A Life Legacy

Happy New Year! The new year is a time for both reflection and looking forward.  This was a big year of change for me with a marriage and new home so it was also a good time to relook at my insurance and beneficiaries. I wanted to make sure that Dave was listed as a beneficiary on my life insurance and retirement. At that time, I also made sure that the Sno-Valley Senior Center was listed as a beneficiary on both. 

I love the Sno-Valley Senior Center and I believe in the impact we have on the lives of many. I want to ensure that this wonderful place continues for many, many generations! I don’t have a lot of wealth but I can list the Sno-Valley Senior Center as a beneficiary which is super easy to do! 

Some organizations call this simple thing Legacy Giving or Giving that ripples to future generations. A legacy gift can also be a bequest – a gift included in your last will and testament. A bequest can be for a specific amount, a percentage of your estate, and/or a specific piece of property.  Here’s sample language:  “I bequeath to Sno-Valley Senior Center, a Washington State 501(c)3 and partner of Sound Generations, tax ID 91-0823767, the sum of $____ (or the description of the asset or ___ % of my estate) for general support purposes.”

I need to make a will. So I will make an appointment soon with our board President Jerry Sprute who is an elder law attorney. He is in Duvall and an expert on wills and legacy giving (and the Property Tax Exemption for Older Adults).  You can reach him at 425-892-4079 or check out his website at http://sprutelaw.com . He provides a complimentary consultation for your first visit.

“Virtually everyone postpones writing a will. Maybe it’s because we don’t want such a tangible reminder of our mortality. Or perhaps we view the process as relinquishing the ownership of our property. Whatever the excuse may be for putting off the drafting of a will, many people do not realize that writing one actually prevents what is feared. In fact, a will may be the most important document that you ever write, because it allows you to select the persons who will receive what you own when you die. If you don’t have one in place, you cannot select the recipients of your property and the state you reside in will determine how your property is divided.” (from Wilmington Trust website)

Why do you need a will?  “Virtually every person— married, divorced, single, childless, parent, in good health, in bad health— should have a will for the simple reason that without one, you cannot determine who should receive your property. Each state has a default plan for how property must be distributed if you die without a will, with the default (and mandatory) scheme depending on your life situation. Furthermore, even if you die with no living relatives, the state will not permit distributions to a friend, a favorite charity, or any non-related person. Instead, the property will most likely end up going to the state.” Do you really want your hard earned life savings or property going to the state?

The Sno-Valley Senior Center benefited by bequests last year.  We were able to buy a new van with the Scheidegger estate. Norma Pearson estate pays for the monthly birthday cakes.  These bequests go into our savings account so we have funds to cover repairs and replacements. For example, we’re going to have an expensive repair to the walk in refrigerator which is leaking water. The funds come from the savings which is made up of past bequests and memorial donations.  So it’s important to our operations.

Feel free to call and share your thoughts anytime to me. Lisa Yeager, 425-333-4152, ext 1.