What legacy will you leave behind?
Legacy planning generally involves estate planning, wealth transfer, charitable gifting, and wishes regarding such issues as medical directives and powers of attorney. While these issues are important, most people tell us what really matters most about legacy planning encompasses the sentimentality, the intimacy of family, their traditions and motives.
Many individuals who make charitable gifts do so because they have experienced a life-changing event or a memorable period in their life that has inspired them to give to others.
Gift of a Daily Meal
While there are many giving stories, this one was shared with us by the daughter of one of our donors. She started her story by saying that her father was a young boy living in Iowa during the Great Depression. She recalled her father saying his parents opened up their hay barn one winter to friends, neighbors and families who had loss their farms or homes during the financial collapse. While not wealthy by any means, her grandparents were among the few who had managed to keep their small farm. They claimed they were "better off than most" because they had still had plenty of food stored from the prior summer's abundant harvest of their large gardens. So, anyone who spent the night in their barn was also given a plate of food. Her father's impressionable years during a time of great financial ruin impacted the rest of his life. While remaining very frugal throughout his years, what was important to her father was that everyone had a plate of food each day. To carry on his personal legacy, her father made a sustaining charitable gift that will provide a daily meal to many seniors who would otherwise go hungry.
Caregiver's Gift of Peace of Mind
What motivates giving is often very personal. For another family, it was their father's care that defined their legacy giving decision. In his later years, their father was diagnosed with dementia. And as the disease progressed, his physical and mental condition deteriorated rapidly, which presented many challenges for himself, and his wife, children and caretakers. The family witnessed other families facing similar challenges. For them, what defined their family's legacy was the importance of dignity, respect and a safe place for persons with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.
Planned Giving Decision-Making
Making decisions about estate planning, exploring charitable gift giving options and discussing legacy planning can be difficult for individuals and families. The first step often begins with learning more about your planned giving options, as well as the financial implications to your estate planning and taxes. Contact WesleyLife's Philanthropy team for assistance or to discuss WesleyLife's planned giving options and how we can help align those options with your legacy giving wishes.