How to Help Using Estate Planning Resources
Interest in estate planning has been on the rise since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Many donors have placed estate planning near the top of their to-do lists this year. Donors may be considering creating or updating plans.
Your donors have a strong heart string attachment to the mission of your organization. You can provide powerful educational resources as they think about the future. Help your donors achieve peace of mind knowing their wishes will be carried out.
Many gift planners seek to provide value to their donors by sharing the contact information of local advisors and attorneys. Best practices dictate that your donor should always choose and retain independent counsel for any estate planning needs. Your donors may reach out for help to find independent counsel. You may want to create or update your list of local estate planning attorneys.
You may find local estate planning attorneys by reaching out to your local bar association, planned giving council or Area Agency on Aging. If your organization has a special affiliation, you may be able to find additional resources for attorneys in the area through those affiliated organizations.
It may be helpful to pass along a few questions the donor can ask any prospective attorney. These may include:
• How long has the attorney practiced estate planning?
• Are services billed at a fixed rate or by the hour? If hourly, approximately how many hours are needed to complete the documents?
• What estate plan documents are included in the price estimate?
• Are asset transfers included in the document preparation?
• Does the cost include revisions or additions to the estate plan in the future?
These types of questions can help a donor understand the services offered before they select an attorney. Many attorneys provide an initial estate planning consultation free of charge. In the COVID-19 era, many of these initial meetings are being held virtually.
Your organization can provide value added marketing for estate planning easily and quickly. In addition to providing a list of local attorneys, you can offer a free Estate Planning Guide.
Crescendo’s Estate Planning Guide is a helpful educational resource for your donors. It is available to GiftLegacy Subscribers and can be branded with your organization’s colors, pictures and mission. The Estate Planning Guide highlights the importance of estate planning and getting organized.
The Estate Planning Guide helps the donor organize important information, contacts, assets and goals. The Estate Planning Guide provides educational insights into helpful key concepts, including beneficiary designation gifts and estate planning documents. Your organization can also include sample bequest language.
The Estate Planning Guide includes three sample estate plans for individuals and three sample estate plans for married couples. It is meant to be completed by the donor prior to meeting with his or her attorney. The process of completing the Estate Planning Guide will help your donors be better prepared and informed before meeting with an attorney. This may save time and money, as well as make the process more manageable and easier to understand.
The Estate Planning Guide can provide your donors with the direction they need. It may motivate them to move forward creating or updating their estate plans.
Crescendo’s designers are available to help you customize bequest marketing literature. Contact your GiftLegacy Coordinator to get started.