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Estate Planning

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 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.

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 that have 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 other key to prevent real estate scams is to engage in protection of personal data and buy hoa software .

    Taking precautions can also mitigate against related losses (such as credit card fraud. As well as protecting their own information, investors and homeowners should ensure that trusted parties are taking proper security measures. You can check out the post right here for more info. An empty trust, is like an empty suitcase. Not very useful!

  • 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.

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