As the number of people infected by the coronavirus continues to grow, lawyers are seeing a huge increase in requests to prepare wills and update estate plans.
Some people had been putting off this important planning. Others want to take a fresh look to make sure their wills reflect the legacy they want to leave behind.
In this Q&A, estate attorney Kurt Zimmerman shares his insights about the importance of estate planning and how to leave a positive legacy. Kurt is a Community Foundation of Broward Board Member and Chairman of the Foundation’s Professional Advisors Council.
People around the country are rushing to create wills and update estate plans. Are we seeing the same thing here in Broward?
“I’m definitely receiving more phone calls from existing clients wanting to update wills and estate plans. I’m also hearing from new clients who want to create a will or estate plan right away. I know other attorneys are experiencing the same thing. There are people who choose to set up their wills online, but I feel like they’re shortchanging themselves – especially if they want to be thoughtful in their planning and use their estate plan to make a positive, lasting impact on others.”
Why does it take a crisis to inspire more people to create a will or update estate plans?
“It’s human nature for people to delay their estate planning. We’re all usually busy with our day-to-day lives and have more immediate things to think about and do. It usually takes a significant life event to get people to stop and think about what will happen with their assets once they’re gone, as well as the legacy they leave behind. For many, this coronavirus crisis is the significant life event that’s pushing them to get organized. That’s because this pandemic isn’t something happening thousands of miles away, it’s happening right here, right now in our community.”
Why is having a will and an updated estate plan so important?
“Creating a will and estate plan is one of the most important things a person will ever do. You’ve worked hard for the money and assets you’ve accumulated over the years. Your estate plan is your chance to be thoughtful about your legacy. It’s an opportunity to ensure ongoing support for your loved ones. It’s also a chance to include charitable estate gifts that lock in support for your community and the issues and organizations that are important to you. Wills and estate plans are more than just divvying up assets. They help shape how you will be remembered. They help you create a bold impact.”
How can collaborating with the Community Foundation of Broward help people create a bold, lasting impact with their wills and estate plans?
“Many people want to include charitable gifts in their wills and estate plans, but they don’t know which individual charities to choose. They want to know that their gifts will make a real difference and create a lasting legacy. That’s where the Community Foundation of Broward provides a real value.”
“The Community Foundation has a more than 30-year track record of fostering philanthropy that moves the needle on the issues that matter most in Broward. Many of my clients are delighted to learn how the Community Foundation’s philanthropic expertise and unmatched local knowledge can help them get the most out of their charitable giving – and create a legacy of bold community impact.”
“Through the Community Foundation, my clients can establish endowed charitable Funds, in their name, that fuel solutions to Broward’s big issues. They can create their endowed charitable Fund with a gift through their estate plan or they can go ahead and create a Fund today – so they can start to have an immediate impact and enjoy seeing their resources in action. In both cases, they have peace of mind knowing that the Community Foundation is a leader in our community, financially strong and stable, and will be here forever. They can have confidence that their philanthropy through the Community Foundation will always be there to help Broward, during times of crisis and beyond.”
To talk about how your philanthropy through the Community Foundation can help Broward during this crisis and beyond, contact Philanthropic Services Manager Jennifer Powers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-761-9503, ext. 113.