Creating A Legacy Begins With Planning

Leaving A Legacy Begins With Planning

What was one called “estate planning” is now more popularly known as “legacy planning”.

The impact we make during our lives doesn’t happen by accident and neither does the legacy we leave behind. For those you love and leave behind, please prepare yourself and them for your legacy.

Less than 20% of Americans over 55 have all three essential documents of a legacy plan completed.

Are you ready to leave a legacy?

Three Essential Documents For Legacy Planning

Planning your legacy requires three basic documents: a will, health care directive, and durable power of attorney.

Durable Power Of Attorney – This document allows you to assign someone (an agent) to manage your finances if you become incapable or otherwise unable to do it yourself. This is the most common type of Power of Attorney document and is simple to make. The lawyer that prepares your will can most likely prepare this document for you as well. Be sure it is current and available to your agent at any time.

Health Care Directive – Also known as a medical or health care power of attorney, these documents outline for your physicians and caregivers your preferences for medical care if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. They can also let you name a person or persons to make decisions for you when you are unable to do so. Because they are often needed in emergency situations, it is important that copies are included in your health care computer system as well as immediately available to your family and loved ones.

Will – Any document that appoints a personal representative to manage your affairs as well as your directions to that representative comes under the broad definition of a will. Laws about wills differ from state to state and need to be specific to your individual situation. Like your durable power of attorney, it should be reviewed regularly and available to your agent when it becomes necessary.

Did you know that Giving To Others May Extend Your Life? It’s true, according to a paper in the American Psychological Association Journal. CLICK HERE to read more about this study.

Using Your Will For Charitable Giving

The next time you update your will, why not consider leaving 1% of your estate to the Foundation General Endowment Fund? It’s a very simple addition and your gift will ensure that the osteopathic profession in the Northwest will have the support from the Foundation well beyond your lifetime! Just provide the following language to your estate planning professionals:

“I give to Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation (93-0882138), whose current mailing address is 273 N. Grant St., Canby, OR 97013, one percent (1%) of my residual estate to be placed in its General Endowment Fund and held in perpetuity. The return on this endowment is to be used as the Board of Directors of Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation shall determine.”

Charitable Gifts with Life Insurance

There are several ways to use life insurance as a way to provide a substantial legacy to the Foundation. (LINK here for more information.)

  • Charitable Giving Riders on Life Insurance – added to existing large insurance policies naming a charitable organization as an additional beneficiary. *
  • Policy Donations – By donating existing policies, donor’s may benefit from reduced estate taxes and income taxes. Charitable organizations become the beneficiary. *
  • Naming a Charity as Beneficiary – a simple way to donate but has limited tax benefits.*
  • Gifting Policy Dividends – Take your life insurance policy dividends and donate them as cash.*

Each of these methods has different income and estate tax considerations and your specific situation will determine what legacy gift would be best for you.  Consult with your insurance agent and tax advisor.

Gift Acceptance, Investment and Spending Policies of the Foundation are available for review HERE.