Have you ever received information from the Arthritis Foundation’s Planned Giving Department and wondered exactly what it means? Have you ever seen a request to remember the Arthritis Foundation in your will or trust or read that 25% of all revenue the Foundation receives is from donor bequests? Have you ever met one of the Foundation’s Planned Giving Directors and wondered if they could help you? If so, you’re not alone.
Sure, the planned giving department is here to help you if you wish to remember the Arthritis Foundation in your will and other estate plans, but they can help you with so much more. Consistently I meet volunteers, donors, advocates and others who say, “I wish I could do more.” Regularly, I help people thoughtfully put together estate plans that consider both their loved ones and The Arthritis Foundation. With thoughtful planning, you can often make more impactful gifts to the Foundation while also providing even better for your loved ones.
Let me tell you a story about Sam, a valued donor to our organization. Sam wanted to leave $1,000,000 (the bulk of his estate) to us to fund our mission. He also wanted to leave $150,000 in a tax-free bond fund to his nephew, David. While he had other nieces and nephews, he had made a promise to his own brother to take care of David after he was gone. This is a pretty simple proposition.
However, when Sam met with me, I noticed a potential problem in his plan. What would happen when David, who had never had access to such a sum of money, got his hands on $150,000? What would he do first; what would he buy? More importantly, how long would this money actually last and what would happen to David after both his uncle and the money were gone?
I proposed this solution: Sam, let’s take all of your assets and place them into a Charitable Remainder Trust when you die. That $1.1 Million will fund a trust that will pay David approximately $55,000 a year for the rest of David’s life. Then, years from now, when David passes, the remaining funds (most likely more than the initial $1.1 M) would pass to us to fund our mission. Sam had tears in his eyes; not because he was making a big gift to us, but because he was keeping a promise to his brother. The plan was completed when Sam passed in 2016, but his promise is still being kept.
Everyone’s situation is unique. The one constant is that everyone can benefit from a thoughtful, no obligation consultation with a trained estate planning professional like the members of the planned giving team of the Arthritis Foundation. Please contact your local Arthritis Foundation Office or call our Home Office toll free at 866-528-8687 for more information and to connect with one of our Planned Giving Directors.
Author: Aric Grooms, Senior Director of Planned Giving, The Arthritis Foundation