presented by: Bradford & Holliman, Estate Planning
Few communities are not stretched for funding, so consider your local community (scholarships, church missions, museums, parks, civic clubs, and other non-profit charities) as you set up your complete estate plan.
Scholarships to Local Students – Families often decide to give back to the school or schools that helped them succeed in life. One couple endowed a scholarship to Jacksonville State University for local seniors who plan to attend JSU. The couple has had the pleasure of awarding annual scholarships for 34 years, long before their deaths. This scholarship helps the students as they begin their college careers. Other families have chosen to leave gifts to Alabama, Auburn, Samford, UAB, Birmingham Southern, and many other schools throughout the country with either very specific purposes such as to an athletic department or for research or for use at the university’s discretion. When considering schools, do not forget the local community colleges that provide foundation level classes and training for many in our communities. The impact such schools provide to their communities is substantial from core classes in math and science, to nursing, theater, and trades.
Operating Expenses – Small non-profits such as arts councils, community theatres, and sports associations often make a huge impact on local communities. Your estate plan could include funds for operating expenses which are often not covered by larger corporate or government grants. Many grants also require matching funds, so your bequest could help these non-profits receive grants as well.
Infrastructure Gifts – Real estate can be used to develop walking trails, waterfront facilities, dog parks, or community gardens. Many communities’ libraries, city halls, museums, and even schools exist only because someone donated the land or buildings to enhance the community.
When reviewing your estate plan every 3 – 5 years, carefully consider the aspects of your community that mean so much to you and your family to see if an endowment or estate gift through your estate plan could be a great way to give back, both today and after you’re gone. An experienced estate lawyer can help you work through the specifics.
-Melanie B. Holliman, JD
Partner, Bradford & Holliman
Estate Planning, Trusts & Special Needs
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