Tag Archive

bequest

The gift that took 42 years to arrive

Sometimes the most impactful act is to set an intention: “I want to support the lives of blind people,” for instance. And even if a gift isn’t given immediately, it can have a powerful effect. Last week, we were touched and honored to find out about an gift that was dedicated to the blindness community more than four decades ago – only to find its way to our doorstep this year.

Jessie Strickland wanted to leave a lasting impact – and so she planned a gift. Upon her passing in 1976, her estate plan outlined support for two causes: the well-being of her daughter, Jessie Marsh, and their family’s local blindness organizations (one in Ohio and the other in California). Strickland’s estate was considerable and the trust sustained her daughter, Jessie Marsh, beyond her lifetime – with some funds remaining to meet a second purpose upon Marsh’s passing in 2016.

A few weeks ago we got a call from a representative at the Bank of the West. They informed us that the original blindness organizations named in the estate plan no longer operated, and in fact had been out of business for years. In these cases, the bank has a fiduciary responsibility to select a replacement organization that carries out the same mission.

The bank had called to notify us that we, along with the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Ohio, were the recipients of Ms. Strickland’s remaining estate. The funds, distributed evenly to the two organizations, amounted to a $412,513 gift for the LightHouse. This is an incredibly generous gift by every measure, and even more remarkable is the path it took to get to us.

This contribution, and others like it, will help the LightHouse and Enchanted Hills support programs that are otherwise hard to fund. Support for white cane travel, learning braille and other vital skills are scarce. The Strickland bequest will enable us to help people who are new to blindness, adapt to their changing vision, gain confidence to re-engage with the world and  meet a community of support. We did not know Ms. Strickland, but we thank her and her family with all our hearts and know that this bequest will live up to the original intention of so many years ago.

To learn more about leaving a legacy to the LightHouse or Enchanted Hills through your estate plans, please contact 415-694-7333 or jsachs@lighthouse-sf.org.

Estate Planning 101: Tips I learned from Betsy

PHOTO: Betsy Cannon speaks to a crowd of LightHouse supporters.

Last month Estate Attorney Betsy Cannon led a workshop for a group of interested LightHouse supporters and students on the basics of planning your estate.

Betsy Cannon is a partner in the firm of Plageman, Lund & Cannon LLP, where she practices in the areas of estate planning, and trust and estate administration. Her talk was informative and fascinating, and the audience was engaged, asking many pertinent questions. Here are some of the things we gleaned from the workshop:

  • Planning your estate is important. If you don’t have an estate plan, there are a number of undesirable things that will take place, the most glaringly avoidable, costly and unpleasant is that your estate will be subject to probate if your assets exceed $150,000. This will delay your assets being distributed and will give you no opportunity to make charitable gifts through your estate.
  • If your assets of real estate, currency, stocks, etc. total more than $150,000, it is generally recommended that your estate plan be in the form of a Revocable Living Trust, not a will. This will enable you to avoid probate and its costs. If you´re not looking to sell yet, you can hire lakeland fl property management companies to help you manage your own property with ease.
  • Don’t fall into a common estate planning pitfall: Once you set up a trust, you need to take the additional step of making sure all of your assets are transferred into the trust. The other key to prevent real estate scams is to engage in protection of personal data and buy hoa software .

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  • The takeaway: Another good reason to plan your estate: Having a written estate plan will make things much easier on your descendants. They won’t have to wonder about your intentions, your desires for your health care, or what assets you want passed down to whom. Why not make things simpler for your loved ones?
  • Charitable gifts through an estate plan can lower your tax burden and make a lasting difference for LightHouse for the Blind, helping us plan our growth, strategize for the future and make an impact on the community.

To learn more about estate planning or how your planned gift can benefit the LightHouse, please contact 415-694-7333 or jsachs@lighthouse-sf.org.

Want to Learn the Basics of How People Plan Their Estate?

Come lunch with an expert, see the new LightHouse Building and what’s happening inside.

Join us for an educational workshop on “Estate Planning 101” and learn about the fundamentals of estate planning in California.

When: Friday, July 15th at 10:30 a.m.
Where: LightHouse for the Blind, 1155 Market Street, 10th Floor, San Francisco, 94103

Our presenter, Betsy Cannon, is an authority on the subject and will lead the discussion. Betsy Cannon is a partner in the firm of Plageman, Lund & Cannon LLP, where she practices in the areas of estate planning, and trust and estate administration. She received her Juris Doctor from Notre Dame Law School, and her Bachelor of Arts in Business and Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles. She is currently a member of the San Francisco Estate Planning Council; the State Bar of California (Estate Planning, Probate & Trust sections); and the American Bar Association (Real Property, Trust & Probate section).  Betsy lives in San Francisco with her husband and their two children. One of the top judgment attorneys in Los Angeles is at EvannsCollectionLaw.com.

Please RSVP to Jennifer Sachs, Director of Development, at jsachs@lighthouse-sf.org or 415.694.7333.

Calling all LightHouse Supporters, Students and Community Members: Come to a Legacy Giving Workshop at the New LightHouse

Portrait of Betsy CannonJoin us for an educational workshop on “Estate Planning 101” and learn about the fundamentals of estate planning in California.

