A Wonderful Legacy Gift

Susan was a single person who outlived her family members. By the time she passed away, she had amassed a large estate. Susan was fond of poetry, books, animals, education and helping those in need. Over several decades, as her wealth increased, she would meet with her estate planning attorney from time to time to make decisions as to who would receive her assets. She believed that her good fortune should be shared with worthy organizations that make a difference in people's lives. She settled upon 10 charities she felt strongly about supporting.

In creating her estate plan through a will, a portion of her wealth went into a trust that would provide monthly income to a close friend for their lifetime, with the amount remaining after their death to go to the nonprofits. This trust is similar to a charitable remainder trust, where you can provide income for yourself or others while receiving an immediate tax benefit for the future gift to charity. The balance of her probate estate will be distributed to the 10 charities.

Northwest Harvest is a beneficiary of both the trust and the estate. So far, Northwest Harvest has received almost $1 million, with another $2 million expected at completion of the probate. Later, we will receive a portion of the lifetime trust as a remainder beneficiary.

When Susan first considered making charitable bequests several decades ago, she did not know how large her estate would grow to be. By setting up a formal plan, in this case through her will, she created the framework for what would happen in the future. There are many ways to plan, not only through a will or testamentary trust but also through a revocable trust or a beneficiary designation on a life insurance policy or retirement account (such as an IRA, 401(k) or 403(b)).

Nonprofits such as Northwest Harvest depend on current gifts of cash, stocks or other assets to fund daily operations. Legacy gifts, which the nonprofit will receive in the future, may be used for operations, but they also can be transformative in expanding the mission and services offered. Making a plan is key. It allows you to provide for loved ones and the causes you believe in. Susan, working with her attorney, set up a plan that will make a difference for Northwest Harvest. Legacy gifts, whether they are small or large, allow Northwest Harvest to continue to meet multiple needs in the communities we serve. Susan would be happy that her plan has succeeded.

We're Here to Help

At Northwest Harvest, we can help guide you through your planning process. Contact Anne S. Knapp at 206.390.6094 or anneK@northwestharvest.org with any questions.