Did you know? 90 percent of Americans have cell phones | 75 percent use Facebook |
Only 50 percent have wills.

It can be a scary question: What will your loved ones do when you aren’t here? How can you make their future more secure? The answer is simple: Create a plan. By taking the time now to think through these and several other questions, you can ease your mind and ensure your family is protected. And if you have an estate plan or will that is a decade old, then you probably should revisit it. Laws change, families change and assets change. An up-to-date estate plan is an invaluable gift to your loved ones.

Here are some questions to consider when you think about your estate plan:
• Who depends on you for financial support? Do you have any heirs with special needs?
• Have you or your intended heirs experienced any major life changes in the past few years, such as divorces, deaths, remarriages, births or serious, chronic illnesses?
• What values do you want your estate plan to reflect?
• What do you want to leave your heirs — a college education, financial independence, a spirit of entrepreneurship? How can your estate plan accomplish that?
• What do you want your legacy to be in the larger community? Which charitable institutions or causes are most important to you? How can you support them and also take care of your family?

These questions may seem overwhelming, but tackling them gives you more control now and in the future. While you are sitting down to create or update your estate plan, you may want to consider creating a lasting commitment to your community. One part of living a meaningful life is the hope that we live on, not only in the memory of family and friends, but also that we leave our community a better place to live. A carefully thought-out estate plan can create a legacy that accomplishes these goals.

The Community Foundation offers a variety of options to help your planned giving reflect your passions. Do you want to start a scholarship to help high-achieving, financially needy students? We can help you do that. Do you have a cause you want to support — maybe environmental conservation or youth development or services for the elderly? We can help you establish a field-of-interest fund dedicated to that cause. Do you want to help meet our community’s changing needs? Leave a gift to The Community Foundation’s Community Impact Fund.

We are a resource to help you think through your charitable aspirations, and we can work with you and your professional advisors to plan your charitable legacy. The Community Foundation has two specific services that can help you achieve your desired outcomes:
• Gift Planning – Our staff will guide you through a process to develop a customized giving plan to support the organizations and causes you value, now and in the future.
• Family Philanthropy — Our staff will work with family members, individually or as a group, to help define charitable goals and shared values. We can even arrange family service projects or site visits and other activities to help families learn about nonprofits and charitable giving.

For more information on how the Community Foundation can help you achieve your charitable goals, please contact Cathy Barrett at (423)599-5880 or cbarrett@cfcbc.org.