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 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.

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.

Planning a gift for LightHouse

By planning a gift through your will, trust or other means, you make a meaningful and lasting difference for blind people of all ages. Whether it’s a family with a blind toddler attending Enchanted Hills, a professional learning to commute on public transit, or a senior learning skills to remain independent while adjusting to Macular Degeneration, the LightHouse is a beacon of possibility.

We hope you’ll be part of our future and future generations of blind people.

Ways to Give

Gifts in your will

You can make a gift to LightHouse through your will or trust. This document provides an example of how you can include a bequest for LightHouse in your will.

Everyone needs a will, even if you feel like you’re too young or don’t have an estate. LightHouse has partnered with FreeWill to provide a simple, intuitive and efficient way to create a will. This service is free—whether or not you choose to include a gift to LightHouse. Visit freewill.com/lighthousesf to get started.

Beneficiary Designations

You can make LightHouse a beneficiary of a retirement, life insurance, bank account or other account. These gifts are easy to make and can be tax beneficial.

Gifts that pay you income

A charitable gift annuity allows you to receive a tax deduction and income for life, while also making a gift to LightHouse.

Learn more about giving options in our Planned Giving Guide.

Gifts through wills, trusts and other plans enable you to support programs, like Enchanted Hills Camp, that have been important in your life. These gifts ensure the future of LightHouse and the life-changing services we offer people who are blind.

If you would like to learn more about gifts through will and trusts, or if you have already included LightHouse in your estate plans, contact Jennifer Sachs at 415-694-7333 or jsachs@lighthouse-sf.org.