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Understanding Legacy Giving

Is Your House in Order?

Life planning includes stipulating your wishes for medical care, selecting the person who will speak on your behalf when you no longer can, and sharing your values with your heirs through an ethical will.  All are important steps in preparing for the future and for assuring your peace of mind.  

An equally important step in planning is directing the distribution of your financial resources through a legal will.  If you have a will, congratulations!  If you don't, start planning now! 

According to John Watts, author of Leaving Your House in Order, a person will work 40 or more years to accumulate assets and 10 years conserving what has accumulated, but will not take two hours to plan for its distribution. "All of us realize the uncertainty of life," Watts says.  "We tend to put planning off until tomorrow, but the safest and most considerate approach for those we love is to be prepared."  That's why it's so important to plan today! 

Here are just a few of the many benefits of having a will.

  • You insure the wisest and most productive use of your resources to benefit those individuals and organizations you care about.
  • You direct the division of your property in the way you choose.
  • You select an executor (personal representative) who is qualified to settle your estate with careful attention to your wishes.
  • You devise an estate plan with the help of a qualified attorney and other advisors to minimize taxes on your estate.

You can change your will at any time. Including HCI Care Services in your will insures you leave a legacy that will continue to assist families in need of end-of-life care beyond your lifetime.

Now is the time to act.  As Mr. Watts stresses, take the considerate approach.  For free materials to get started, please contact Azure Christensen at (515) 271-1309.

Your Personal Decisions Can Make a Profound Impact

Ellen already knew exactly what she wanted to do when she met with her attorney to discuss her will.  She had spent a lot of time deciding how to distribute the proceeds of her many years of modest living and saving.  She relied on her attorney to prepare her will and he shared with her the generally accepted ways to leave a legacy that would fulfill her specific wishes. 

Specific Legacy Gift - This is a gift of a specific item(s) to a specific person.  Ellen used this method to assure her life-long friend received her heirloom broach.

General Legacy Gift - This is usually a gift of a stated sum of money.  This was used to assure that Ellen's three nieces would each receive $5,000 from her estate.

Residual Legacy Gift - This is a gift of all the "rest, residual and remainder" of the estate after all other bequest, debts and taxes have been paid. This can be used with individual heirs or bequests to charitable organizations. 

Having never married and having outlived her siblings, Ellen chose to leave the residual of her estate to HCI Care Services.  Hospice had cared for her neighbor, and Ellen had observed the difference that care had made in the last months of her friends life.  Ellen wanted the remainder of her estate to be used to make a difference in the lives of others.  For her, HCI Care Services was the answer.

Little did Ellen know 24 years ago when she made her bequest decision the impact that decision would have on end-of-life care in central Iowa.  Ten years later when Ellen died, her residual gift was one of the leadership gifts that made the first Kavanagh House on 56th Street possible.

Ellen's wishes have been fulfilled and many families in central Iowa have benefited.

Ellen knew what she wanted to do.  Do you?  We have information that can help.  Call Azure Christensen at (515) 271-1309.