Have you made plans for the rest of the week? For the next month? For the next year? As we look further into the future, planning our lives naturally becomes more challenging. This is one reason many people put off making long-term provisions that could help assure greater financial security for themselves and their loved ones.

In the absence of a valid will and/or other basic provisions, state laws will automatically distribute your assets without regard to what your wishes may have been. We can share some simple guidelines for taking charge of the planning process for your benefit and for the well-being of your family and other loved ones.

Your Will

One of the simplest planned gifts is a bequest through your will in which you designate either a specific dollar amount or a percentage of your estate after other disbursements. In addition to supporting The Salvation Army, it serves as an example to your heirs of the values and ideals you hold dear. A bequest also can reduce the amount of your taxable estate, which may increase the actual amount available to loved ones.

Is your will a vigorous up-to-date, contemporary planning tool that is ready for duty when the time comes? Your will needs regular review and updating to eliminate needless confusion and expense for surviving family members. Below are 14 events that usually require a modification of your will:

  • Marriage
  • Birth of a child or grandchild
  • A child reaching adulthood
  • Divorce
  • Death of a spouse
  • Increases in the value of your assets
  • Acquisition of new assets by gift or inheritance
  • Giving away or selling assets mentioned in your will
  • Death of a beneficiary named in your will
  • Changes in the needs of your beneficiaries
  • An executor or trustee dies, moves or becomes disabled
  • You move to a different state
  • Purchase or sale of real estate
  • You decide to make additional bequests, such as a gift for the future support of our program

You should take time at least once a year to review your will to assure that it is up to date with your current needs and circumstances. Ask your lawyer to review your will every two or three years to make sure any changes in the state or federal laws are incorporated.

When you review your will we hope you’ll consider one more satisfying change: a thoughtful bequest for our future. We can provide the correct legal name and other information along with ideas for planning your bequest.

To assist with any questions or to provide proper wording for the direction of a gift, contact our Planned Giving Director, Rich Dorsey at: 616-459-3433.