Whatever their age or health status, most people are aware that they need to document important financial and personal information for loved ones, just in case the unexpected occurs. We’ve all heard stories about someone’s family member who passed away and left little, if any, information about where to find bank accounts, passwords, estate planning documents, life insurance policies, and other information. No one wants to leave their loved ones in the lurch with scant information, but it’s often hard to get motivated to write it all down in one place.
The start of a new year is an excellent time to get organized and provide your next of kin or key advisors with the information they’d need to take care of your affairs if something were to happen to you. The list of “must haves” includes the obvious: Will, trust, power of attorney, birth certificate and marriage license, titles to cars and boats, deeds to property, car keys, bank accounts, investments and advisor contact information, life insurance policies and contact information for the agent, funeral wishes, and, critically, passcodes and passwords to devices and accounts.
What might not be obvious, though, is that you also ought to leave your loved ones with information about your charitable giving, including details about favorite charities you’ve supported over the years and information about your donor-advised or other type of fund (or funds) at the Community Foundation. In many instances, one member of a family has managed a family’s or a couple’s donor-advised fund, for example, while others have not been as involved in the mechanics. Be sure to include your funds at the Community Foundation on your list of key information, and include the Community Foundation’s contact information. You might also like to include a copy of your donor-advised fund agreement outlining successor advisors, as well as login credentials to the Community Foundation's online fund portal.
The team at the Community Foundation is happy to help you put together documentation about your donor-advised fund and charitable wishes to include with the information you provide to your loved ones so they are not completely lost as they navigate how to carry out your philanthropic wishes. Even better, we’re happy to work with you anytime to show your family members exactly how your donor-advised or other type of fund works so that they are involved and participating with you in your philanthropic pursuits during your lifetime.
Making it easy for you to share the joy of giving, and also helping ensure that family members have the information they need, are top priorities at the Community Foundation. We are honored to work with you to help make your philanthropy easy, effective, and rewarding for everyone involved.
This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal, accounting, or financial planning advice.
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