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Planned gifts leave a legacy

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By Michael Griggs

Many of us are aware of the generational transfer of wealth that is taking place across America as wealth, property and possessions are handed down from one generation to the next.

In a thoughtful, prepared and organized way, wills and estate plans chart out bequests and inheritances.

Executors carry out the wishes of those who devoted a lifetime to making a difference in the lives of others, and the communities in which we live, helping create the legacy individuals leave behind.

Wills and estate plans are designed primarily to take care of family members and dependents.

Additionally, wills and bequests afford many philanthropic opportunities as planned-giving vehicles for transferring wealth and reducing tax liabilities.

Michael Griggs

Michael C. Griggs is vice president for major gifts and planned giving at United Way of Central Carolinas in Charlotte, N.C.

Planned gifts present an excellent opportunity for donors to leave a legacy and for nonprofit organizations to benefit from this generosity.

It is still true, however, that the predominant reason people leave a legacy gift to charitable organizations is that they care about making a difference in the lives of others, their communities and the conditions that impact future generations.

Individuals who care about others and about institutions, and have a cause they believe in when they are alive, wish to continue to make a difference in the lives of others after they are deceased.

Promoting planned gifts and educating the general public about the variety of ways to continue their generosity for generations to come is a core purpose of “Leave a Legacy” programs.

A wide range and diverse group of nonprofit organizations, institutions and sponsors come together around this purpose.

This partnership and collaboration serves our donors, our organizations, our sponsors and our communities for the common good of all.

Leave a Legacy members are committed to promoting this common good and advancing the stewardship of relationships with donors throughout their lifetime.

We believe it is important not to confuse donors’ desire and intent of caring with their capacity for giving.

When a charitable organization is included in an estate plan, the organization has been honored with being recognized as a member of the donor’s family.

To be remembered in an estate plan of the deceased, in many ways depends upon how we were remembered in the stewardship of our relationships with the living.

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