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Don't Leave Your Legacy to Chance
/ June 9, 2016

By Kim Evans, Legal Affairs and
Planned Giving Director
John Denver, Sonny Bono, Jimi Hendrix, Prince.   This is not a nostalgic trip to the 1970’s. What these well-known figures unfortunately have in common is that they all died without wills and other directives.  Whether the consequences to your loved ones are simply a drawn out expensive wait or an airing of family business, the cost to your legacy can be substantial.   Most of us fully intend to leave our mark by benefitting those we care about and our favorite causes after we are gone.  We work hard, we save and invest, and what’s left afterward goes to the people and issues we care about, right?  Not necessarily.  

Many circumstances can cause an unprotected legacy to derail.  Whether it is intestacy laws (in other words, if you don't have a will, the state will make one for you) that favor a person that you would not have selected or confusion over end-of-life decisions, a lack of clarity is never a good idea.  

According to a 2015 RocketLawyer survey, 64% of Americans do not have a will.  This statistic covers all socio-economic lines and the reasons run the gamut.  “I am too young” or “I don’t have the time or money to make a will” -- whatever the hesitation, we should remember this:  those important to us do not get a “do-over” once we are incapacitated or gone, and we never know when that time will be.  

A simple will and basic healthcare instructions are the foundations of protecting the legacy you want to leave.  Whether you seek to benefit others or merely seek to live out your own days the way you intend, those left behind require guidance that should come from you.  Now is the time to protect your legacy. 

Contact your professional advisor or local law school for further assistance and give us a call about how the Community Foundation can work with you on determining your giving goals. 

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