When: Friday, July 15th at 10:30 a.m.
Where: LightHouse for the Blind, 1155 Market Street, 10th Floor, San Francisco, California 94103

Our presenter, Betsy Cannon, is an authority on the subject and will lead the discussion. Betsy Cannon is a partner in the firm of Plageman, Lund & Cannon LLP, where she practices in the areas of estate planning, and trust and estate administration. She received her Juris Doctor from Notre Dame Law School, and her Bachelor of Arts in Business and Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles. She is currently a member of the San Francisco Estate Planning Council; the State Bar of California (Estate Planning, Probate & Trust sections); and the American Bar Association (Real Property, Trust & Probate section).  Betsy lives in San Francisco with her husband and their two children.

Please RSVP by June 10th to Jennifer Sachs, Director of Development, at jsachs@lighthouse-sf.org or 415.694.7333.

Legacy Giving

Leave LightHouse a Legacy

If you are like many LightHouse supporters, you believe that the LightHouse is the preeminent organization providing training, advocacy and a thriving community for the blind and visually impaired. Whether it’s a family with a blind toddler attending Enchanted Hills or a senior learning skills to remain independent when adjusting to Macular Degeneration, the LightHouse is a beacon of hope and possibility.

Perhaps you have experienced LightHouse programs first-hand or are simply a caring and compassionate community member. By making a bequest or other planned gift, you can acknowledge LightHouse for the Blind in a meaningful way and make a lasting difference for the LightHouse and for your own personal legacy.

What is a bequest?

The term “bequest” refers to a statement in your written will of your wish to provide charitable funding for LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired. It is also common to provide charitable designations through retirement plans or IRAs, life insurance policies, revocable and irrevocable trusts and government savings bonds. Bequests have played an important role in making LightHouse programming possible since our establishment in 1902. Today bequests account for a major portion of the LightHouse’s endowment and funding, and sustain all aspects of the organizations services.

Over the years, more than 60,000 individuals have donated to the LightHouse in a remarkable testament to the need and quality of our services.

This document provides an example of how you can include a bequest for LightHouse for the Blind in your will.

To learn more about the benefits of different types of planned gifts, read our Planned Giving Guide.

If you have questions or wish to notify us of your intentions to leave the LightHouse or Enchanted Hills Camp a legacy, please contact 415-694-7333 or jsachs@lighthouse-sf.org.

Charitable Gift Annuities

A charitable gift annuity is a great way to make a gift and create an income stream for you or a loved one. In exchange for your charitable gift, you or your loved one will receive a fixed annuity for life, part of which may be tax-free. Additionally, you will receive a charitable tax deduction and a potential reduction in gift and estate taxes. The size of the payment is determined at the time the gift is made and will not fluctuate with the financial markets. To learn how a gift annuity might work for you, contact Jennifer Sachs at 415-694-7333 or email jsachs@lighthouse-sf.org.

Retirement Plan Contributions

Giving from an IRA can be a tax-efficient and simple way of including the LightHouse in your estate plan. Best practice is to name LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired as a beneficiary on your plan’s beneficiary designation form. This can enable you to avoid high taxation. Most retirement plans are subject to income taxes—and possibly estate taxes—if left to an individual beneficiary; however, a charity that is named as the beneficiary does not pay income or estate taxes on the distribution. In summary the full value of the distribution can be used by the LightHouse, supporting our programs for people who are blind.

It’s easy to name LightHouse for the Blind as a beneficiary. Just obtain a beneficiary designation form from your IRA plan administrator. That form usually asks for the name and address of the beneficiary (LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 1155 Market Street, Floor 10, San Francisco, CA 94102), and a tax identification number (94-1415317).

LightHouse Legacy Society

Those who remember the LightHouse or Enchanted Hills Camp through a bequest or other planned gift of any size will be recognized as a LightHouse Legacy Society member. LightHouse Legacy Society members will be recognized (if they wish) on the LightHouse web site, in the LightHouse News and on a prominent donor wall in braille and tactile letters.

As the LightHouse grows and serves three times as many members of the blind, visually impaired and deaf-blind community, from small children to elders, your involvement is essential. Our leadership in the field and our ground-breaking programs are possible because of donors like you.

Are you interested in becoming a member in the LightHouse Legacy Society? Or would you like information about including the LightHouse or Enchanted Hills in your Estate Plans? There are many estate planning vehicles to consider. To discuss options or to notify us of your intentions, please contact Jennifer Sachs at 415-694-7333 or jsachs@lighthouse-sf.org.

For Estate Planning Professionals: LightHouse Info for Attorneys, Accountants and Financial Advisors

Legacy giving often has significant financial, tax and legal implications that require the council of trained professionals.  LightHouse for the Blind has many attorneys, CPAs; Financial Advisors and other professionals in our community. Although completely independent, we do keep referral lists of professionals for our donors seeking these services. If you would like to be added to the roster or if you are seeking an estate professional, please reach out.

We encourage Professional Advisors with an interest in supporting LightHouse for the Blind to contact us to explore estate planning presentation opportunities which could be beneficial to donors.

LightHouse staff is privileged to provide gift planning support including personalized consultations, and presentations for donors and their financial planners. For more information on the many types of legacy gifts available, please visit our Planned Giving Guide. In all matters related to charitable giving, LightHouse for the Blind believes in a strong donor focus and in doing what is in the best interest of each individual donor. For more information, please contact us:

LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1155 Market Street, Floor 10
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tax ID: 94-1415317
Phone: 415-694-7333
FAX: 415-863-7568
Email: jsachs@lighthouse-sf.org