors if they are able to give all or part of existing life insurance policies to your organization. This costs the donor nothing and can provide meaningful long term income to your organization. You just have to communicate the program using multiple methods (email, postcards, blogs, etc.) and provide specific examples to add clarity to the “ask.” Of course, people who make a life insurance gift commitment can be included in your planned giving society if one exists.
  • Provide donors with a link on your website to purchase a new life insurance policy. LifeLegacy provides this service to nonprofits. Donors can purchase a policy in minutes, often with no medical tests required. And the cost of premiums is low compared to the impact of the large gift. This group would also qualify for inclusion in your planned giving society.

Difficult economic times can have a detrimental impact on short term giving. That’s why having long term tools in place, like life insurance and digital wills, can help offset any reduction in current income. Help donors “plant trees” today that will help shade your organization from difficult economic times in the future. LifeLegacy can help you achieve this goal. Contact us today at jordan@lifelegacy.io.

Get started with your legacy or learn more about our solutions for nonprofits below.

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beneficiary designation

Three Key Questions to Ask Before Completing a Will

Both wills and beneficiary designations are integral parts of an estate plan. It doesn’t matter if you have $50,000 of property and assets or $5 million, understanding the difference between these “pass-along” vehicles is important.

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