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It’s Almost Spring - Time for “Spring Cleaning” of Your Charitable and Estate Plans

Posted March 2021

Spring brings new life and new energy. Longer days herald spring cleaning and spring breaks. Most of us try to remember to turn our clocks ahead, to check our smoke detector batteries, and to timely file our tax returns (or file for an extension). Spring is a wonderful time to think and plan for the year, including charitable planning. Here are some suggestions for your to-do list.

Longer days mean more time to plan

What will you do this year? Are you planning to volunteer, travel, or perhaps take an online class? You prioritize the most meaningful things and fit in other activities as time allows. Similarly, think about which charities are most meaningful to you. Do you plan to attend events (virtual or in-person)? Are you serving on a board? Will you participate in fundraisers?

You might consider where you want to donate to make a difference. Some are giving more but to fewer charities, seeking a larger impact at select organizations. Others sprinkle gifts around to benefit a larger number of local, regional, and national charities. Having a plan for your donations—personal, donor-advised fund gifts, private foundation donations, planned gifts—is smart planning. There will be opportunities to make additional gifts—giving days, special appeals, memorial gifts—throughout the year, so consider a budget for these as well.

Spring cleaning means “out with the old, in with the new”

Many individuals review their estate plans before taking a vacation. Others review their plans each year around the time they file their tax returns. Experts recommend reviewing your estate plan annually. This includes reviewing your beneficiary designations as well.

Have you included one or more charities such as our organization as beneficiaries in your estate plan? Consider adding organizations with missions you want to support in the future. Perhaps you or your family have been the recipient of a charity’s services and want to express your gratitude. Review and reprioritize based on your current plans.

Consider trying something new this year! For instance, you could ask your financial advisors about the benefits of donating appreciated stock. If you are aged 70½ or older, consider a gift directly from your individual retirement account (IRA) to our organization and others. You can support some great charitable missions and reduce your tax liability. Or you can make a gift today and retain a fixed or fluctuating stream of income for life.

Take a break!

Don’t forget to take some time for yourself this year. Enjoy some time in a national park. Volunteer at a local charity. Participate in a local fundraising walk. After refreshing yourself, you will have more energy to devote to your chosen causes and to life in general

We would be pleased to speak with you about ways you can plan your gifts.

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