Most of us struggle from time to time with the question of “How do I leave my mark on the world?” Some folks create a lasting legacy by building businesses that are still going strong after they die; some folks create a lasting legacy by writing an important book, or serving in a political post. While not all of us have the talents to leave an impression in one of those ways, almost all of us have the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy with some of the financial assets we leave behind when we go. There are many ways to leave a charitable legacy that you might wish to incorporate into your estate planning. Here are a few options:
Endowment Gifts – Even folks with small estates can make a big impact with an endowment gift to their favorite charity. Providing a shot of principal that can be invested, with the earnings used to fund programs, is a gift that can last far into the future.
Family Run Private Foundations – Those with large estates and a desire to instill charitable values within their heirs might choose to form a private foundation and infuse it with a large monetary gift when they pass. A Board of Directors made up of family members can help ensure the donor’s vision lasts for generations. There are large private foundations around the country that have existed for many years and are going strong.
Community Run Foundations – For those with large estates but no charitably minded heirs, one can choose to create a foundation run by an independent board, such as the San Antonio Area Foundation. Louis Santikos, the San Antonio theater magnate, is an example of one who created this type of legacy at his death. When he passed away, he left the bulk of his fortune to a charitable foundation – under the umbrella of, and managed by, the San Antonio Area Foundation. This gift included his many operational theaters and real estate holdings – with the instructions to use the profits to educate youth, preserve the environment, protect animals, fund research and provide services that enhance the quality of life for people living in and around San Antonio. With this guidance, the Board can use those funds to make a large and lasting impact in our community.
There are many things to think about when you are preparing your will – division of assets, planning for minor children, etc. The important takeaway is, if you have a passion for a particular cause, making it a part of your estate planning can make a long-lasting difference for generations to come.
If you are wondering how you can best create your charitable legacy, give us a call. We would love to help you make an impact on the future. You can reach us at 210-733-6611 or at out website www.atkgcpa.com.
By: Carrie LoBasso