Tag Archive

Estate Planning

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.

Come Have Dinner on Us and Learn Some Estate Planning Techniques that May Benefit You and the LightHouse

Portrait of Michael Bland

You are invited to a LightHouse Legacy Society Event at the new LightHouse building, with special guest presenter Michael Bland. Michael is the principal attorney at Guardian Counsel, PC. and is dedicated to assisting his clients design their family’s estate plans to preserve their personal and financial well-being while planning for the future. Michael is an Eagle Scout and was born and raised in Napa, California.

When: Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: the LightHouse Building at 1155 Market Street, Floor 10, San Francisco, 94103
Dinner will be served

Please RSVP to Dagny Brown at 415-694-7333 or events@lighthouse-sf.org.

We want to thank our LightHouse Legacy Society Members for including the LightHouse in their estate plans:

Hank Borenko, Margie Donovan, Joan M. Dove, Robert Ray Foster, Gena Harper and Mike May, Dolores Ippolito, Roger Kallen, Justin Kim, Kuhnle Family Endowment, Jerry Kuns and Theresa Postello, Inez E. Martini, Ann Noble and Goran Muhlert, Robert E. O’Donnell, Alicia Jean Rose, Frederic and Kristine Silva, Richard Stevens and Virginia Behm,  David and Regula Weill, Martin and Rosan Weissman, Jennifer Westbrook, Greg Wong.

An Invitation to a November Workshop on Advanced Estate Planning Techniques

You are invited to a LightHouse Legacy Society Event at the new LightHouse building, with special guest presenter Michael Bland. Michael is the principal attorney at Guardian Counsel, PC. and is dedicated to assisting his clients design their family’s estate plans to preserve their personal and financial well-being while planning for the future. Michael is an Eagle Scout and was born and raised in Napa, California.

When: Wednesday, November 2nd, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: the LightHouse Building at 1155 Market Street, Floor 10, San Francisco, 94103.
Dinner will be served.

Please RSVP by October 25th to Dagny Brown at 451.694.7311 or dbrown@lighthouse-sf.org.

 We want to thank our LightHouse Legacy Society Members for including the LightHouse in their estate plans:
Hank Borenko, Margie Donovan, Joan M. Dove, Robert Ray Foster, Gena Harper and Mike May, Dolores Ippolito, Roger Kallen, Justin Kim, Kuhnle Family Endowment, Jerry Kuns and Theresa Postello, Inez E. Martini, Ann Noble and Goran Muhlert, Robert E. O’Donnell, Alicia Jean Rose, Frederic and Kristine Silva, Richard Stevens and Virginia Behm,  David and Regula Weill, Martin and Rosan Weissman, Jennifer Westbrook, Greg Wong.

Donation Spotlight: Other Ways to Give

Photo: LightHouse student Angela Palmer (left) and LightHouse Deaf-Blind Specialist Sook Hee Choi.

Contributing a gift to the LightHouse helps provide unparalleled training and community for people of all ages who are blind. Your support is vital. To make a donation click here.

Another important aspect of LightHouse’s sustainability is Legacy Giving. We ask you to consider naming LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired as a beneficiary of your will or trust. A gift through your estate ensures that your commitment to LightHouse programs for people of all ages who are blind or have low vision will continue beyond your lifetime, and have a lasting impact on LightHouse’s work. For more information on leaving a legacy, click here.

Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, especially those with long-term capital gains, are popular gift assets because they may generate multiple tax benefits. These benefits include a charitable income tax deduction of the stock, bond, or mutual fund’s market value on the date the asset is received by the LightHouse and no capital gains tax on the appreciation. Most stocks are transferred electronically. Talk to your accountant or financial adviser about the benefits such a gift may provide for you.

Have your stocks, bonds, or mutual funds depreciated? If these types of assets have gone down in value, you may find there is an advantage to selling the stock, bond or mutual fund, recognizing a loss, and then contributing the cash proceeds of the sale to LightHouse for the Blind. An accountant or financial adviser can help you determine the best option for you.

If you have questions or need our account info to transfer assets, you or your broker can contact us at 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.

Why Create an Estate Plan?

I bet you don’t wake up in the morning and wish you could spend the day working with an attorney to develop an estate plan. However creating (or updating) a plan is among the most important things you can do. Estate plans help you:

  • Minimize possible estate taxes and costs.
  • Ensure the property goes exactly where you want it to go and when. If you don’t have a will or living trust, the state will provide a distribution plan for you which may or may not be in accordance with your wishes.
  • Give guidance to be followed in case you cannot make decisions for yourself.
  • Appoint a guardian for any minor children and provide for any special needs your loved ones may have.
  • Specify the type of funeral arrangements you would like.
  • Remember and provide for friends, relatives, and organizations you care about.

By planning now, you also make things easier for your family. How wonderful it is if they know exactly what you want to have happen. The planning you do now is a gift to your loved ones. And it can create a lasting legacy for the LightHouse or Enchanted Hills.

Making a plan and have some questions? Would you like information about ways to include the LightHouse or Enchanted Hills in your estate plan? Contact Jennifer Sachs at 415-694-7333 or jsachs@lighthouse-sf.org.

Save the Date: Our next Planned Giving Workshop will be held on Wednesday, December 9th at 10:30 am. The topic will be Charitable Gift Annuities, a new offering to our donors in LightHouse’s estate planning opportunities. Guest speakers from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation will lead the presentation.

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 Camp for the Blind, 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.

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
giving@lighthouse-sf.org.

501(c)(3) Tax ID:  94-1415317

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.