Did you know only one-third of individuals in the United States have a will? In recent years, the month of August has been set aside as the annual reminder of the power of planned giving and to ensure your will is current and up to date - or there is a plan in place to create a will if you do not have one.

Not only is a will important for you as an individual but also for your loved ones to ensure your belongings and assets are left in alignment with your wishes.

Why should you have a will?

To protect your personal wishes and your loved ones. Even if you and your loved ones have had conversations about your wishes, having them written in a formal and current will is a necessity. North Carolina has strict intestacy rules, which means the state holds the power to dictate where your belongings go if you pass away without a will. There are certain formulas in place that decide where and how your belongings and estate will be inherited or distributed - even if they don't align with your wishes.

It is easy and can be amended. Many believe that having a will is not needed or only necessary if you are of great wealth. However, this assumption is wrong. While your wealth and amount of assets might determine the length and complexity of your will, everyone should have one.

To secure the tax benefits. Depending on the type of gift, there are a variety of tax benefits for planned gifts. Please speak with your financial or tax advisor to learn more about how a legacy gift could benefit you and your family.

To continue your legacy. Having a will is an intentional and purposeful way to continue having a positive impact on your community. If there are causes you are passionate about, bequeathing your future giving to a nonprofit organization or through your local community foundation is a powerful way to continue your legacy.

Here at Triangle Community Foundation, the George H. Hitchings Legacy Society honors individuals who include the Foundation in their estate plans and by their example inspire other legacies of generosity, compassion, gratitude, and vision.

Beyond simply memorializing the names of these visionary philanthropists who have made estate or planned gifts, the Hitchings Society serves as an example or inspiration for others who may not realize the tremendous opportunity their own planning might offer for charitable giving. The Foundation gratefully acknowledges Hitchings Society members, who have collectively committed more than $100 million in future charitable gifts. Their generosity will make a difference in the vitality of our community for generations to come.

How can you give through your will at the Foundation?

There are a number of ways a legacy gift can be made to the Foundation. Here are just a few:

  • Include the Foundation or your fund at the Foundation in your Will
  • Name the Foundation as a beneficiary of your IRA or other Retirement Accounts
  • Name the Foundation as a beneficiary of a Life Insurance Policy
  • Arrange for the Foundation to receive a Gift In Trust after you or your family members enjoy lifetime benefits
  • Contribute a gift of Real Estate (land or buildings)

Though thinking about end-of-life plans can feel uncomfortable and intimidating, there is tremendous importance in having a current will in place. Not only does it secure your individual wishes, but it provides peace of mind to your loved ones after your passing.

If you are interested in making a legacy gift or if you have already included a legacy gift to the Foundation through your estate planning, please connect with Carla Abramczyk to discuss how we can assist with your philanthropic values and goals.