"I DIDN’T THINK ABOUT IT."
This is really what I believe is the number one obstacle to people making transformational gifts, especially in the area of planned giving. It is amazing how often advisers and others who work in philanthropy take for granted that people just don’t know their giving options, and because they don’t know the options available they do not engage in the conversation. What I have found is that most people don’t know that they can give or know how to effectively give without jeopardizing their financial security.
I have found is that when I ask someone when they last updated their estate plans or updated their Wills, etc, I can usually add nearly 10 years to their answer. So, if they said, “About 5 years ago.”, then it will easily have been 15. In most cases there was some event or anticipation of an event that caused them to get a Will or write a Will. Things like having young children and parents are going on a trip (usually by air) and they realize they need to make provisions for taking care of their children in the event they are not around to do so. Or someone near to them dies unexpectedly and they realize their own exposure should a premature death occur.
So, ask yourself, “How often do I think about this?” Truth is you probably don’t ever!
I understand, we live in a fast paced society and the last thing people want to do is to get all of their financial stuff in one pile and go talk about death. I would rather go to the dentist than have to go through that process as it is usually trudged through.
Work work with someone who first finds out what your life has been about, helps you discover what you legacy dreams would be and helps empower you to make an impact on the people, causes and institutions that have impacted you.
Your “estate planning” process doesn’t have to feel and look like a root canal. If your adviser has you focused on the possibilities of making a difference after you are gone in both your family and community, you can find meaning that you don’t have to die to benefit from.