Leave a Legacy
What would happen if each of us gave a gift, no matter how small or large, in our will to our favorite charity?
The charities we care about – and the causes and people they serve – can benefit from our generosity long after we are gone. These gifts can inspire at-risk youth, sustain cultural organizations, provide meals to isolated seniors, enhance or preserve the environment, and so much more.
Leave a Legacy Connecticut is a statewide collaboration of non-profit organizations, grant makers, professional advisors and other community leaders established to promote public interest in charitable giving.
Our goal is simple: to encourage people to leave a legacy by including a charity they care about in their will. It's so important to plan for the future to help the next generation realize their dreams.
Everyone Can Leave a Legacy.
Making a gift through your will is possible for everyone, not just the wealthy. Any gift is important. The non-profits that receive your bequest can combine it with others to make a tremendous difference to your community.
Right now you may volunteer or support a specific cause. Including a gift to that cause or organization in your will ensures that your support continues forever. If you don't have a will, we can help point you in the right direction.
I Want to Get Started – How Do I Leave a Legacy?
Think about the charities or causes you would most like to help. Perhaps you know someone who benefited from a service or organization; or you are an active volunteer or donor to a specific cause; or you give to many organizations through an annual federated campaign. One or more of these charities could benefit from your legacy
- Do some investigating. Call the charitable organizations of your choice, and have them help you better understand what they do and the opportunities available for giving. Your local community foundation may also have options to meet your interests.
- Contact a professional advisor. This may be an attorney, an accountant or a financial planner. An advisor will ensure that you are getting the maximum tax and legal advantages allowed for your gift. Then, review your personal estate plan to be sure your charitable wishes are included. If you don't have a will, visit our website, call our toll-free number, or contact any of the resources listed on the back page.
Different Ways You Can Leave a Legacy:
- Leave a gift in your will to a charitable organization that has made a difference in your life or in the life of someone you love. You can donate a specific dollar amount or a percentage of your assets, which can include stocks, bonds, CDs, real estate, vehicles, art, jewelry and other personal property.
- Name your favorite charity as the beneficiary of your IRA or pension plan.
- Name your favorite charity as the beneficiary of an existing life insurance policy or purchase a new policy and name the charity as the beneficiary.
- Remember deceased loved ones with a memorial gift to a charity.
- Encourage family and friends to leave gifts to charities in their wills.
Frequently Asked Questions About Charitable Bequests:
Why do I need a will?
Without a will, your loved ones could lose control over your belongings after death. Your property and finances are settled according to state laws, not necessarily your wishes. Remember: wills are for everyone, not just those who are wealthy. Your estate is your property, money and personal belongings – no matter what the amount.
How do I leave a gift for the charity of my choice?
If you have a lawyer, accountant, financial planner, or insurance agent, they can help you get started. If you do not have a professional advisor, contact us.
When should I contact the charity of my choice?
Ideally, it should be before you have drawn up your will. That way, you can make sure you have the organization's full legal name, and have explored the different ways you can specify the purpose of your gift.
Do I tell the charity I have made a gift?
Charities would like to know about your planned gift so they can properly acknowledge and recognize your generosity. They can also tell you about specific opportunities for giving. Many donors inform their intended beneficiaries of their plans – others do not. This is a personal decision for you to make.
For More Information:
For more information about Leave a Legacy Connecticut, or to receive a copy of our brochure in English or in Spanish, call the Info line at 2-1-1 anywhere in Connecticut, or log on to the Leave a Legacy website.
Who to Contact:
You can find a professional to help you leave a legacy through any of these organizations:
Regional Bar Associations' Attorney Referral Services
(a small fee may apply)
Hartford, Litchfield, Middlesex and Tolland Counties:
New Haven and Waterbury Counties:
New London County:
Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants
(800) 232-2232, www.cs-cpa.org
International Association for Financial Accountants
(800) 806-PLAN (7526), www.planningpaysoff.org
Society of Financial Service Professionals
(800) 392-6900, www.financialpro.org